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Middle school wrestling expects boost this year

by WILL LANGHORNE
The Western News | February 12, 2021 7:00 AM

Libby Public School administrators are ramping up their middle school wrestling program to provide students with a chance to compete this year.

Jim Germany, athletic director, said that in most years students opt to participate in Little Guy Wrestling, an independent organization, rather than join the school district’s team. In late January, however, the board of Western Montana Little Guy Wrestling canceled the 2021 season.

Nik Rewerts, activities coordinator, said that over the last few years the district has done little more than hire a coach for their team. Now that Little Guy Wrestling has called off their season, however, Rewerts said Libby has been coordinating with four other schools in northwestern Montana to organize a scholastic league. Libby middle school wrestlers will face off against students from Ronan, Eureka, Frenchtown and Hellgate.

Germany said fifth through eighth graders will be invited to participate in the team.

“It’s our way of getting a foot in the door and helping the program out,” he said.

The middle school season will kick off after the high school state tournament in March. Rewerts said officials were unsure how long the middle school season would run.

Libby officials are looking to hire a new coach for the team. School board members accepted the resignation of former coach Noah Criner during a Feb. 8 meeting. Germany said he hopes the district will be able to find a coach by the start of the season.