On to state

Park’s wrestling team departs for Billings today for the state tournament
By 
Ryan Peerboom — Enterprise Staff Writer
Thursday, February 13, 2020
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Enterprise photos by Ryan Peerboom

Adin Gibson wrestles during the Ranger Invitational in December at Park High.

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Alex Kober wrestles a fellow Park Ranger during the Rangers Invitational.

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Cade Gubler attempts to pin a Butte wrestler during the Ranger Invitational.

The Park High wrestling team heads off to Billings today to compete in the MHSA State Tournament this weekend. 

In total, seven wrestlers qualified for the tournament. 

Park head coach Ben Hahn said it’s been business as usual in practice this week, with a little extra excitement mixed in.

“We want to stick with our routine as much as possible,” Hahn said in an interview Thursday morning. “We’ve got certain traditions, like we still had a morning practice this morning.”

The Rangers have also had high quality practices after school, forgoing a heavy workload for good reps to keep players fresh, Hahn said.

“The afternoon practices, our quality has went up, but the quantity has maybe gone down so maybe not quite as many reps or quite as long,” he said.

It’s easy to get tense before the biggest tournament of the season, but Hahn said the wrestlers have been relaxed and ready to go this week.

“They’ve been pretty loose, kid’s are ready to go,” he said. “We’ve been having fun all year. State, we’re obviously excited about, but at the end of the day it’s another wrestling tournament so we’re going to wrestle one match at a time and our kids know that whoever’s in front of them we’re just going to go wrestle.”

Following are the seven wrestlers competing this weekend:

 

Brayden Linville – Freshman, Weight class: 103

Linville has put together a solid year as a freshman. He’s been competitive with some of the top wrestlers in the state and has a good chance to compete at a high level at state, Hahn said.

“Brayden had a great season for it being his freshman year,” he said. “He’s been right on the line on the rankings this year as far as being in the top six. He beat some of those kids that are ranked and we think, if he has a good tournament and is healthy, that he’s got a good chance to come out of Billings with a medal.”

 

Gage McGillvray – Freshman, Weight class: 113

McGillvray is another freshman who has made strides in his first year with the program. Hahn said he feels that McGillvray can compete with anyone in his class when he’s at his best.

“Gage McGillvray has had another fantastic season for a freshman,” Hahn said. “He’s shown flashes of being up to the top of his weight class and so, again, we think he’s got a chance to place. Again, he’s been super, super close with kids that are ranked and so, if he wrestles well and has fun, he could also be on the podium.”

 

Danyk Jacobsen – Freshman, Weight class: 132

Jacobsen has put together an impressive freshman campaign. He has consistently been one of the top placers for the Rangers this season. Hahn said he see’s big things for Jacobsen during the tournament. 

“He’s had a fantastic year,” he said. “He has beaten some of the top-ranked kids including, at times, the number one ranked kid. So we feel that Danyk’s got a good chance to not only be on the podium, but if he wrestles well he could be at the top of the podium.”

 

Cade Gubler – Sophomore, Weight class: 138

Gubler has also found himself placing well throughout the season and has gone toe-to-toe with the best wrestlers in the weight class. Hahn said he’s liked what he’s seen from Gubler in practice this week.

“The top-ranked kid in the state, he has already beat this year, they’re 1-1,” Hahn said. “We like our chances. He’s looked great this week. Again, not only shooting for on the podium, but he could also be at the top of the podium.”

 

Alex Kober – Junior, Weight class: 145

Kober has been forced to jump around weight classes multiple times this season and has succeeded in every one. Back home at 145, Hahn believes the sky is the limit for Kober.

“This kid, Alex Kober, has been absolutely fearless this year,” he said. “He’s taken on kids that are state ranked at higher weight classes and he’s beaten them, and so we’re just excited to see what he does at the 145 weight class. When Alex is wrestling well, he could beat anybody.”

 

Adin Gibson – Junior, Weight class: 152

Gibson has been the leader for the Rangers this season. A Sweet Grass County student, Gibson has benefitted greatly from the wrestling merger. He’s found himself at or near the top of the podium in all of the Rangers tournaments this season, most recently placing second at the district tournament. In a competitive weight class, Hahn expects Gibson to compete with the best of them. 

“152 is a very tough weight class and we’re one of the toughest in that weight class,” he said. “So, we’re going to take it one match at a time, but if Adin Gibson wrestles well he could also be not only on the podium, but at the top.”

 

Lyom Bullard – Sophomore, Weight class: 170

A first year wrestler, Bullard has made big strides this year for the Rangers. Hahn said he could see him notching multiple wins in the tournament. 

“It’s his first year of wrestling,” he said. “He was a big stand-out football player for us this year (and) we got him to come to wrestling and this is his first state tournament, of any type. He’s going to be looking to get some experience and win a match or two at state, that’s what we’re looking for.”

Any fans with an NFHS subscription can watch the state tournament’s stream online at nfhsnetwork.com/playoffs/state/montana.

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