Dec 28, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorLander Valley High School wrestling coach Nick Fulton started out the season with a young squad, but the Tigers already have made a statement three weeks into the year.
LVHS climbed up to the No. 5 spot in the new Class 3-A wrestling rankings.
The Tigers were in the No. 6 position for the last weeks. Douglas owns the No. 1 ranking. Powell sits second and Star Valley third. Worland is the No. 4 slot. Torrington checks in No. 6.
"I'm really happy with the way that we finished up before Christmas break," Fulton said. "Things are starting to come together."
The Tigers are enjoying a week off from wrestling practice. LVHS finished fifth Saturday at the Lander Invitational.
The tournament was an early season preview of the Class 3-A division.
Douglas won the team title, and Powell placed second in Lander.
"We have just built that into our schedule," said Fulton about Christmas break. "We have worked hard very hard until Christmas break. We did a lot of teaching and running. Our bodies were beat up. We gave the kids seven days off after our tournament."
LVHS will focus on the last two months of the season after New Year's Day.
"We will come back and have two-a-day practices and really improve our technique," Fulton said. "It gives us a chance on what we need to work on and gives us time that we can put in with the team."
The Tigers have a number of ranked wrestlers in the top six in the different weight classes.
Kyle Carey is No. 3 in the 106-pound weight class. Carey placed second at the Lander Invitational.
"I was really happy with the way that Kyle wrestled at our invitational," Fulton said.
Ty Alexander is No. 1 in the state at 120 pounds. Alexander has won 20 straight matches.
The LVHS senior won back-to-back titles at the Battle of the Big Horn and at the Lander Invitational.
"Ty is on a tear right now," Fulton said.
Andrew Von Rein is ranked No. 2 at 126 pounds. Von Rein pinned all four opponents on his way to a title at the Lander Invitational.
Von Rein pinned all four opponents at the Lander Invitational
Jacob Miller sits No. 4 in the 152-pound weight class. Worland's Matt Pounds is No. 1 and Jacob Hatley from Torrington's is No. 2. Hatley beat Miller in the finals of the Lander Invitational.
"Jacob is in a loaded weight class," Fulton said.
In the 182-pound weight class, Lander's Jordan Hanson is No. 6.
Robert Sloss is No. 3 at 195 pounds, and Ross Sloss is ranked No. 5 at 220 pounds for the Tigers.
In the heavyweight division, Lander's Keegan Wells sits in the No. 4 position.
"Keegan is starting to wrestle to his potential," Fulton said.
The Tigers will take the first weekend of January off from competition.
"Our younger guys showed some potential during the Lander tournament," Fulton said. "They are starting to pick up the pace."
LVHS hosts Worland, Thursday, Jan. 10 in a dual at Bob Carey Memorial Fieldhouse.
"That is a big dual every year," Fulton said. "Worland has some pretty strong guys and we have moved up in the rankings."
Worland has a top-ranked wrestler at 126 pounds in Justin Lewton.
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