By Tom Murphy
A convincing 54-13 win at St. Charles brought another Three Rivers Conference wrestling championship to Caledonia/Houston/Spring Grove.
The Warriors took the lead for good, 18-13, with Troy King’s fall at 138 and shut out the Saints the rest of the match.
“Our team is wrestling with more confidence and they are in better shape,” said coach Dan Goergen. “It is an upbeat feeling. They are helping each other out and displaying more self-control,” he said.
Willy Krage’s fall at 113 pounds, offset Drew Stemper’s opening loss. Dylan Stemper, at 120, followed with another fall. Luke Werner lost at 126 pounds, 9-6, and Austin Fitzgerald lost by fall to St. Charles’ Cody Ball at 132 pounds.
From that point, King started the sweep and John Ellenz won a close 7-6 decision. Jacob Swindell won by forfeit and Ryan Mauss had a fall at 160. Casey Stemper won a 4-0 decision and the teams had a double forfeit at 182.
Connor McCormick had a fall at 195. David Guth, wrestling for the injured Travis Frank, won by a fall in his first varsity meet. Austin Goergen closed it out with another fall.
The Warriors close out the conference schedule on Friday against Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson (LARP) at Lewiston. A win would give the Warriors a perfect dual meet record.
LARP has five wrestlers ranked in “The Guillotine’s” state list at 120, 145, 152, 170, and 182. The Warriors have three wrestlers ranked at 170, 220, and 285. The Warriors are ranked 15th in class AA in the state while LARP is ranked 22nd.
Dan Goergen is optimistic for his team’s chances at Lewiston, “if we wrestle to our potential. Our guys are learning why they were pushed so hard in practice the whole year,” he said.
While the team lineup is pretty well settled, there was a wrestle off on Monday to determine the weight classes for individuals. As many as four weight classes may have different individuals from where they wrestle on the team roster.
The section team tournament will likely bring the first round to Caledonia as the Warriors anticipate a top four seed in the section. That first round of matches will be on Thursday, Feb. 16, around 7 p.m.
If the Warriors are the host, they will wrestle the winner of that 7 p.m. meet on that date. That winner will advance to Rochester’s Mayo Civic Center Taylor Arena on Saturday, Feb. 18. The four advancing teams will face off by bracket with the winners vying for the section title and a trip to the state tournament. The championship match will follow the semi-final round 15 minutes after the conclusion of the last meet or at 2:30 p.m.
The individual competition is in Rochester on Feb. 24-25 with the state tournament for both individual and team the following weekend.