CHOTEAU — What is one to do after going 37-0 and winning a state wrestling title as a sophomore in Alaska? You move to Choteau, Montana, and try to do it all over again.
Asher Clayton, currently ranked No. 1 in the 126-pound weight class for Class B/C , has high expectations for himself during his first wrestling season in Montana. After having success in Alaska, Clayton feels like winning a state title here would prove to himself just how far he has come.
“I think it would really show me I’m a lot more than I think I am. Having that big change and still being able to stay on top of things would mean a lot and show me how far I’ve come,” said Clayton.
Before his freshman year of high school, Clayton didn’t see much success on the mat. He defined his career to that point as “good, but not the best.” When he entered into high school, it was as if he flipped a switch.
By the end of his freshman year, Clayton had a top three finish in the state. In the offseason, he continued to work on his techniques and came back his sophomore year with his eye on the prize.
Now that he has transferred to Choteau High School, he has even more learning to do as he has already figured out that Montana wrestling styles are just a little bit different.
“In Alaska, it’s more tight. I feel like out here, it feels a lot more loose. They do a lot more from range but in Alaska they usually work head to head. There wasn’t a whole lot of space so I need to just learn how to work with that range rather than just always being close,” Clayton said.
Winning a state title in Montana would also serve as a tribute to his parents. Clayton’s mom was raised in Alaska and his dad was raised in Great Falls. Clayton’s father also coached him when he was younger so he feels it would be a very special moment to win one here.