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Chiefs host 50th annual duals wrestling tournament

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RONAN – The year opened with a flurry of prep wrestling action for Mission Valley area teams during a weekend tournament. Mission-Charlo Bulldogs, Arlee Warriors and Polson Pirates all took part in the Ronan Chief’s 50th Annual Dave Edington Western Montana Duals Wrestling Tournament at the Ronan Event Center. 

Teams from across Western Montana also participated in the dual-format tournament including: Big Sky JV, Bigfork, Clark Fork, Columbia Falls, Corvallis, Deer Lodge, Florence, Frenchtown, Glacier, Hamilton, Libby, Plains-Hot Springs, Sentinel JV, Stevensville and Townsend.  

“Overall the tournament ran great,” said Dylan Kramer, Ronan wrestling head coach. 

Kramer said the volunteer workers and Ronan community “do a great job” each year hosting the tournament. The Ronan wrestling team had their hands full on Friday as they went 2-2 on the day. The Chiefs defeated both Clark Fork and Plains-Hot Springs by a score of 36-34 but fell to Corvallis 36-30 and Stevensville 39-30.

On Saturday, Ronan opened the day with a 33-30 win over Sentinel JV but fell to Libby 33-18 and Mission-Charlo 48-18 to finish the tournament 3-4.

Daniel Bishop at 152 pounds, Trapper McAllister, Zane Walchuk at 138 pounds and heavyweight Lars Sorrell all had three wins by pins for the Chiefs. On Friday, the Polson Pirates finished the day 3-0. The Pirates had victories over Florence 42-36, Libby 39-36 and Hamilton 54-21.

In Saturday’s championship brackets, Polson started out with a 39-33 win over Townsend. Frenchtown, the eventual tournament winner, defeated the Pirates in the next match 48-24, which set up a consolation dual with Columbia Falls for third place. The Pirates finished the tournament with a fourth-place finish falling 45-27 to Columbia Falls. 

The Mission-Charlo Bulldogs split their matches on the opening day of the tournament falling 55-18 to Townsend with another loss 53-18 to Columbia Falls, but then they won the last two matches 48-24 over Big Sky JV and 54-12 over Arlee. 

In the consolation brackets on Saturday, the Bulldogs finished 4-0 as they defeated Libby 43-19, Sentinel JV 42-30 and Deer Lodge 36-33. They closed the day with a 48-18 win over tournament host Ronan.

The Arlee Warriors posted a 0-5 mark during the tournament, falling 36-18 to Big Sky JV, 60-15 to Columbia Falls, 66-6 to Townsend, 54-12 to valley rivals Mission-Charlo, and on Saturday, they lost 36-18 to Deer Lodge.

The Mission Valley wrestling teams will return to tournament mat action this weekend when Polson and Ronan head to Missoula for the Rocky Mountain Classic. Arlee and Mission-Charlo will make their way to the Choteau Classic.

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