BILLINGS — All four of Michael Weber’s older brothers were inside Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark to watch him wrestle for his fourth consecutive state championship on Saturday.
Two of Weber’s other brothers — not by blood, but by bond — were on the mats with him. Forsyth’s Weber, Colstrip’s Jackson Currier and Havre’s Martin Wilkie are the latest additions to Montana’s elite club of four-time high school wrestling state champions.
“Those guys are friends I’ve had my entire wrestling career, guys that I’ve worked out with in the offseason, in-season. It means a lot to get it done with these guys,” Wilkie said.
Of the trio, Currier took to the mat first. The Colstrip senior went three periods with Choteau’s Pete Henderson, ultimately taking a 5-2 decision.
“Actually before the match, I’m like, ‘I’m going to try to end this as fast as I can.’ Kid was a big, strong kid, so I couldn’t get it to my position I wanted to,” Currier said. “So I was like, ‘Well, this is going to have to go three, and I’m going to have to outwrestle him here.’ To go three periods, I was just enjoying the moment right there.”
Currier’s win was part of a dominant performance by Colstrip on the Class B/C mats. The Colts scored 233 points, including individual titles from Rylin Burns (145 pounds), Ty Bradley (160), Nakoda Siegel (182) and Trey Yates (285).
“I’m beyond proud of my team,” Currier said. “The freshmen stepped up. They’re unbelievable. I worked with Zach Valdez (who placed fifth at 120 pounds) a lot. At the beginning of the season, I didn’t think the kid was going to make it to state. To come and take second at divisionals and then come here and place, just beyond proud of him. For the team to run away it, it’s amazing. This to be my third team title, it’s great. Never done in history for Colstrip.”
Wilkie was the next wrestler to make history. A 145-pound senior at Havre, Wilkie made quick work in the championship final, pinning Sidney’s Zander Burnison in 38 seconds. He became just the third wrestler in Havre’s illustrious history to become a four-time champion, joining Jase Stokes and Parker Filius, who each claimed their fourth titles in 2017.
Wilkie, though, was more subdued in his celebration, already looking ahead to his collegiate career at the University of Minnesota.
“It’s a stepping stone in my wrestling career, I’d say. There’s a lot more things to come, a lot more work to be done,” he said. “Yeah, I’d say it’s a stepping stone.”
“It means a lot,” Wilkie added. “I get to be recognized with guys like Jase Stokes and Parker Filius, some guys I’ve wrestled with, good friends of mine. Just being friends with them makes it that much more special.”
Forsyth’s Weber, a 152-pounder, was the last of the 2019 four-timers to take the mat. After getting a warmup with older brother Luke, who made a surprise trip to Billings from Fargo, N.D. where he wrestles for North Dakota State, Michael Weber earned a 14-6 major decision over Wyatt Brusven of Shelby.
Brandon Weber (three individual titles), Matt Weber (four), Luke Weber (four) and Nathan Weber (two) were all in attendance Saturday night to watch their youngest brother put a cap on the Weber Era at Forsyth.
“Oh my God, I can’t even explain it, honestly. To have all my family here to support me, it just shows a brother’s love,” Michael Weber said. “It shows a family’s love, that you would traverse come hell or high water, snow storms, closed roads, they’ll be here. It just builds up to me.”