By Joseph T. O’Connor Explore Big Sky Editor

Big Sky wrestling is making big noise on mats around Montana. On March 8, three local wrestlers each took first place in their respective weight divisions at the Townsend Invitational wrestling tournament.

Then, a week later, the same three took top spots once again, this time at the Little Guy Wrestling Divisional Tournament in Whitehall on March 15.

In Townsend, Carly Wilson, a fourth grader and the only girl to compete for Ophir School, took first place in the 55-pound category, while third graders Max Romney and Pierce Farr placed first in the 59-pound and 75-pound weight classes, respectively.

At the Whitehall tourney, Farr and Wilson again placed in first, while Romney scored a second place finish. All three wrestlers qualified for the State Wrestling Tournament, to be held at the Belgrade High School Events Center on Saturday, March 22.

In just their second year competing in tournaments, Big Sky School District Athletic Director Tony Beardsley, who also coaches the squad, couldn’t be happier with the results.

“I’m extremely proud of all the kids,” Beardsley said. “Those three in particular have a strong desire to succeed.”

There are currently more than 30 kids participating in the Big Sky intramural wrestling program, according to Beardsley, who is hopeful the number of tournament competitors will increase over the next couple years.

Beardsley, along with Ty Moline and John Romney, coach the team while Stephen Pruiett also volunteers time. Third grader Benji Saad is also on the squad, but was unable to compete.