The calendar may say January, but already the Buffalo High School wrestling team is thinking about February. Coach Garrett Traylor said the team is increasingly focused on fine-tuning individual performances and preparing for the regional and state tournaments, both of which will be one-day affairs.
That work, which includes plenty of conditioning, paid dividends last Friday in a quadrangular in Torrington that also included Burns and Wheatland.
“Our conditioning is really showing,” Traylor said. “It was pretty obvious that we were in better shape. Into the second period, you could tell the opponents just didn’t have the gas tank that we did.”
The Bison continue to be plagued by team numbers that come up short. Against Burns, for example, the team left five of the 14 weight classes open, giving up 30 points before anyone stepped on the mat. And while earning victories in those duals is “fun,” Traylor said, the team’s record in head-to-head matches tells a more accurate picture about how individuals are performing. In head-to-head matches, the Bison had a great quad, winning 13 matches and losing 11.
“We haven’t really been outmatched by anyone we’ve wrestled this year; it’s come down to the opens. In terms of team scores, we’ve struggled, but individual performances have been pretty awesome,” Traylor said.
In the dual with Torrington, the Bison won 33-24 with individual wins from Will Briscoe, Hazen Camino, Ben Camino and Lance Rabel.
The Wheatland dual was a back-and-forth affair and came down to the final two matches of the dual, with the Bulldogs winning 36-30.
“As far as match-to-match, they got the upper hand on us,” Traylor said. “We’ll see them again this weekend, and we’re excited to see if we can get back a few of those matches we lost.”
Brenton Ross and Colton Briscoe both got pins in the dual and Rabel got a win.
Despite the scoreboard, Traylor was most pleased with his team’s performance in the Burn dual.
“On the scoreboard, it looks like they handled us pretty well,” Traylor said of the 48-33 loss. “We won six of the head-to-head matchups, and they won three. When you look at it that way, we looked really good against them. It’s a bummer, but as far as the way we competed against them, we were the overwhelming favorite, I thought. It was pretty cool to see that.”
The team has three weeks remaining in the regular season. The regional tournament will be held Feb. 19 in Casper.
On Friday, the Bison host Thermopolis and Tongue River. On Saturday, the team travels to Moorcroft for a quad that also includes Wheatland and Burns.
“As we start to wrestle these 3A teams, we’re looking at individual matchups and where we need to improve on an individual basis,” Traylor said. “We’ll start watching a lot more tape, working on the fine-tuning. We’re right at a month left, and we’re just right on track.”