Although the Watertown-Mayer/Mayer Lutheran wrestling team ultimately fell one win shy of a coveted spot in the state team duals tournament, it was a memorable season nonetheless for the Royals, who won the Minnesota River Conference championship, landed seven wrestlers on the all-conference first team and saw their coach named the conference coach of the year.
All in all, it was a mighty successful year for the Royals, who, among numerous highlights, knocked off perennial conference and state powerhouse Scott West not once, but twice, throughout the season, including in the section meet, ending Scott West’s lengthy string of state tournament appearances. The Royals went 5-0 in conference matches and finished the season with a 16-2 record overall, climbing as high as No. 6 in the state Class AA rankings at the end of the regular season.
Leading seven first-team all-conference performers for the Royals were senior state qualifiers Austin Torres, who qualified at 182 pounds, and Davion Franklin, who qualified at heavyweight. Both wrestled at state for the second year in a row, where Franklin, who finished with a 33-5 record, finished in third place. Torres went 0-2 at the tournament, but finished 31-5 on the year.
Also earning first-team all-conference honors were a pair of veteran wrestlers who also achieved milestone wins during the course of the season. Matt Elsenpeter joined the 150 win club, and with his 32-8 record on the season, finished his career with 169 wins, which is second on the program’s all-time list. Junior Aaron Sweeney joined the 100-win club, and with a 32-8 record on the season, sits at 124 wins in his career.
Also earning all-conference honors for the Royals were Adam Traen (27-13), Logan Cooper, and Jackson Sweeney (32-17). Nick Burns was named honorable mention all-conference, while numerous other Royals also lettered during the season including Joe Reinert, Jon Ernst, Bryce Duske, Nick Burns, Joe Jobe, Corey Jobe, Jon Vouk, Bryce Kallenbach, Nate Hillmann, Matt Pysick and Collin Flynn.
Statistical leaders on the season were Elsenpeter with 66 takedowns and Franklin with 33 wins and 29 pins. His pins set a new single season program record.
Elsenpeter and Franklin were named co-MVPs, while Elsenpeter was named the team’s Hardest Worker and Kallenbach was named the Most Improved. Elsenpeter, Hillmann and Traen received the Rawdon Hawkinson Scholarship Award.
Contact Matt Bunke at [email protected]