WMML starts season on a strong note

The Watertown-Mayer/Mayer Lutheran wrestling team opened in fine form last week, sweeping a pair of duals from St. Peter and Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted, and finishing second at Glencoe-Silver Lakes’ Don Hall Invite on Saturday.

In a home triangular to open the season on Thursday, Dec. 29, the Royals opened by topping St. Peter, 43-24, and followed that up with a 64-12 win over HLWW.

In the St. Peter match, which was tied at 6 early, the Royals broke the match open with six consecutive wins between 126 and 160 pounds, taking a 30-6 lead. St. Peter closed to within 30-24 with pins in the next three matches, but an 8-7 decision for Austin Torres at 195 pounds stemmed the tide and gave the Royals a 33-24 lead. Nick Burns clinched the match with a 15-5 major decision at 220 pounds and Jon Ernst closed the match with a pin at heavyweight for the Royals.

Early in the match, Collin Flynn’s pin for the Royals at 106, followed by two consecutive decisions for St. Peter, had the match tied at 6. However, Adam Traen got a forfeit win for the Royals at 120 and Matt Elsenpeter got a pin at 132.

Aaron Sweeney won an 8-4 decision at 138 pounds, and Joe Jobe won by pin at 145. Joe Reinert’s 7-0 decision at 160 gave the Royals their 30-6 lead.

“We wrestled pretty well,” WMML coach Joe Traen said. “There were a few spots where I thought we took a little break, but overall, it was a pretty good. It was a good section team to start with.”

Later in the evening, the Royals had far less trouble against Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted. The Royals led 33-0 after six matches, and went on to win, 64-12. Recording pins for the Royals were Flynn (106), Jackson Sweeney (113), Traen (126) and Torres (195).

Aaron Sweeney had a 7-1 win at 138, Reinert had a 14-6 major decision at 160 pounds and Burns won 7-1 at 220 pounds.Corey Jobe, Elsenpeter, Matt Pysick, Bryce Kallenbach and Ernst won by forfeit for the Royals.

At Glencoe-Silver Lake’s Don Hall Invite on Saturday, the Royals finished in second place with 195 points, not far behind champion Zumbrota Mazeppa, which scored 205 points.

The Royals advanced six wrestlers to championship matches, but came up with only one win. That win came from Elsenpeter at 132 pounds when he beat Jared Willaby of W/ML 12-3. Elsenpeter won three matches on the day, the first two by pin.

“We had our chances to win it,” Traen said of the tournament as a whole. “We just have to finish a little better in the finals. We didn’t wrestle a couple kids, but every kid placed in the top five, so that was nice balance for us.”

At 138 pounds, Aaron Sweeney went 2-1 for the Royals to finish in second place. He lost in the finals to Mitchell Watkins of Z-M, 6-3. Sweeney earned pins in each of his first two matches.

Torres was also 2-1 for the Royals, finishing second at 195 pounds. He earned a pin and a 6-3 decision in the first two rounds before Vince Johnson of W-ML won by default in the finals.

At 220 pounds, Nick Burns also went 2-1 for the Royals, finishing in second place after losing 8-1 to Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted’s Garrett Schanus in the finals. Burns earned pins in each of his first two matches.

Logan Cooper was the only other Royal to win two matches for the Royals, but he finished in third place. After starting 1-1, he won a 6-4 decision at 182 pounds over Glencoe-Silver Lake’s John Williams.

At 106 pounds, Flynn went 1-1 for the Royals, losing by fall in the finals to W-ML’s Hunter Quiring. Flynn won by fall in his first match. Also finishing in second place after going 1-1 was Jackson Sweeney at 113 pounds. He won a 4-1 decision in his first match but lost by pin in the finals to Z-M’s Joey Majerus.

The Royals will return to action at 9 a.m. On Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Delano Invitational.