Colstrip's Merlin Whitedirt

Colstrip's Merlin Whitedirt celebrates his class B-C 285-pound state title victory on Saturday at the Montana All-Class State Wrestling Tournament finals at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark. 

HANNAH POTES, Gazette Staff

The Eureka Lions walked away from MetraPark on Saturday with their first state wrestling title, with a team score of 198. They dethroned the Colstrip Colts, who took second at 164. Ronan was third at 120.5. 

Eureka had one individual champion, junior Garrett Graves, who defeated Glasgow senior Tony Kaiser 13-9 in the 182-pound final, finishing the season undefeated. 

Colstrip had the most individual champions in Class B-C with four. Senior Clayton Currier finished four-for-four in state title matches with a 13-3 victory over Eureka junior Jonathan Schmidt at 138. His younger brother, sophomore Jackson Currier won his second state championship, a 5-2 victory over Forsyth junior Nathan Weber at 126.

Colstrip senior Blake Johnston defeated Eureka senior Joe Fehr 11-5 in the 205 match. Johnston wrestled as a freshman and a sophomore, but not as a junior, and said the feeling of being a state champ couldn't be topped.

"Best feeling I've had in my life. Really overwhelming at first, then, wow," Johnston said. "I didn't know I was going to do wrestling at first then I decided it's my senior year and might as well try it out. 

"I wrestled at 145 my freshman year. My sophomore year I wrestled 160, then lifted all of junior year and gained 40 pounds of muscle then came back and thought I'd try it out. I felt relieved (when the whistle blew)."

Colstrip junior Merlin Whitedirt pinned Eureka senior Kaelan Yanak in 4:21 to take the 285 crown. Whitedirt wrestled at 205 the past two seasons, and roared to the crowd once his pin was official.

"I was just really, really happy," Whitedirt said. "I've always wanted to be at this point as a state champion and it feels great. I just wanted to holler. That was a great feeling. A lot of things were going through my mind, and the biggest thing was being happy. It was everything and more."

• Glasgow junior Matt Reyling won his second state title, defeating Josh Pepos of Cascade 13-0 at 120. He was the Scotties lone champion of the night as Glasgow finished sixth. 

"It feels really good to be a two-timer," Reyling said. "There's a lot riding on me, which is good and bad sometimes. I have pressure to do great things which feels good and is nerve-wracking also. I cut a lot of weight this year which was hard but I knew it would pay off to get where I am today so it feels good.

He added about hearing the final whistle, "It was probably one of the best feelings I've ever felt."

• Forsyth sophomore Michael Weber won his second state title, defeating Baker senior Keegan Kary 6-1 in the 145 match. Weber is the youngest of five brothers in one of Montana's most prestigious wrestling families.

For him, the support from his family has meant everything.

"Being on the path and joining my brothers is one of the best things I can imagine right now," Weber said. (After I won) I thought, I have to go hug my dad (Scott). Go see my family. They're the most important thing to me. They're what keeps me going."

Weber's four older brothers, Brandon, Matt, Luke, Forsyth junior Nathan, and their father have all been state champions. 

"It means everything (to follow their footsteps)," an emotional Michael said. "I've traveled across the country, wrestling, to join them. If they weren't here to support me, I don't know what I'd do. They mean the world to me."

• Anaconda senior Colin Rogers defeated Lincoln Stormer of Circle at2 113 in overtime after Rogers made a five-point comeback in the final 12 seconds. He had a take-down on Stormer and followed that up with a near-fall to tie it up. Rogers earned the victory with 15 seconds remaining in the extra period. 


High School Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for the Billings Gazette.