Eagles set for state, Big Sky wrestlers have big goals

Big Sky Wrestling state preview

MISSOULA, Mont. - The all-class state wrestling tournament is now less than two days away in Billings.

The Big Sky Eagles and the Sentinel Spartans have helped put Missoula wrestling back on the map with their competitive rivalry.

The Eagles hopes are high as they head to Billings this week. Twenty one state qualifiers and two defending state champions headline this year's Big Sky squad.

Senior wrestler Jason Riekena and junior defending state champion Luke Entzel don't want to leave anything left on the table.

"I mean it's definitely a big deal. I want to get another state title this year, hopefully do it three times in a row," said Entzel.

"I'm not worried about getting on the podium; I'm more worried about winning it. It's my last year so all out this year," said Riekena.

With state being the final contest, there are no second chances.

"The Metra it's just amazing, there are 10,000 people watching you and if you make it to the finals all of 10,000 people are watching your match and they're just waiting for something amazing to happen," explained Riekena.

Head coach Lanny Bryant believes this is the largest eagle team that's ever qualified for state in school history.

"They've only had one here at Big Sky. As far as I know that's the only one they've had so far," said Bryant.

"It would mean everything to take home a plaque at state because my freshman year our team was horrible we only brought like five kids to state and now we're bringing 21 kids to state," added Riekena.

It's been a great cross-town rivalry between Big Sky and Sentinel this season.

"The only main reason why Missoula is improving is Sentinel and Big Sky have a big rivalry I believe, and we're always pushing each other to do better. Whenever you wrestle a Sentinel kid you always want to beat them because it's a rivalry," said Riekena.

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