While the cancellation of the wrestling team’s only home match sounded a dour note, Grangeville’s Caleb Barger sounded upbeat while recounting the team’s travels in 2019. Though the team has just three competitors, they’ve stuck with it all season and will have a chance to prove their mettle Feb. 16 at Orofino.

At the Clearwater Valley duals last month, Barger posted a 5-2 record including wins over Ririe’s Ethan Summers, Moscow’s Matthew Vetter and McCall’s Gabe Cooley.

But not much has changed since December, when Barger told the Free Press Clearwater Valley’s Christian Fabbi remains the district’s front-runner at 126 pounds.

“He ended up beating me at Clearwater, but I’m looking to come back and try and win first at districts,” Barger said.

If he gets through to state, he said, “There’s a kid from North Fremont who is pretty decent.”

Grangeville’s practices have featured a lot of Barger wrestling against coach Tyler Bransford.

“It’s a challenge — it’ll get you prepared, for sure,” Barger said. “But we’ve been taking it a little easier the past few weeks, focusing on mental training over physical conditioning. I’ve been learning a lot.”

Also competing are Gavin Gibleau and Brittney Benavidez, whose season highlights include placing sixth at a prestigious event in Caldwell in early January.

Grangeville has one wrestling event left on the regular season calendar before the district tournament. That’s this week — Feb. 9 — at the Lake City JV tournament in Coeur d’Alene.

This Bulldog of the Week athlete highlight is brought to you by: Asker’s Harvest Foods.

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