Injuries and short squads that caused plenty of forfeits was an obstacle to progress for the Wood River High School wrestling teams in several pre-Christmas prep meets.
Coach Tyson Young said, "It is really hard to wrestle with teams and expect a win when our lineup has been hit hard by injuries. Christmas break will give us a chance to heal up and get better physically."
In last Wednesday's triangular meet at Kimberly, Wood River lost to Burley 71-3 and fell to Kimberly 72-9. In the odd match, Burley slipped past Kimberly 43-42. Wood River forfeited 14 weight classes in the two dual meets.
Wood River senior Ricky Maxwell won both of his 145-pound matches, 6-1 over Adrian Quiroz of Burley and 8-4 over Braxton Altom of Kimberly.
Freshman Tyler Bartlett dropped a double-overtime 6-5 decision to Burley's Jason Konrad at 103. Bartlett won a forfeit in the Kimberly dual.
Wood River 152-pound sophomore Tyler Jaramillo wrestled twice at Kimberly, as did freshman Andrew Orr at 160, sophomore Juve Ruiz at 171, freshman Alex Thomas at 215 and junior JJ Thomson in the 285-pound unlimited class.
Young said, "The guys we had step on the mat tonight gave it their best and that is all we, as coaches, can ask from them in competition. We have a long road ahead and a lot of time to reach individual goals."
The Wood River boys also competed in the Bear Cat Invitational tournament Dec. 14-15 in Jerome and Twin Falls.
In the varsity tournament, Hailey senior 135-pounder Jon Diem captured a 12-6 decision over senior William Burgess of Burley and lost by pin before withdrawing from the tournament because of an injury.
Sophomore Tanner Orchard at 145 pounds and Maxwell each bowed out of the varsity meet with two losses.
Wood River entered six wrestlers in the junior varsity portion of the 17-school meet.
At 160 pounds, Andrew Orr earned second place with two pins and a victory by default. He dropped a 9-0 major decision to a Buhl wrestler in the finale.
Winning one match apiece were Tyler Bartlett at 103 pounds (12-0 major decision), Tyler Jaramillo at 152 (20-6 major decision), Alex Thomas at 215 (pin over a Burley matman) and JJ Thomson at 285 (2-0 decision over a Highland boy).
At 171 pounds Juve Ruiz fought with determination but dropped 5-2 and 9-5 decisions to Kimberly and Wendell junior varsity wrestlers.
Young said, "Overall there was some great competition at both venues which was a great test for our guys. We are a young team and will only get better. Each guy has to break out of his shell and wrestler like I know they can."
Wood River's next competition occurs in Nampa at the Rollie Lane (varsity) and Mountain View (junior varsity) tournaments Jan. 4-5.