BUTTE — Kobe and Kameron Moreno like to scrap.
The sophomore Butte High twins candidly admitted to practicing moves on one another at home and, yes, there’s an occasional argument that just might turn into an impromptu wrestling match.
“We get into some fights sometimes over silly stuff,” Kobe Moreno said with a laugh. “I beat him all the time.”
Kameron just shook his head, smiling. Kobe might just be exaggerating a little bit.
An educated guess would be that Kameron, at 182, has a slight advantage over Kobe, who wrestles at 170. Their furniture at home might not agree, but the competitive spirit of the pair is paying off in a big way for the Bulldog wrestling team.
If the twins' outing at the Mining City Duals was any indication of how the rest of the year will play out, they’re a pair of budding stars.
Kobe won all six of his matches (four falls, two forfeits) and looked completely dominant against some of the most formidable competition Butte will see until the state tournament. Kameron, meanwhile, dropped two matches by a combined three points.
Those losses, well, they were against Bozeman’s Class AA runner-up Brandon Cooper and Havre state champion Tyler Schaub.
Nothing to hang his head over.
“They’re so green with such raw ability,” Butte head coach Cory Johnston said. “By the end of the year and really over the next couple years, there’s not going to be a lot of guys that are going to want to wrestle them.”
Their technique can sometimes give Johnston a bit of a scare, but they’ve been able to get out of some improbable situations to get wins.
Even if it does give their coach heart palpitations at certain points.
“Kobe has a unique style, and they get into situations that I wouldn’t be comfortable in, but as his coach, I’m kind of learning how to not panic for him,” Johnston said. “I’m kind of getting used to seeing them in those situations, and as long as they’re comfortable, they’ll be fine.”
Both wrestlers made the state tournament last year, falling out early in consolations. There’s been tremendous growth in their abilities, and they spent the summer wrestling in high-end tournaments.
They went to the Fargo Junior/Cadet Nationals, the toughest high school meet in the nation, and felt they were better off for doing so.
“It wasn’t so much that we learned a lot of new technique,” Kobe Moreno said. “But facing those better kids, it gave us a lot more confidence.”
With the Jim Street Classic in the books, they should have plenty. The Morenos are humble about it and immediately gave credit to the coaching staff for the uptick in their ability.
“They’re the ones pushing us to go (to) all these tournaments; it’s great,” Kameron Moreno said. “I wouldn’t trade them for any other coaches in the state.”
Johnston, after a tough loss to Bozeman, said the exact same thing about the lineup he’s coaching.
As good as the Moreno twins are, it’s hardly just them. The whole backside of the lineup has been strong. Heavyweight Jeff Queer was again tremendous throughout the tournament, as was Quinn Sullivan (152) and 160-pounder Carl Anderson.
“Every dual, we said that if we can be in it by 160, we’re going to have a shot at it,” Johnston said. “It’s working out.”
Butte went 4-2 over the weekend, moving it’s dual record to 8-4 on the year. There’s a lot of wrestling left in the season, but the Bulldogs are off to a solid start.
“I think our team is gonna pull out something special,” Kobe Moreno said. “We’re a young team, and I think we can do something great.”