By: Shawn O’Brate

DOUGLAS – With wrestling coming back from the holiday break in full force it’s no surprise that many local wrestlers have had some great weekends so far this new year, some of which did so in Douglas this past weekend at the Shane Shatto Memorial tournament. 

The memorial tournament was named after Shane Shatto, a 19-year old who was one of the Wyoming Eight that was killed by a drunk driver back in September of 2001. Shatto, a graduate from Douglas High School, was just beginning his sophomore year in Laramie when the accident occurred, he had hopes of becoming an aeronautical engineer before tragically passing away before his 20th birthday. 

Over the weekend the memorial tournament held a moment of silence in honor of Shatto, the cousin of Sheridan head coach Tyson Shatto, and included teams from Buffalo, Burns, Pine Bluffs, Campbell County, Douglas, Glenrock, H.E.M., Hulett, Kelly Walsh, Laramie, Lingle-Ft. Laramie, Lusk, Natrona County, Newcastle, Upton, Sheridan, Thermopolis, Thunder Basin, Tongue River, Torrington, Wheatland, Wright, multiple Colorado and Nebraska schools and three Cheyenne schools (East, Central and South).

The tournament also held student-athletes on the mat from Fremont County schools Riverton High School (RHS), Dubois High School and Lander Valley High School (LVHS). 


RHS only brought boys to the mats in Douglas and had many different weight classes represented by the Wolverines. 

Justin Newberry received the most points at the end of the weekend with six thanks to a quick win over Glenrock’s Luke Lythgoe in just over a minute in the 160-pound division. There was also Talon Thoman in the 145-pound division who scored four points for team Riverton with two wins, one in a tie breaker over Campbell County’s Logan Johnson and another by decision over Torrington’s Kaden Romig. 

Jayden Buchholtz (152 lbs) had two byes and a win over Central’s Michael Rodriguez, he would score two points for the team as well. 

Ezra Hernandez (120 lbs), Jordan May (170 lbs), Tristen Anderson (182 lbs), Parker DeVries (195 lbs) and Zaryc Prosser (285 lbs) also participated but failed to score any points for RHS. 


The Tigers’ wrestling squad did manage to bring two girls with them on the trip to Douglas, Emily Skiba and Jordan Nielsen, who both won major points for their LVHS team. 

Skiba placed second in the varsity girls’ 115-pound division after beating Natrona County’s Addison Bauer by fall in the semifinals. Then, in the first place match, she fell to Cheyenne Central’s Abigail Vroman which garnered 18 points for the LVHS team. 

Lander’s Emily Skiba was one of a handful of girls who are taking advantage of the WHSAA’s newly sanctioned sport for girls, finishing second at the Shane Shatto Tournament this weekend. (p/c Tiffany Velarde)

Nielsen competed and placed in the varsity girls’ 130-pound division. She won early with a win over Dubois’ Naomi Johnson and Kelly Walsh’s Chloe Dallman-Janski before finally losing her first bout in the semifinals to Wheatland’s Ariel Kumelos. She won one more match before listing in the third-place match against Sheridan’s Paityn Covolo, ending with Nielsen placing fourth and earning another 18 points for LVHS. 

As for the boys, Cody Cunningham placed the highest for LVHS with a second place finish in the 285-pound division after three straight wins before falling to Thunder Basin’s Lane Catlin in the championship match. Cunningham gained 24 points for his Tigers’ team. 

Senior Gabe Harris finished fourth in the 170-pound division after wins over wrestlers from Cheyenne East, Glenrock, Natrona County and Buffalo. In the end he would lose by a fall in the third-place match to Sheridan’s Terran Groom. He would gain 16 points for his LVHS total points. 

Charles Snyder, who’s been having a good season up to this point, placed third in the 145-pound division, beating Natrona County, Wheatland, Sheridan, Buffalo and Riverton before taking on his LVHS teammate Hunter Velarde in the third-place match and winning by decision. 

Velarde, who has also been having a good season so far, placed fourth in the same division and scored 21 points for the LVHS team after winning over Castle View, Wheatland, Douglas, Thunder Basin and Niobrara County wrestlers. 

Hunter Velarde had another great day on the mat, this time placing fourth in the 145-pound division (p/c Tiffany Velarde)

The only other Tiger to place was Coaltyn Laird in the 113-pound division, bringing 16 points to his team’s total points, after winning by fall over a Cheyenne East and Sheridan wrestler. 

Kash Carpenter (seven points), Kolby Heil (three points) and Tres Pickerd (three points) all brought points back off the mat for their LVHS team as well. 


The Rams only brought one girl with them to Douglas, Naomi Johnson, who could not place or bring home any points but still had an eventful day on the mat against Nielsen from LVHS and Wryley Knight out of Wright. 

Even though she didn’t win or bring back any points it’s always good to remember what wrestling coach Casey Swift said about the sport and how it pertains to the girls that can now participate more in the wrestling world:

“It really helps teach life skills, personal commitment, sacrifice, enduring through tough times, perseverance and I think it’s going to be empowering for these females, it shows them that they are just as tough and capable as their male counterparts.”

Dubois also brought two boys to the Shane Shatto Memorial Tournament in Sammie Cyrus for the 106-pound division and senior Wyatt Trembly who has dominated the 170-pound division since he crossed that threshold back in 2021. 

Cyrus would win by fall over Lander Valley’s Carpenter and by decision over Castle View’s Colin MacInnes, but would sadly fall by decision in the third-place match against Newcastle / Upton’s Haven Vrana. This would lead to Cyrus bringing Dubois 14 team points and a fourth-place finish in the 106-pound division.

And, unsurprisingly, Trembly would bring home another first-place finish in his weight class as well as 30 team points. He did so by winning all four bouts he participated in, including wins over Natrona County, Torrington and Sheridan before taking down Chadron’s Rhett Cullers by a fall after the two-minute mark. 

Dubois’ Wyatt Trembly took control of his 170-pound division once again (p/c Adria Trembly)

In the end it would be Sheridan (231 points) who finished on top with the most team points, over 40 points ahead of the next best team, Thunder Basin, who finished with 189. Lander Valley finished the best out of all Fremont County teams with 90, tapping them for eighth place out of thirty teams. 

Our neighbors to the north, Thermopolis, rounded out the top ten with 65 points while Dubois (44 points) finished sixteenth. Riverton would end up with 12 points, only better than H.E.M. on the weekend. 

Up next, Lander Valley and other local teams will travel to Miles City, Montana for the Wrestling Cowboy Invite before LVHS hosts their own wrestling meet on Friday, January 20th and Thursday, January 26th. 

All of these teams are heavily preparing for the upcoming Ron-Thon tournament that begins Friday, January 27th at Riverton High School.