State Champ Green Leads T-Birds to Strong Finish


Rhiannon Thomalla

Senior Seth Green raises his fists in victory at state wrestling in Casper.

Leanna Farley, Sports Editor

It’s a dream. A dream that doesn’t very often come true. Most young athletes start their careers with the hopes and aspirations that someday, someway, they will be named champions. It’s what makes the extra practices worth it. It’s what makes the time in the weight room not feel like a waste. It’s what summers spent at camp, and winters spent in the wrestling room, are all about. A state championship. A dream.

For one East wrestler, that dream became an amazing reality. Senior Seth Green stepped up and earned the title every kid dreams of at the state wrestling tournament in late February.

Green earned his championship title by beating Kelly Walsh’s Dylan Jaure, 5-3.
“It was pretty exciting,” said Seth. “There was a lot of emotion that went into this, and it’s countless hours working out with teammates.”

The Thunderbirds took 20 wrestlers to state and would push seven into the semifinal round Friday night. Three T-Birds fought their way into the final round. Senior Bryton Winchell represented the T-Birds at 132 lbs, Green at 160, and Tommy Neal at 170. All three wrestlers earned All-State honors.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Bryton. “It’s a lot of weight off your chest to get into the finals.”

The T-Birds would push five more into the medal rounds. Amos Solano finished in 3rd place at 113 lbs, as did Shawn Smith at 120, and Gunner Bartlett at 152, and Jake Fogg at 195. Dawson Winchell came in 6th place.

“It feels good to finish with a win, but I was hoping to be in finals,” said freshman wrestler Amos Solano.

Bryton Winchell lost his final match, 8-3, against RJ Stassinos of Rock Springs.

“It’s frustrating, finishing second and being so close to your dreams,” said Bryton. “I should have pushed the pace at the end of the match.”

It goes without saying that no one wants to lose a wrestling match, those wrestlers who were still competing on Saturday feel they became better wrestlers for their efforts.

“It’s a lot of fun wrestling in the semifinals round,” said junior Jake Fogg. “You’re wresting good kids, and they’re fun matches.”

Of course, these dreams don’t always work out, and the desire to return to that position will drive the underclassmen. Tommy Neal was pinned in his final match by Sheridan’s Hayden Hastings, but his loss is now motivation.

“It’s disappointing, finishing second and getting pinned in the finals,” said Neal. “But it’s a big fire in me now.”

It comes as no surprise that Thunderbird wrestling sets a team goal of competing for a team title every year. The T-Birds made a good showing, finishing 5th overall, but the coaches know there is more work to do.

“We were one point away from placing as a team, which is tough to swallow,” said Coach Thad Trujillo. “We have a lot of young guys returning that are just tough, and we’re pretty excited about that.”