Picard repeats as champ, Feistner earns his first title at Jug Beck
MISSOULA — The Polson Pirates came back from Missoula with two champions.
Brock Picard repeated as a Jug Beck Rocky Mountain Classic champion and freshman Craig Feistner earned his first title. The pair led Polson to an 11th-place finish among 28 teams, including some of the best wrestling teams in Montana, Washington and Idaho.
Picard won the 171-pound title with yet another close win over rival Kyle Sweedman of Libby, earning a 5-2 decision.
"Brock just wrestled real steady. I think he's got his goals in site," Polson head coach Bob Owen commented. "He was maybe a little conservative in the finals. Brock even agreed. When he came off the mat he said 'I've gotta pick it up in neutral.'"
Picard has won all three bouts he's had with Sweedman this year and will likely see him again at the divisional finals, and maybe even at state.
Feistner won the 98-pound championship, pinning Bonners Ferry wrestler Blaine Invernon in 3:02. The young Pirate also won the tournament's quick-pin award for the fastest combined pin times.
"He sawed his way through a pretty good bracket. It's not like it was an easy sled," coach Owen emphasized.
Feistner was ranked third in the state, but beat the number one kid from Corvallis, Chace Malone, in a 6-5 semifinal decision.
Polson's Josiah Clairmont had a very good weekend at the tournament, finishing seventh at 215.
"Josiah had a real breakthrough weekend. I was real proud of him," Owen noted. "That's the best he's wrestled all year. He just seemed to have a little more confidence and made less mistakes. A lot of times he's giving the other guy points, but he's cutting down on those mistakes and improving each week."
But Polson is still a young, developing team and some of the young Pirates had a quick exit from the tournament on Friday.
"Some did very well, but some didn't do so great," Owen explained.
But those who lost out early were sent over to Big Sky High School for the John Fisher Tournament and "they did very well over there," according to Owen.
Jacob Young won that tournament title at 135, after going 1-2 at the Rocky Mountain on Friday, including another loss to Libby's Kyle Leir in a tournament-opening 5-2 decision.
"He had a disappointing day on Friday, so he needed a boost," coach Owen said. "He didn't wrestle his best match, but they're going to see each other some more."
Owen is feeling positive about his team, overall.
"We keep improving. We've got some young buggers but they improve every week and we're hoping they peak at divisionals," the coach concluded.
The Pirates have another busy week of wrestling. After a dual in Whitefish Tuesday, Polson will host the Dogs again on Friday to make up the missed dual two weeks ago that was rescheduled due to bad weather that hampered travel. On Saturday, the Pirates will dual Frenchtown and Corvallis in Frenchtown.
"Those are the toughest Class A duals ... they are both ranked above us," Owen said, noting that the competition is going to be stiff up and down the card. "Feistner will run into the same two ranked kids. But they both have solid lineups ... they're going to be dogfights."