Typically in cross-classification co-ops — where one smaller school sends its athletes to a larger one for after-school sports — the balance is hardly even. The setup allows the smallest educational institutions to offer a sport that they themselves don’t have the enrollment to hold in-house.
Well that’s not the case in Sanders County. The Plains Horsemen and Hot Springs Savage Heat have one of the most fearsome Class B-C wrestling squads from western Montana this year and a lot of that power is coming from the tiny town of Hot Springs.
Plains-Hot Springs is sending eight wrestlers to the all-classification state tournament this weekend in Billings after taking second in the Western B-C divisional tournament last week, and those eight are split right down the middle in terms of hometown.
That’s a first, coach Kenny Majerrison said, especially considering only those four Hot Springs boys make the 22-mile trip to Savage Horsemen wrestling practice at Class B Plains High School.
“We have quite a bit of depth, more than we’ve ever had before, and we have a few more kids from Hot Springs that add to the mix,” he said of the Class C school. “We attribute a lot of our success to some of those kids from up the river.”
That includes 160-pound divisional champion Joe Detienne and his brother, 126-pounder James Detienne. Kane Lawson (152 pounds), another divisional winner, and Brandon Shea (220) round out the group.
Joe Detienne brings a sterling 22-5 record into the state meet and Lawson is 15-3 after missing a few weeks with a shoulder injury early on in the campaign.
Joe Detienne and Shea are both returners to state while the other boys are making their first trips.