Natrona County’s wrestling team prepares to defend state title

Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 12:43 PM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The Natrona County wrestling team are arriving into this season as back to back state champs. Last year was the first time in school history that they repeated as champions in wrestling. Head coach Scott Russell credits a lot of the team’s success to the kids wrestling program in Natrona.

“I don’t really think so. I can tell you one what’s probably one of our biggest assets is our kids wrestling program. That’s been great and having kids that have actually wrestled from elementary to middle school to high school and we just haven’t had a lot of that going on. We’ve had some guys where they only have four or less years of experience and wrestling is a game that takes a little while to learn,” said Coach Russell.

Russell is entering his 25th year as head coach. Last year, the Mustangs produced five individual state champions to power their way to the team title, and NC has several returning wrestlers who qualified for state last year. Even though wrestling is a sport where athletes compete one on one, Natrona’s wrestlers believe that its truly a team sport.

“The teams huge for sure. I mean you gotta love each other. If you’re performing for yourself, then you’re not doing it for the team. When you have good camaraderie and everybody likes each other, it just makes everything better and more fun and you just perform better. It’s a big part. It’s an individual sport but I mean its truly a team sport,” said Natrona’s Jayce Berry.

“Team practice is huge. You get to wrestle with other guys who are from different styles. Some big guys like to shoot, some are just big guys who like to throw and its always important to try out against different styles because you’ll never know if you’ll see it in a tournament. But its also building that camaraderie as a team cause you’re only as good as your weakest link so you got to build everybody else up and have them work hard and just work together,” said Mustang Spencer Hansen.

The team starts their season with a tournament at Powell high School on December 9th.