The University of Wyoming wrestling team didn’t have much to celebrate during the 2022-23 season. After just one week of competitions, the new-look Cowboys have plenty to be excited about highlighted by a Big 12 victory Saturday night.
Wyoming downed Cal Baptist, 28-12, inside Dan Vyne Gym to log a perfect a 2-0 road trip. The win improves the Pokes to 3-0 on the season and 1-0 in conference action, while the loss drops the Lancers to 0-2 on the year and 0-1 in league.
“I thought we wrestled well,” head coach Mark Branch said. “This was a bigger challenge for us than last night. On paper, I think with our youth, we weren’t favored in a ton of matches. But at the same time, we felt good about our guys. They have a lack of experience, but we know what they’re doing in the practice room and how they’re developing.”
Wyoming’s starting lineup featured plenty of underclassmen, just like it did Friday night, and once again the youthful roster stepped up. Joey Novak (197) logged a second pin in as many nights, and Cole Brooks (141) scored a major decision.
“I definitely felt like those guys could come here and battle Big 12 opponents and pick up wins,” Branch said. “There were some guys that scored some big bonus points, pins and majors, and that’s super encouraging against tough competition.”
Garrett Ricks (125) was another one who boasted a bonus-point victory. He pinned No. 33 Elijah Griffin just 2:13 into the first period.
Riley Davis (174) moved to 2-0 on the season with a 4-1 decision over Peter Acciardi. Ethan Ducca improved to 3-0 with a 9-5 decision over Nathan Haas, and Kevin Zimmer (HWT) also remained a perfect 3-0 on the year with a 4-1 decision over Max Acciardi.
No. 26 Gabe Willochell (149) was inserted back into the lineup Saturday and bumped up a weight class. That didn’t stop him from scampering to a 7-2 decision over Dayne Morton.
The Cowboys will look harness their momentum and utilize in their one-of-a-kind dual Friday. The Pokes host Campbell at Deerwoord Ranch in Centennial in what’s being deemed the Battle in the Barn at 5 p.m.
165 – Mateo De La Pena (CBU) fall Brett McIntosh (WYO), 2:13
174 – Riley Davis (WYO) dec. Peter Acciardi (CBU), 4-1
184 – Ethan Ducca (WYO) dec. Nathan Haas (CBU), 9-5
197 – Joey Novak (WYO) fall Eli Sheeran (CBU), 6:09
HWT – Kevin Zimmer (WYO) dec. Max Acciardi (CBU), 4-1
125 – Garrett Ricks (WYO) fall No. 33 Elijah Griffin, 2:59
133 – Hunter Leake (CBU) dec. Cooper Birdwell (WYO), 2-1
141 – Cole Brooks (WYO) major dec. Darren Green (CBU), 16-4
149 – No. 26 Gabe Willochell (WYO) dec. Dayne Morton (CBU), 7-2
157 – Carter Schuber (CBU) dec. Cooper Voorhees (WYO), 2-0