Kemmerer hosts 2018 Joe Aimone Invitational

GAZETTE PHOTOS / Michelle Tibbetts

Kemmerer junior Colter Julian wrestles Cokeville’s Garrett Reece at the Joe Aimone Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 15. Julian won his pool.

The Kemmerer Ranger wrestling team hosted its second annual Joe Aimone Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 15. The tournament is dedicated to the memory of late KHS wrestling coach Joe Aimone.

“It was great to have the community come together for that,” Bullington said. “Joe was a great guy and coach who was well-known and well-liked in the community. It was neat to have his daughter Amanda and son Michael give out the awards at the end of the tournament.”

No cumulative team scores are kept at the tournament. Instead, the wrestlers wrestle in pools based on their weight classes. Five Kemmerer wrestlers won their pool: Colter Julian (126), Dawson Schramm (132), Carson Carlson (138), Donny Proffit (145) and Hayden Walker (195).

Rangers head wrestling coach Darrell Bullington said the first few tournaments of the season are an opportunity to really focus on what the team and individual wrestlers need to work on for the rest of the season.

“We have lots of little things to work on,” Bullington said. “They’re little fixes, but we’ve got to make sure we’re good on those things, like positioning. Wrestling is all about positioning.”

Zack Malone went 3-0 at the tournament and won his J.V. 126 pool at the Joe Aimone Invite. Matt Jones went 3-0 and won his 138 A2 pool. Brendan Miller also went 3-0 to win the 145 A2 pool.

Kemmerer junior Dawson Schramm wrestles Cokeville’s Wyatt Mackey at the Joe Aimone Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Jeydon Boyd went 4-1 in his 182 pool.  Josh Thatcher went 3-1 in the 152 pool. Andres Vega won three and lost one match in his 145 B pool. Connor Vickery (120) went 3-2. Thomas Archibald won three matches and lost two in his 195 B pool. Drew Stubbs went 1-2 in his 113 B pool. 

“I thought we wrestled fairly well,” Bullington said. “We had kids in positions they hadn’t been in before, so we need to prepare for that. We will work on eliminating those mistakes and not putting ourselves in positions to lose matches.”

After the holiday break, the Rangers will travel to Green River for a dual meet. Then the season really picks up.

“When we come back after the break, we have four tournaments that just get tougher and tougher,” Bullington said.

After the Green River Duals, the Rangers compete in Vernal, Utah, a tournament with more than 30 teams. After the Vernal tournament, Kemmerer will compete with 80 wrestling teams in Orem, Utah. The Riverton Ron Thon is the next week.

“We’ve got kids that can compete really well in those tournaments, so this is the time to really get our wrestlers prepared for that,” Bullington said.

WyoWrestling currently has the Rangers ranked as the No.1 wrestling team in 2A. Junior Dawson Schramm (126), junior Colter Julian (132), senior Donny Proffit (145) and senior Hayden Walker (195) are currently ranked No. 1 in their respective weight classes. WyoWrestling ranks senior Josh Thatcher (152) No. 2, and senior Carson Carlson is currently ranked No.3 in the 138 class.

Donny Proffit, Steve Walker and Hayden Walker cheer on the Ranger wrestlers.

Josh Thatcher