Herder Wrestlers State Bound – Eleven wrestlers advance to championships in Casper Feb. 25

Zach Miners photos

Junior Paxton Piasecki uses a fireman’s carry for a takedown against Thomas Wagner of HEM-Hanna during his match, which Piasecki won by pin. Piasecki is one of 11 Glenrock wrestlers advancing to state. 

Zach Miners, zach@glenrockind.com

Eleven members of the Herder wrestling squad, representing a vast cross-section of the team, will advance to the state championship in Casper on Feb. 25, after a series of elated victories at the regionals tournament at home.

Jake Coziahr, JD Holman, Talon Grannas, Preston Kelsey, Paxton Piasecki, Dustin Simmons, Richard Black, Corden Phillips, Dusty Cox, Lane Raney and Andrik Moreno will advance to the state tournament at the Casper Events Center, representing every competing weight class except 106, 220 and 285 pounds.

Five wrestlers also placed first in their respective weight classes: junior Talon Grannas (126); senior Dustin Simmons (145); senior Corden Phillips (160); senior Lane Raney (182); and senior Andrik Moreno (195).

“I’m really proud of them,” Head Coach Kjell Elisson said. “They all worked to their potential, and beyond.”

Glenrock placed third overall in the 2A southeast regionals qualifier on Feb. 20, scoring 146.5 points. Lingle-Fort Laramie placed first with 171 points, Saratoga placed second with 154, Niobrara County placed fourth with 95 and HEM-Hanna placed last with 26.

The Herder wrestlers took to the mat with aplomb, determined to win their matches and earn a coveted spot at the state championship. Four wrestlers from each weight class across the five teams in the 2A southeast qualifiers advance to the 2A state championship.

Throughout the day, the Herders emerged victorious from long, grueling matches.

Junior Paxton Piasecki, for instance, fought long and hard to defeat Thomas Wagner of HEM-Hanna by pin, nearly six minutes into the match.

He took nearly that much time to regain his strength afterwards, sitting on the floor and resting his chin on his knee.

“You can tell when the other person is exhausted, and it’s just a matter of willpower,” he said of his strategy and the moment he was able to turn the match around, in between breaths.

Elisson also cited Grannas’ win over Jerry Everett of Saratoga, and Phillips’ win over Brant Fullmer of Lingle-Fort Laramie, as standout performances from the day.

Grannas, for instance, was taken down early in the match, but fought it off with a reversal and pinned Everett in the first period.

“He didn’t panic, he caught up,” Elisson said.

The 2A state championship kicks off at 8:30 a.m. at the Casper Events Center on Feb. 25.


Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:506 W. Birch, Glenrock, WY 82637 Mailing Address: PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633 Phone: (307) 436-2211

The Glenrock Independent is located in the Bronco Building

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