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Trapper wrestlers lose dual to Western Wyoming Mustangs

Northwest College sophomore Jeff Oakes wrestles Isaac Bartel of Montana State University-Northern during the championship match at the Nov. 12 NWC Open. Oakes, at 197 pounds, beat an opponent from Western Community College last week. Northwest College sophomore Jeff Oakes wrestles Isaac Bartel of Montana State University-Northern during the championship match at the Nov. 12 NWC Open. Oakes, at 197 pounds, beat an opponent from Western Community College last week. Tribune photo by Breanne Thiel

Northwest College’s wrestling team lost a Friday dual to Western Community College in Rock Springs, 30-15.

“It was disappointing for me and for the boys,” said head coach Jim Zeigler. “We were all disappointed in our performance; we had hoped for better.”

NWC won three matches, lost six and had to forfeit a weight class.

“Western did a good job, they really did. They wrestled tough,” said Zeigler. “They seemed to be a little further along than we are and as a coach, that’s disappointing. That means I got to step up my game.”

The NWC wrestlers who won were Lisiate Anau at 285 pounds, Nodir Safarov at 133 and Jeff Oakes at 197.

Anau won by a 8-0 major decision and Safarov won by a pin in about 20 seconds.

“Those guys were really sharp,” Zeigler said of Anau and Safarov.

As for Oakes, “he had a technical fall over a good kid,” Zeigler said. “Looked real strong — real good.”

Zeigler said the three who won are “clicking.”

“If we can get the other guys up to speed, I think we could be a decent team,” the coach said.

The other wrestlers who competed were Taylor Jefferies at 141 pounds, Nic Urbach at 149, Logan Soundrup at 157, Tate Allison at 165 and Chayce Loveless at 184.

“That was a pretty good blow to us through the middle,” Zeigler said, referring to NWC’s losses in the middle weight classes.

Depending on the results, winning two or three of those matches could have changed the outcome and won the dual for the Trappers.

Also wrestling in the 125-pound weight class was back-up wrestler Hunter Kisar.

“He wrestled hard,” said Zeigler. “It was a good effort on his part.”

As for his overall thoughts on the tournament and the season to come, Zeigler said the wrestlers still need to recognize the critical points in a match where the best effort is needed; identifying those times will come with more experience, he said.

“More practice, more focus more intensity,” said Zeigler.

The NWC wrestling team is off this weekend for Thanksgiving and will return to action on Dec. 1 and 2 in Great Falls, Montana.

On Dec. 1, the Trappers will compete in the Argo Duals before grappling in the Heritage Inn Open the following day.

“It is early in the season and we’re just going to keep working and trying to get better,” Zeigler said.

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