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Schoen a CMR Holiday Classic Champion at 182 Lbs, Buck 2nd, Klingamen 4th


December 21, 2022

Chinook senior Tyler Schoen stands atop the podium after winning the 182 pound division at the CMR Holiday Classic. The Holiday Classic is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the state with wrestlers from all classifications competing in the same tournament.

The Chinook Sugarbeeter boys and girls wrestling teams were in Great Falls this past weekend competing at the CMR Holiday Classic. On Saturday some of the boys were at Great Falls High for the Walt and Trudy Currie Tournament.

The CMR Holiday Classic can be the highlight of the season for anyone talented enough to win there. Of course everyone's goal is to be a State Champion in their respective Class. But a compelling argument can be made, at least for the boys, of being a Holiday Classic Champion. Unlike the State Tournament where wrestlers compete against others from their respective class alone, at the Holiday classic everyone is included in the bracket AA, A and B/C. For the girls they compete in one classification currently but that may change down the road.

Chinook has had dozens of State B/C Champions through the years, but when you talk about CMR Holiday Classic Champions, that list gets narrowed down to just a handful. One more name was added to that list Saturday night after senior Tyler Schoen took home the 182 pound title.

Schoen went 5-0 in the tournament. After receiving a first round bye, he defeated Tommy Springman from Gallatin High School by pinfall in 0:54. Schoen then pinned Billings Senior's Damien Lave in 1:53 to advance to the quarterfinal. Schoen earned his third straight pin, this time over Harlem's Kendon Young in 1:26 to punch his ticket to the semifinal round.

In the semifinal Schoen's opponent was AJ Lafurge from CMR. Schoen went the distance in this match collecting a hard fought 5-1 win to advance to the championship match. In the finale Schoen earned his fourth pin of the tournament just as the horn was about to sound. Schoen pinned Miles Hoerauf from Whitehall in 3:59 to claim the 182 pound title.

Schoen was all smiles after crossing off one of his season goals, "It feels great to have won that tournament. I wrestled against some of the best wrestlers at 182 in classes AA, A and B/C." Entering the tournament Schoen was seeded No. 1 in the 182 pound bracket, " I started in a good spot. I wanted to come out aggressive in my first match so I could get my nerves out of the way. I ended up pinning the first three kids I wrestled in the first period."

Saturday Schoen was dialed in, "I won the semifinal match 5-1 and the only point I gave up was from a penalty. I was getting ready for my finals match and had a long almost two hour wait for my match." Schoen's focus remained, "During the match I was wrestling well and was dominating most of the match. I ended up pinning the kid in an arm bar with one second before the third period.

Chinook sophomore Grace Buck had an amazing tournament herself, going 3-1 to finish second in the 107 pound girls division. Buck began her run with a first round bye. In round two Buck earned her first pin by taking down Cut Bank's Ava Shook in 4:32 to advance to the quarterfinal. Buck then earned a Major Decision 12-1 win over Flathead High School's Selah Lackey to advance to the semifinal.

Buck earned her second win by pinfall in the semifinal by defeating another Flathead High product Mykel Lee in 3:05 to earn her spot in the title match. Buck fell to Glacier's Brooke Yeadon to finish second at 107 pounds.

Freshman Emma Klingaman continues to impress the coaches with her performance on the mat. Klingaman went 3-2 at the CMR Holiday Classic and finished on the podium in fourth place of the girls 120 pound division. Klingaman earned wins over Missoula Hellgate's Aspen Murphy by pin in 0:47. In the quarterfinal round Klingaman pinned Haven Meyer of Billings Skyview in 1:24). She then picked up a consolation semifinal win over Sam Bennetts from Whitefish with a 4-3 decision. In the third place match Klingamen lost to Helena Capital's Taylor Lay to finish fourth.

Chinook sophomore Grace Buck had an outstanding Holiday Classic herself. Buck went 3-1 and finished second in the 107 pound girls division.

Chinook Head Coach, Ben Stroh was pleased with his teams effort in Great Falls, "It was amazing having the three kids in the semis. Tyler was typical Tyler, but with a bit of spunk. He took care of business like he always does but this weekend he came out to make a statement and he did. He controlled every match like a Drill Sergeant and was always looking for the next scoring opportunity. He had people asking where this kid came from. Lane (Snider) continues to knock people off that he shouldn't be beating. I have faith he will find his foot hold before the season is over."

In talking about the success his girls had he was ecstatic, "Emma and Grace were amazing. Grace came alive this weekend. She did moves I didn't even know she knew, but that wasn't what won her those matches. It was her will to fight in all positions. She didn't give a single person anything without a fight and that was the difference maker." Stroh commented, "Emma also had a great weekend. I can't remember the last freshman from Chinook to get as high as fourth at CMR. That was a stellar performance. What a great way to go into Christmas break.


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