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Cut Bank’s Matt Larson won a hard-fought match over Elijah Ratliff of Thompson Falls in the Wolves’ opening day of the 2021 wrestling season.

The mat men of Cut Bank High School went 2-0 in their dual matches with Mission and Thompson Falls to open the season. The Wolves dominated both matches as they defeated Mission 60-6 and Thompson Falls 45-28. In both duals, the Wolves’ large roster came into play as both the Bulldogs and BlueHawks were forced to forfeit matches to the Wolves. 

Against Mission Richard Schmidt, Caleb Simpson, Kanon Branch, Matthew Larson, Raice Strand, Ethan Sullivan and Austin Vanek won by pinfall. Bradin Murphy, Dalton Estey and Jeremy Gallagher picked up wins by forfeit while Jacob Hjartarson dropped his season opening match. Kaven Krapf picked up an exhibition win against the Bulldogs. 

“We had a good day overall,” said head coach Cody Fetters. “We started out a bit sluggish against the Bulldogs but we got the job done. Climbing off the bus from a long trip with first match nerves it was to be expected.”

Thompson Falls picked up victories at 120 and 126 by forfeit as the Wolves didn’t field a wrestler in that weight class. The BlueHawks returned the favor however as they forfeited matches to Schmidt, Murphy, Hjartarson, Estey and Gallagher. 

Branch and Vanek pinned their BlueHawk opponents and Larson picked up a 5-2 decision in his final match of the day. Simpson, Brock Barcus and Sullivan dropped their matches to Thompson Falls. 

Murphy picked up an exhibition win against the Blue Hawks by pinfall as did Ty Curry. Krapf and Simpson both lost exhibition matches. 

“We knew the dual against Thompson Falls was going to be tougher and that we had to give better effort,” said Fetters. “These guys went into every match and battled and we looked good even in the matches we lost. This is definitely what coach Bundy and I had hoped to see. We had guys get pushed hard and we had to fight to get the win!”

The Wolves will host a trio of duals this weekend as they will welcome the Fairfield Eagles to town on Friday and Eureka and Glasgow will travel to Cut Bank on Saturday. Action begins at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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