Helena wrestling claims region championship

By DAWN HARRISON | Special to the Reporter

HELENA – The Helena High School wrestling team took down Stanhope Elmore on Friday, Jan. 8, to claim the 2020-2021 region championship and earn a spot in the AHSAA Duals State Championship.

So far, this year has been a tough one for the Huskies who had to quarantine close to Christmas due to COVID-19 precautions, which took mat time away from the athletes.

The Huskies hadn’t been able to attend any dual meets this year because of restrictions and were forced to wrestle in individual matches.

But that didn’t stop the Huskies from clinching the regional title at the quad match hosted by Chelsea on Jan. 8.

Helena was able to win 10 of the 14 weight classes with nine falls, six of which occurred in the first period and one decision win to claim a 57-21 victory.

The match against Stanhope Elmore started off with the 113 weight class as Levi McGrew set the pace for the Huskies with one of the fastest pins of the match, pinning Michael Barringer with a fall time of 29 seconds.

Next up his brother, Seth McGrew, went all six minutes as he faced off against Stanhope’s Jared Cherry Daniel.

He had a strong first period taking down Daniel first and received three near-fall points but was unable to pull off a pin. But Daniel was never able to find any success, leading to a 7-0 win for McGrew.

From that point forward, every match the Huskies went on to win, they won via pin.

In the 132 weight class, Joseph Bratina was the first to score as he took down Kristian Seals via pin in the second period with a fall time of 3:01.

Antonio Allums won a thriller in the 145-pound weight class, taking what was a back-and-forth battle for a while and eventually turning it in his favor with a fall time of 2:40.

In the 152 weight class, Asa Ward was the first to gain points against his Stanhope opponent Chazon Buycks with a takedown, but couldn’t finish him in the first period.

It didn’t take long, however, for Ward to get another opportunity as he came back to pin Buycks in the first 34 seconds of the second period with a fall time of 2:34.

Justin Yunke picked up a pin in the 170 weight class with two seconds to spare in the first period, as he pinned Gabe Taunton with a fall time of 1:58.

Wrestling in the 182-pound division, Matthew McFall took down Trent Bradford of Stanhope in the first period and kept him down, picking up a pin with a fall time of 1:15.

In the 195-pound weight class, Owen Campbell picked up the fastest pin of the night with a fall time of 18 seconds over Stanhope’s John Clark.

Helena’s Brayden Haynes also made quick work of his opponent in the 220-pound classification, beating Donald Brownfield with a pin in 27 seconds.

In the final match of the night, Helena’s Sami Bratina continued the fast trend, picking up a pin in the 106-pound division with a fall time of 48 seconds.