By Brady Ambrose
The Caledonia Argus
The alumni and former coaches in attendance couldn’t have gotten a better treat for the 50th anniversary of wrestling at Caledonia as the Warriors rolled to a 43-28 win over Decorah, Iowa, Friday night.
With all five head coaches, including Ed Ferkingstad, Leo Simon, Roger Knutson, Jay Tolleson and current coach Dan Goergen recognized, as well as a gym full of alumni that included several state champions and hall of fame members, the Warriors got pins in six different weight classes and erased an early deficit to kick off the celebration in a big way.
“We started out slow; we couldn’t get the ball rolling but we finally figured out that we can put kids on the mat and put their shoulders down and get the win,” Goergen said after the match. “Overall we did real well.”
Decorah won the first two matches but Jacob Winjum turned the tide, pinning Devin Storta at 120 pounds at the 3:15 mark. Dylan Lee and Drew Stemper then both followed with pins at 132 and 138 pounds to push the lead to 22-7 for the Warriors. At 145 Sam Stemper lost a tough 5-3 decision to Kennedy Folkedahl, and Blaine Knutson was pinned by Alec Fjelstul at 152 pounds as Decorah cut the lead to 22-16.
The turning point then came in the next match at 160 pounds. Sophomore Mitchell Schmitz, who trailed the entire match to Decorah’s Luke Dixon, was behind 4-3 with 15 seconds left but recorded a two-point takedown with just 2.8 seconds on the clock and won 7-4 in a match that sent a roar through the crowd. “That was huge for Mitchell to come back like that. I think he realized that we can’t give up anytime because anything can happen and you have to keep working until that last second ticks off.”
The win gave the Warriors a 25-16 lead going into Eli Craig’s match at 170 pounds, where Craig pinned Josh Graves. Alex Goergen then followed suit, pinning Kyle Hageman at 182 pounds to give the Warriors a 37-16 lead. Caledonia forfeited the 195 pound match, but Blake Mauss pinned Carter Zidlicky at 220 pounds to seal the win. Decorah got six points in the heavyweight match with a forfeit for the 43-28 final.
The Warriors will travel to La Crosse this Friday and Saturday for the ever-tough Bi-State Classic at the La Crosse Center.
CALEDONIA 43, DECORAH 28
106: Joe Knoke (D) won by decision over Kyle Cavanaugh10-3; 113: Carter Hubka (D) maj. dec. over Justin Stemper 13-2;
120: Jacob Winjum (C) pinned Devin Stortz 3:15;
126: Tylor Nelson (C) maj. dec. over Colten Mikkelson 15-4;
132: Dylan Lee (C) pinned Brendan Numedahl :28;
138: Drew Stemper (C) pinned Isaiah Mitchell :51;
145: Kennedy Folkedahl (D) dec. over Sam Stemper 5-3;
152: Alec Fjelstul (D) pinned Blaine Knutson 3:20;
160: Mitchell Schmitz (C) dec. Cody Ritner 7-4;
170: Eli Craig (C) pinned Joshua Graves :37;
182: Alex Goergen (C) pinned Kyle Hageman 1:25;
195: Sean Trewin (D) won by forfeit;
220: Blake Mauss (C) pinned Carter Zidlicky 2:40;
285: Justin Ashbacher (Decorah) won by forfeit.