Big Sandy grapplers join Fort Benton
December 25, 2019
Big Sandy High School wrestlers are joining historical rivals again on the mat this winter.
A pair of Big Sandy boys are competing with Fort Benton as teammates, not rivals, for the third season of co-op wrestling between the two schools, said coach Tucker Taylor.
The hundreds of miles that will be logged this season just traveling to join their Longhorn teammates bear witness to the dedication of junior Bayley Genereux and freshman Tannin Baumann to the sport.
Taylor works with the Big Sandy duo twice a week and they travel as a trio twice a week to Fort Benton to practice with the full team.
“I actually kind of enjoy it, after school it’s kind of a nice and relaxing drive,” Taylor said. “I think they’re a good group of kids (in Fort Benton) and it’s a good coaching staff to work with.”
The team competed in the C. M. Russell Holiday Classic at Great Falls during the past weekend, one of the largest meets in Montana.
Genereux won two of his four matches at the event, pinning Cody Wiegand of Harlem in 13 seconds and Julian Strait of Ronan in 4 minutes, 49 seconds.
“He battled pretty well,” Taylor said. “He’s learning a lot. He still makes some young guy mistakes but he works really hard.”
Taylor said Genereux is only a second-year wrestler and is making up quickly for lost time in the 138-pound weight class.
Baumann has been wrestling throughout his childhood but Taylor said the freshman is taking his lumps in an upperclassman-dominated 120-pound division.
“So it’s kind of rough,” Taylor said.
Trae Thilmony of Thompson Falls defeated Baumann by fall in 19 seconds at the CMR meet. Nate Wadlow of Cascade then knocked him out of the bracket with a pin after 4 minutes, 16 seconds.
The Fort Benton-Big Sandy co-op wrestling squad is expected to host a mixer in Big Sandy in late January. With few Class C schools able to fill out a full roster, mixers are the rule and dual meets the exception, Taylor said. The boys from Chouteau County got one mixer-style event under their belts in Chinook prior to the CMR tournament. They will next travel Jan. 4 to Shelby for another following the winter break.