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Tiger wrestlers hit the mats on Saturday in Fort Pierre

Last year the Tiger wrestling team had a bunch of seniors who led the team to an unprecedented five-tournament win season, including winning the region title for the first time in 26 years and finishing seventh at the State B Wrestling Tournament. Five of those seniors went to state and four of them placed.
But, it’s not like the cupboard is empty. The Tigers return five wrestlers who went to state last year, including two who placed.
Coach Nathan Ford said the team is working hard in preparation of the season-opening Stanley County Invitational in Ft. Pierre on Saturday.
“It’s a good way to start the season,” said Ford. “We’ll see a lot of good competition there.”
After graduating a huge class, the wrestling room is not as full as it was last year, but Ford said the returning wrestlers and the newcomers have been hard at work in their preparation.
“Our numbers aren’t nearly what they were,” said Ford. “We have enough to fill a team but some of our weight classes are doubled up, so we have a couple open classes this week.”
The Tigers will be led by seniors Isaac Olson and Tucson Freeman, two wrestlers who competed at state last year. Olson earned hardware taking seventh, while Freeman went 1-2.
“They’re our senior leaders,” said Ford. “The kids look up to them and they help the younger wrestlers.”
Also returning with state tournament experience are junior Jacob Steiger, and sophomores Isaac Aman and Kamron Pearman. Steiger took fourth in state last year.
Ford said having that much experience back this year has been a plus in the wrestling room.
“We’ve gone through more technique than we ever have this early in the season,” said Ford, adding that the coaches are more familiar with the wrestlers this year and in turn, the wrestlers are more familiar with the coaches and the program.
The Tigers will be missing Olson in Ft. Pierre this weekend as the senior has another obligation.
“He has an interview that is important to his future,” said Ford. After Stanley County, Olson will start adding to his 129-66 career record. He was 39-11 last year, finishing seventh at 152 pounds. Olson has competed in five state wrestling tournaments.
The Tigers will start like this at the Stanley County Invitational:
106: Freshman Zach Schilling has had a handful of varsity matches in the past. He enters the season with a 2-7 career record.
113: Sophomore Isaac Aman took fourth in the region last year and competed in his first state tournament while building a 22-24 record.
120: Freshman Favian Sanchez is making his Tiger wrestling debut.
126: Sophomore Kamron Pearman went 22-18 last year, taking third in the region. He has a 41-38 career record and has been to state twice.
132: Junior Jacob Steiger moves up from 113 pounds, where he went 43-12 and took fourth in state last year. Steiger has a career 78-44 record and has competed in two state tournaments.
145: Freshman Andrew Silbernagel is making his Tiger wrestling debut.
152: Senior Tucson Freeman went 45-15 and took third in the region last year in his first year with the Tigers.
160: Junior Tucker Holzer subs for Olson and will move up to 170 next week. Holzer went 10-17 last year and has a 22-41 career record.
182: Eight-grader Cole Wellner wrestled 10 times last year as a seventh-grader and won two matches.
195: Junior Kyler Pearman has an 8-26 career record.
220: Junior Jon Keller went 6-15 in his first varsity season.
284: Freshman Kalvin Netterville makes his Tiger wrestling debut.
The Tigers will have three unattached wrestlers making their varsity debuts. Eighth-grader Remmington Ford will wrestle 106, freshman Will Keller 126 and junior Joshua Norder 195. Also on the team is sophomore Devon Black Fox.
The Tigers will be competing against host Stanley County, Bennett County, Burke/Gregory, Cheyenne-Eagle Butte/Dupree, Faith, Ipswich/Leola/Bowdle, Lemmon/McIntosh, Lower Brule, Lyman, Potter County, Sully Buttes and Todd County.