Two Waconia wrestlers represented WHS at the Class AA state wrestling tournament on March 2-3. Senior Max Bullock and junior Jacob Steinbauer both advanced past the first round of competition, but would lose in the state quarterfinals and then again in the wrestlebacks.
Steinbauer (132 pounds), a two-time state participant, began his state tournament run by defeated Connor Rohr of Cannon Falls in a 7-2 decision. WHS head coach Kelly Wagener said Steinbauer had previously defeated Rohr earlier this season, so although he may have been a bit tight, Steinbauer “wrestled pretty convincingly.”
Steinbauer went on to face St. Paul Humboldt’s Scottie Bonds in the quarterfinals, losing 5-0. Bonds would finish as the 132 pound state runner up.
In the wrestlebacks, Steinbauer faced Kyle Opsahl of Pine City/Hinckley-Finlayson, losing a 9-4 decision. Steinbauer finished the season with a record of 39-8. Wagener said that although the tournament didn’t turn out the way the coaches or Steinbauer would have liked, he said Steinbauer will return next year.
“Jacob’s trained really hard the last 3-4 years. It just wasn’t his weekend,” Wagener said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that next year you’ll see a different Jacob down there [at state].”
Bullock (182) made his state debut by defeating John Kyllonen of Park Rapids Area in a 10-4 decision. He then lost to Foley’s Tyler Midas, who would finish fourth in the weight class.
“He probably wrestled that match the best that he could,” Wagener said.
In the wrestlebacks, Bullock defeated Dawson-Boyd/Lac Qui Parle’s Jordan Staab 6-2, before falling to Byron’s Brian Bertram in a 3-0 decision. Bertram would finish third overall.
Wagener said Bullock’s match against Staab was “probably the best match I’ve seen him wrestle in his career.”
“He just dominated the guy,” he said.
Against Bertram, neither opponent scored in the first period. Bullock gave up a three-point near fall in the second period, which would decide the match. But Wagener is proud of Bullock and said he exceeded coach’s expectations at state, handling the “wow” factor of a state tournament like a champion.
“Max was a kid that went out there and hustled really hard the entire tournament,” Wagener said. “I couldn’t be happier for both of the guys.”
Look for a full season wrap up of the WHS wrestling team in the coming weeks.
Contact Melissa Marohl at [email protected]