RAWLINS — Carbon County has become a wrestling hub in Wyoming, harboring one of the best class 2A teams in Saratoga High School — who has a reigning state champion — and a growing community of brawlers in Rawlins.
Rawlins High School took the liberty to make the county a stop during the regular season for teams, hosting the Rumble in Rawlins Saturday.
Eight teams, including Rawlins and Saratoga (who combined with Hanna-Elk Mountain-Medicine Bow High School) took to Raw-Town to show off their best wrestlers.
The Outlaws were able to win the Silver bracket of championship rounds, knocking the Panther-Miner team-up down to fourth, but not before having a rough run through Pool A, where they met with Torrington and Riverton high schools.
Riverton barely edged Rawlins, taking a 39-36 victory. RHS had the upper hand, winning 6-11 of the contested matches; however, the Outlaws couldn’t fill spots in the 106- and 126-pound classes, and had one forfeit too many to edge the Wolverines.
Torrington was a tougher challenge.
Credited as one of the top teams in 3A — and for good reason — the Trailblazers took a 47-24 victory over the Outlaws in round two of the Rumble. Rawlins again had to forfeit the two class matchups, but those came with more challenged losses.
Of the 11 actual bouts, Torrington won seven, four that came by pinfall and another two from major decisions.
Rawlins’ final matchup in Pool A was against West Grand High School (Kremmling, Colo.). The Outlaws walked out triumphant, beating West Grand 60-24, saving them from coming in last in the pool; however, the third place outcome wouldn’t be enough to send them to the championship Gold bracket.
The HEM-Toga mashup had a rougher go at it. Not only did they have a tough time filling every spot in their run through Pool B, but they couldn’t compete with the larger teams.
The teams were first faced with class 4A Natrona County High School and were thwarted 60-12. They only achieved two wins: the first by forfeit, and the next by pinfall in the 138-pound class. Toga’s Andrew Everett earned the only win for the county duo in 1:37.
They suffered the same fare against Moffat County High School (Craig, Colo.), not letting up as many points — as Moffat couldn’t fill every spot themselves — but still fell 47-12. HEM-Toga earned all of their points by foreit.
The Miner-Panther crew was pitted against class 3A Douglas High School, and it was no competition. Losing all of its matches by pinfall, if it wasn’t for HEM’s Joseph Bora pinning Douglas’ Jaylon Martinez 1:11 into the match, the 72-6 loss would’ve been a shutout.
Falling to the bottom of their respective pools, the county teams found themselves matched up against one another. Rawlins walked out as kings of Carbon with an easy 69-6 victory, only giving up points by a forfeit. They’d match up with Natrona to solidify first place with a 55-21 victory. Senior Damon Taylor was the only Outlaw to leave the tournament unblemished, with no losses on the day. HEM and Toga found their way to last place, falling to West Grand in a close 36-24 defeat. Torrington took the Gold championship.
This weekend marks the end of the regular season for wrestling, and all three teams will be back in Carbon County again.
The Panthers will host the Carbon County Invite, where the Outlaws and Miners will get their last few matches in before preparing for their respective regional tournaments.
The Carbon County Invite begins at 9 a.m. Friday in Saratoga.