by Adam Gruenewald
Central wrestling lost their only match of the week last week, falling 56-18 to LeSueur-Henderson at home on Thursday.
The match started well for Central as Wyatt Lemke got the Raiders off to a great start with a win by fall in 1:27.
Head coach Darrin Fox said Lemke will be important moving forward if he stays at 106.
“I think he is a good energy starter for us,” said Fox. “I think now he’s got a little bit of confidence being down there and he’s able to win some matches… For us we need that, we need to get off to a good start and build a little energy throughout our lineup.”
The Giants then took control of the match with a win by fall at 113 and a third period pin at 120, before Joash Lord kept his loss to a 7-2 decision making it 13-6 Giants.
“LeSueur has a good lineup,” said Fox. “They have a bunch of seniors and experienced kids.”
In one of the highlight matches of the night, Peter Barth squared off against LSH’s Dalton Pauly at 132 in a back and forth contest.
Barth fell behind 2-1 after the first period, but managed to even up the match at 5-5 after the second period. After Pauly was given an escape to open the third period, Barth got a takedown 20 seconds into the period before Pauly got the escape to make it 7-7 about midway through the final period. With the crowd rising in intensity as the match went on, Pauly then got a pair of takedowns in the final period to win 11-8.
With momentum on their side, LSH won the next match at 138 by fall in the second period and won a 21-8 major decision at 145 for a 26-6 lead.
At 152, Wallace Michels went up 7-1 after two periods before getting a pin in 4:32 for Central.
“He’s just tough to score on,” said Fox, crediting Michels for his persistence. “He may look like he’s in trouble every once in a while and gets in some negative situations, but he is always able to have the mat sense on how to get out of them and not get scored on.”
LSH would win the next five matches to put the contest away though getting a forfeit win at 160, quick pins at 170 and 182, another forfeit at 195 and yet another forfeit at 220 for a 56-12 advantage.
The final matchup of the night at heavyweight provided some drama as well as Sam Meeker went up against true heavyweight Jacob Wacker for LSH.
The two wrestlers battled even in the first period and Sam Meeker scored a takedown with 34 seconds left in the second period and managed to get the win by fall in 3:58 at the end of the second period.
“Sam is a second year kid and for the amount of progress he made last year, just coming out, he’s grown around 25 pounds this year,” said Fox. “He’s got a lot of the basics down wrestling like an upperweight kid where he can kind of understand what he should do and what he shouldn’t do.”
Notably, junior varsity wrestlers Blake Kipling, Sean Weckman, Kody Sayarwath, Curtis Urness, Sean Franck and newcomer Seth Tindall got some matches in as well.
“All those matches that they wrestled were very hard fought matches,” said Fox.
Fox, who said Zeke Dodge and Nick Forner will provide a boost to the team when they return as soon as next week or two weeks out, added that his entire team can take away some positives and not so great things from the matchup as the season continues.
“You’re never happy with losing but with the experience our group has, there’s little things we can build on,” said Fox.
The Raiders next travel to Lake Crystal for a quad on Jan. 19 and Thief River Falls for a tournament on Jan. 21. The next scheduled event is a tournament at Orono on Jan. 28.
Follow Adam Gruenewald on Twitter @adamgruenewald.