Another successful week is in the books for the Waconia wrestling team. The Wildcats collected a home win over Tri-City United/Cleveland on Dec. 4 and finished third at an invitational in Delano on Saturday, Dec. 7. The Wildcats are now 4-1.
Waconia 54, TCU 25
Hosting the Titans of Tri-City United and Cleveland on Dec. 4, the Wildcats knew they could dominate, according to Waconia head coach Kelly Wagener.
“We thought we could wrestle well,” he said. “The kids went out there and did their job.”
Picking up a few victories in the lower weights, the ‘Cats got off to a dominating start when seventh grader Tyler Wagener (106 pounds) earned a fall 52 seconds into the first period. Throughout the match, Waconia picked up five additional falls, all earned in the first period.
Freshman Josh Reich (126) pinned TCU’s Grant Fogerty in 39 seconds, before junior captain Jacob Steinbauer (136), and freshman Owen Hemze (138) also earned falls. Sophomore Mason Hemze (152) picked up his pin at 1:42 in the first period over Jordan Simonette.
Senior Max Bullock (182) was the last fall of the evening, pinning Joe Kalina at 1:06 in the first. Eighth grader Justin Schultz narrowly lost in a 12-8 decision, as did sophomore Jed Waligoski (4-0), and eighth grader Dylan Gluck (2-0). Sophomore Nick Green lost a 14-3 major decision.
At a Delano invitational on Saturday, Dec. 8, the Wildcats finished third of seven teams with 150 points. Apple Valley won the tournament with 260 points, followed by Watertown-Mayer/Mayer Lutheran (201). Waconia finished ahead of conference competitors Dassel-Cokato (88) and Delano (59).
The Wildcats had two individual champions in Steinbauer and Mason Hemze, who picked up his first tournament win of his career. Coach Wagener said both wrestled well against formidable opponents throughout the tournament. Every Waconia wrestled placed at the tournament.
“Overall, great effort out of the whole team,” Wagener said.
Alongside Steinbauer and Hemze, Bullock and senior Riley Trnka both finished second in their weight categories. Third place finishes came to Owen Hemze and Green, while eighth grader Spencer Neu finished fourth. Reich, junior Zach Buffington, and sophomore Eli Teeselink finished the day on wins to place fifth, while Schultz, Garnatz, Waligoski, and Gluck all finished sixth.
Wagener said he was very pleased with the team’s performance at Delano, and sees promise in the team.
“We just keep plugging away and fixing our mistakes, and we’ll get there,” he said.