Evart wrestlers ready for state final



EVART - It's been an enjoyable season for Evart's wrestling team.

Evart competed in the Division 4 regional on Saturday, Feb. 22, with five wrestlers.

Three have advanced to the state meet on this Friday and Saturday at Ford Field. "The other two were really close," Evart coach Ben Bryant said.

Cole Hopkins (160) took second place, while Reese Ransom (152) and Darren Gostlin (119) were both third.

Gostlin was also a district champ, the other two took second at the district tourney.

Ransom is a junior and went to state last year but did not place. He's taken second at district two straight years.

"My first two matches I wrestled pretty good against easier opponents," Ransom said. "In my semifinal, I wrestled a tough kid and beat him 1-0. In the final match, I lost 4-3. That kid was top-ranked in the state from Mason County Central. (Next time) I would need to score some points on my feet and ride him a little better on top."

Ransom entered the regional at 35-6.

"I've been working harder in the practice room and have gotten better on my feet," he said. "I've been riding well on top and recording a lot of pins and getting out of bottom."

Hopkins, a freshman, has had an impressive postseason.

He entered the regional at 33-3.

Hopkins has won four invitationals. The key has been "my practice partners (Ransom-Sam Bailey) pushing me every day," he said.

To keep advancing, especially against opponents who have beaten him, "I'd have to push the pace a lot, get him tired and take him down."

Hopkins is confident he was close enough to winning any of the matches he has lost.

"I got caught in one of my losses and the other ones have been really close," he said.

Hopkins was confident of going to Ford Field and has been a confident wrestler.

"I have to wrestle for six minutes and don't underestimate anyone for sure," he said. "Anybody can win at anytime."