Feb 6, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorWrestling begins Friday morning at Riverton High School and Riverton Middle School.
With the state wrestling tournament coming later this month, the Ron Thon Memorial Invitational continues to be the biggest regular-season showcase the state has to offer.
The Riverton Wolverines host 42 teams from the Class 4-A, 3-A and 2-A classifications. The varsity matches are held at Wolverine Gym, while the early junior varsity are going to be in the Riverton Middle School gym.
Hulett is the only wrestling team in Wyoming not coming to Riverton.
The double-elimination tournament starts at 9 a.m. Friday. The entire varsity brackets takes place at Wolverine Gym.
"The Ron Thon tournament is the best tournament in Wyoming," RHS coach Jay Galey said. "For a wrestler, a wrestling fan or coach, it can't get any better."
The weight brackets for Wyoming high school wrestling are 106 pounds, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and heavyweight.
"Our guys have put in a lot of time this year," Galey said. "There is just no reason they won't be ready to go. If you can't get ready for this tournament, you need to find something else to do."
Admission prices for the tournament are $20 for an adult for a weekend pass and $12 for a student pass.
Day passes are $12 and $8.
The semifinals are Saturday morning, and the finals later in the afternoon.
"Fan will pack the gym," Riverton High School activities director Jeremy Hill said.
Before the Ron Thon finals, the junior varsity finals will take place on the center mat, with the third-place and fifth-place varsity matches on the other mats.
After those matches are completed, the varsity title matches will be featured on the center mat.
"We want to give the top billing to those first-and-second matches," Hill said.
The Wolverines have entered eight wrestlers in the varsity tournament.
"I expect good things from all eight of them," Galey said.
Wilson will be in the top division at 120 pounds.
"Gavin is a tough kid," Galey said.
Michael Menzies goes at 126 pounds. T.J. Turner is in the 145-pound division.
"T.J. can beat anybody at any time," Galey said.
Hank Osborne is slated for the 132-pound bracket.
"Hank has showed a lot of improvement this year," Galey said.
Tyler Allen (152 pounds), Reece Prosser (170), Chris Holcomb (182) and Kyle Page (195) are the other varsity wrestlers.
Lander, Shoshoni, Wyoming Indian, Wind River and Dubois are going to represent Fremont County at the Ron Thon.
"I'm really excited because it's one of my favorite tournaments of the year," SHS coach Tony Truempler said. "It's huge. It will give us a chance to see everybody."
Truempler tries to keep the same routine for the Ron Thon as in other tournaments.
"I have some guys who get a little nervous when they go up against the bigger schools," Truempler said. "After we get that first match out of the way, we will do fine."
Dubois wrestler Sterling Baker is one of the favorites to go far in the 220-pound division.
Truempler has a goal of getting at least somebody from the Wranglers on the medal stand.
The Ron Thon places the top six wrestlers in each weight bracket.
"It all depends on your draw," Truempler said. "We have seen a lot of the 3-A schools, and that will help us out. We really haven't seen the 4-A schools at all."
Moorcroft is No. 1 in 2-A wrestling rankings. Cokeville has the No. 2 ranking, and Shoshoni sits third.
Gillette and Powell are the team title contenders in the large Ron Thon Field.
Gillette is ranked No. 1 in 4-A. Cheyenne East has the No. 2 ranking, and Sheridan sits No. 3
After Powell in 3-A, Douglas is No. 2, and Worland has the No. 3 position.
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