By Tom Murphy
For the third year in a row, Caledonia/Houston/Spring Grove won the 10 team Lake City Invitational. Ryan Mauss, Casey Stemper, Connor McCormick, and Austin Goergen won their weight classes while Travis Frank finished second.
Troy King was third. Willy Krage had a fourth place as did Luke Werner. Fifth place went to Dylan Stemper, Austin Fitzgerald, and John Ellenz. Mitchell Schmitz and Alex Goergen were sixth. Drew Stemper did not place.
Mauss was seeded first at 152 and rolled into the finals with two pins in just over two and a half minutes. He defeated Hayfield’s Conner Nelson 7-2 for the title. Stemper was also seeded first and he reached the finals with a pin in just under four minutes. He defeated St. Charles Daniel Chavez, 7-4 for the title at 182.
McCormick had one of the biggest wins of the tournament. He had a bye at 195 and after a pin in the semi-final round, faced seventh-ranked Garret Wolf of PEM. Wolf had pinned McCormick in their first match but McCormick easily won a 12-2 decision.
Goergen continued his unbeaten season. He had pins of 32 and 49 seconds before beating a W-K wrestler 8-0 for the title.
Frank was seeded second and lost to PEM’s Tyler Petit, 6-4 in the finals. He opened with a fall and then had a 13-9 decision. Petit is ranked sixth while Frank is ranked ninth in the state at 220.
King was seeded fourth and opened with a major 22-9 decision. He fell to eventual champion Jake Hanson of Mayo. He beat a W-K wrestler in the wrestlebacks and then defeated his first round opponent again for third place.
Willy Krage was the Warriors’ hard luck candidate. The senior who moved down to 112 was seeded third. He opened with a 13-1 decision. In the semi-finals, he lost in triple overtime 2-1 to the second seed and eventual champion. In the wrestlebacks, he lost 4-3 to the fourth seed and finished fourth.
Luke Werner was seeded third and opened with a fall. He was edged by the number two seed, 8-6. In the wrestlbacks, he had a fall before losing to a PEM wrestler for fourth place.
Dylan Stemper lost his first two matches but won his third match by fall for fifth place at 120. Senior Austin Fitzgerald was unseeded at 132. He opened with a fall before losing to the eventual champion. In the wrestlebacks, he won a match before losing to the top seed. In the fifth place match, he won by a fall.
With Jacob Swindell and Shane Loken sitting out this meet, eighth grader Mitchell Schmitz and seventh grader Alex Goergen wrestled at 160 and 170, respectively. Coach Dan Goergen had high praise for the young wrestlers in their first tournament setting. Both wrestlers came into the tournament with 2-3 records on the varsity this year.
Schmitz won a close 9-8 match over a senior from Mayo. He was tech falled by the eventual champ. He lost his next two matches and finished sixth.
“He really gutted it out for the team,” Goergen said of Schmitz.
Alex Goergen opened with a fall at 170 and then lost 11-7. Somewhere in the first wrestleback match, he suffered a recurrence of a concussion injury that had kept him away from wrestling until three weeks ago. Goergen’s injury forced him to default his final two matches.
Senior John Ellenz was unseeded and lost his first match. In the wrestlebacks, he pinned a St. Charles wrestler and won by a point over a Mayo wrestler. He lost by two points to get into the consolation finals before winning 10-0 for fifth place at 145.
Drew Stemper opened with a fall at 106 but ran into the eventual champion from Chatfield. In the wrestlebacks, he lost to the eventual fifth place winner.
Praise to the assistant coaches
“I have to take my hat off to my coaches,” Goergen said. “I was at the hospital with Alex and they coached our guys to the title.”
Caledonia/Houston/Spring Grove, 210; Plainview-Elgin-Millville, 160.5; Chatfield, 160; Rochester Mayo, 146.5; Wabasha-Kellogg, 140; Lake City 128; Medford, 123; Hayfield, 80; St. Charles, 80; Blooming Prairie, 40.
The Warriors hosted their Parents Night last Thursday and sent everyone home happy with a 61-13 victory over Dover-Eyota.
Pins were recorded by Dylan Stemper, Austin Fitzgerald, John Ellenz, Ryan Mauss, and Connor McCormick. A major decision was had by Willy Krage, Luke Werner won by decision.
Forfeits were awarded to Mitchell Schmitz, Alex Goergen, Travis Frank, and Austin Goergen.
At St. Charles
The Warriors travel to St. Charles on Friday and finish the season the following Friday at Lewiston with another conference meet against Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson. The Warriors are undefeated this season in all meets.
Grand Meadow-Leroy-Ostrander forfeited a conference meet to Caledonia rather than reschedule. It had been postponed by weather two weeks ago.