by ADAM GRUENEWALD
The Central wrestling squad took 12th at the Thief River Falls open tournament on Saturday and defeated Rockford on the road last Tuesday, 41-30.
Thief River Falls
The Raiders took 12th at the 20-team Prowler Invite on Saturday with 61.5 points. Bemidji won the tournament with 161 points, while the hosts took third (127.5).
Central had four individual place winners as Zeke Dodge took third at 120, Steeven Smith took fourth at 220, Jared Wickenhauser took fifth at 145 and Jordan Kohls took sixth at 182.
Head coach Darrin Fox said it was an “up and down showing” for his team with a forgettable second round.
Dodge lost his first match to the eventual second place finisher Josh Bernier, 3-2, before recording a 13-4 major decision, a 6-1 decision, a fall in 4 minutes, 38 seconds and a 7-2 decision in the consolation bracket.
“I thought he had a really nice run back in the tournament,” said Fox, adding Dodge improved from his first match. “He realized what he did or what he didn’t do.”
At 220, Smith opened with a 8-3 decision before losing to the eventual champion Tanner Templin, 14-5. However, Smith then won a 7-1 decision and a 7-3 decision before losing a 9-5 decision in the third place match.
“Steven came back through and wrestled some real nice matches in the wrestleback,” said Fox. “I thought he had a nice run.”
Wickenhauser opened with a fall in 2:53, before losing to eventual 145 champion Justin Dravis by fall. He then recorded a 13-4 major decision, a fall in 4:03 and a 8-6 overtime comeback decision for fifth place.
“He was fantastic,” said Fox. “Jared wrestled probably two of the best matches I’ve seen him wrestle all year. He wrestled them in consecutive matches which was nice to see.”
At 182, Kohls opened with a loss to the second-place finisher John Kyllonen, before winning a 4-3 decision and losing by fall and a 5-1 decision in his next matches.
“He was able to get into that fifth-place match which is big for his confidence,” said Fox. “He was within one move of winning the fifth-place match. I thought he had a real nice showing out there.”
Also, Anthony Hennen recorded a win at 106, Josh Hendel recorded two wins at 113, Davis Colley had two wins at 132 and Alex Meeker got a win at 160.
Fox added the JV wrestlers did well too as Jared Kleindl was champion at 90, Bennett Hatterschide took second at 152, Brett Kleindl took third at 120 and Ty Volner took fifth at 132.
“It’s a nice competitive tournament,” said Fox. “There are a lot of kids up there who are good wrestlers and have winning records from some decent programs. It’s nice to get to see some different styles… It’s good to get the feel of that and see what else we can do.”
Rockford 41, Central 30
Central wrestlers lost to Rockford on the road last Tuesday, 41-30.
“It went pretty much the way I figured it would go,” said Fox. “We got off to a good start where we were up 26-0 after 132.”
Hennen got a major decision, Dodge got a pin and Ben Barth got a major decision at the lower weights.
Colley was down 2-0 at the end of the second period but lost to a Rockford wrestler who is the returning state champ.
Rockford added a win by fall, but Wickenhauser got a key pin.
“He was actually trailing after the first period but came back in the second and got the pin,” said Fox. “It was a big pin for us there.”
Meeker later won a 7-2 decision.
“We could have made a few lineup tweaks to change things around but at the same time we wanted to get some good competition for our middleweight kids,” said Fox.
Central competed in a dual with Waconia on Tuesday and hosts a rescheduled triangular with Richfield and Sibley East tonight before traveling to Le Sueur-Henderson for a triangular on Jan. 24 and another triangular at Jordan on Jan. 31.
Contact Adam Gruenewald at firstname.lastname@example.org.