Warrior wrestlers defeat LARP for TRC title, sub-section tournament here Feb. 16

By Tom Murphy
Caledonia Argus

It is a record year for the Caledonia/Houston/Spring Grove wrestling team. The Warriors won the Three Rivers Conference title and had an unbeaten dual meet record.  That milestone was reached last Friday night at Lewiston in a victory over Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson (LARP), 38-30.

“It was a barn burner.  They really pushed us,” said coach Dan Goergen.  The Warriors led briefly until the next to last match when Travis Frank’s pin followed that of Connor McCormick.  Austin Goergen wrapped up the victory with another fall.

At 106, Justin Stemper was pinned but Willy Krage came back with a major 14-2 decision.  Dylan Stemper was pinned before Luke Werner got a big fall putting the score at 12-10 in LARP’s favor.

Austin Fitzgerald had another major decision at 15-5 and Troy King shut out his opponent, 6-0.  The score was now 19-12, in the Warriors’ favor.

Eli Krage, a seventh grader, was placed in John Ellenz’s spot at 145 and was pinned.  “He’s going to be someone to watch as he gets older,” Goergen said of Eli Krage.   Ellenz was held out by injury.  Jake Swindell also lost by a fall.  Ryan Mauss lost a close match putting LARP ahead after the 160 pound match, 27-17.

Shane Loken won 7-0 while Casey Stemper was edged 5-3 to keep LARP ahead by 10 points, 30-20.  But the strength of the lineup put the winning score up with McCormick, Frank, and Goergen getting pins, earning 18 team points for the 38-30 victory.

“I thought we wrestled pretty strong,” Goergen said of his team.  “I told our kids that LARP would come out trying to hit a home run from the start of each match. We had to be patient and be ready to wrestle six minutes.

Goergen said his team watched the tape from the meet.  “They realize what they have to do,” he said of the lesson.

Team sub-section on Thursday

Observers feel Caledonia/Houston/Spring Grove will be seeded second in the team section behind Kasson-Mantorville.  It is thought that Plainview-Elgin/Millville and Stewartville will be seeded third and fourth, respectively.

The top four seeds will host sub-section meets on Thursday. It is expected the Warriors will wrestle at 7 p.m. The four winners from the sub-section will meet on Saturday at Taylor Arena at the Mayo Civic Center.  The semi-finals will be at 12:30 p.m. and the finals will be at 2:30 p.m. or 15 minutes after the last meet is over.

The winner will advance to the state tournament.

“We know we are all in this together,” Goergen said of his team.  “The seniors know their time is approaching.  We are glad we will be home on Thursday to start our drive.”