Sidney standout wrestlers Owen Lonski and Zander Dean looking to go out on top

Sidney standout wrestlers Owen Lonski and Zander Dean looking to go out on top

WORDEN – The legacy continues in Sydney.

The Eagles, with 13 state championships including the last five, have another pair of aces on this year’s team in seniors Owen Lonski and Zander Dean.

Both contenders are looking to help the Eagles, who were competing in doubles against Huntley Project and Billings West in Worden on Thursday, win a sixth straight State A Tag Team Championship and wrap up individual high school careers with another Premier League title. State.

Should the two teammates end up on the podium in the state wrestling tournament, Lonski would become a member of the elite four-time state champion club and Dean would conclude his career with a third straight title and fourth finals appearance.

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Lonski has a 33-5 record this year and is ranked first in the state at 138 pounds. Due to the city location of Sidney and because the team tries to seek out the toughest competition, the Eagles battle many out-of-state teams and it is where Lonski suffered most of his rare defeats.

Should Lonski win a fourth state crown, he would become the fourth Eagle to do so. The Eagles’ list of four-time state champions includes Jesse Obergfell (2004-07), Gresh Jones (2012-15) and Aden Graves (2019-22).

The current roster of the four-time Montana state champion club stands at 38. Class AA wrestlers Teegan Vasquez of Kalispell Glacier and Avery Allen of Bozeman will also be aiming for a fourth state title at MetraPark’s First Interstate Arena in the February 10 to 11. .

“I’m super excited to be here,” Lonski said. “It crossed my mind. Being the fourth quadruple (in Sidney) sounds great. It was super exciting to see Aden get his senior year and I’m super excited to get mine this year.

Sidney coach Guy Melby said Lonski was aware of what he was chasing.

“We talked about it. That’s obviously one of his goals,” Melby said. “After winning his first, or second or third title.

“It’s just another game, whether it’s six minutes or eight minutes or nine minutes, 30 seconds. Whatever it takes. He knows it.

Dean has struggled to a 33-2 mark this year and is the No. 1 ranked wrestler in his classification at 145 pounds. His two losses were to wrestlers from Poway (California) and Adams City (Colorado) in the season-opening Sidney Eagle Invitational.

There’s really no secret to his success, Dean said, other than pushing himself in the wrestling room.

“You just have to work hard in training and do everything right,” Dean offered of the keys to his success. “I just had a bunch of teammates pushing me in training and my older brothers (Christian and Trevor) pushing me to be ready.”

Lonski and Dean were college starters in the four years they were with the Eagles and each should finish their careers in the top 10 for wins at Sidney Melby said.

“They’re both team leaders and doing well,” Melby said. “We are really young. We are not a great double team, but a better individual tournament team. They are great leaders and we are delighted with them.

Lonski will continue his wrestling career at the University of Mary (North Dakota), an NCAA D-II program, next season.

“I’m super excited, but mostly focused on getting the next state title,” said Lonski, who later added that “it reassures me that I’ll be done this year and that I won’t have not finished fighting”.

Dean is a tri-sport athlete and in football was selected to Team East as a cornerback for the Montana East-West Shrine Game. He was an all-state cornerback and an all-conference quarterback last year.

In American Legion Baseball, Dean was an all-conference shortstop for the Richland County Patriots last summer.

Dean wants to go to college and aims to play sports at the next level, but hasn’t decided whether he wants to pursue soccer, wrestling, or baseball.

“The doors are wide open for him,” Melby said.

While the pair of outstanding wrestlers will continue to work hard across divisions and leading to the state tournament in pursuit of individual goals, they are also focused on helping Sidney add another championship trophy to the deal. .

“I’m extremely grateful,” Lonski said. “It’s not every year that you try to go for a sixth national team title and a fourth individual title. Zander is delighted to get his third and (sophomore) Reece (Graves) is delighted to go get his second. We’re quite thrilled.

“That’s the goal,” added Dean of winning a sixth straight team title. “We have a very good shot, but we will have to keep working harder and harder.”

Email Gazette Sports editor John Letasky at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @GazSportsJohnL

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