Park wrestling: Wolfpack's season endsIn a section so grueling it borders on silly, the Park wrestling team’s season came to an end at the Section 3AAA individual wrestling tournament on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24 and 26, at Park High School.
By: Patrick Johnson, Staff Writer, South Washington County Bulletin
In a section so grueling it borders on silly, the Park wrestling team’s season came to an end at the Section 3AAA individual wrestling tournament on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24 and 26, at Park High School.
Apple Valley and Hastings — the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the state — dominated the tournament by qualifying 22 of the 28 state births.
“It is what it is,” Park head coach Jim LaBrosse said. “When you have the six remaining schools fighting for the remaining six spots, it makes it very difficult.”
At sections, the top two finishers in each of the 13 weight classes qualify for the state tournament. Apple Valley sent 13 individuals to the state tournament and Hastings sent nine to state. Of the six remaining spots, Eagan qualified three wrestlers to state and Rosemount, Burnsville and Henry Sibley each are sending one wrestler to state.
Park had 12 out of its 13 wrestlers competing on the second day of the tournament, which LaBrosse said was the most to make it to day No. 2 in the seven years he has been coach at Park.
“We all know how strong this section is going in and you have to have your very best two-day performance to give yourself a chance. I am proud of how our team wrestled. The team actually wrestled the best they have all season. We had kids fighting through the back door and you could see they didn’t want their seasons to end.”
Park had five wrestlers qualify for the semifinal round, however, 11 of the 12 Wolfpack wrestlers lost in the semis. At 135 pounds, junior Kenny Gerhardt lost to eventual state entrant Hunter Swenson 12-2. At 145 pounds, senior Ron Detzler lost to No. 2-state ranked Zach Rohr of Hastings 8-2. Senior Blake Berney lost to No. 1 state-ranked Steve Keogh of Apple Valley with a pin at 160 pounds. At 171 pounds, junior Nate Baumann lost to No. 1 ranked Jake Waste of Apple Valley 19-2. At 189 pounds freshman Cody Linssen lost to No. 1-ranked Matt Heschel of Apple Valley with a pin.
Overall, Linssen had Park’s highest finish, taking third place after upsetting Hastings senior Josh Lohman with a 6-3 decision and beating Lorenzo Estrada of Sibley 4-2. Linssen was Park’s only true-second match, but eventually lost to Bob Rada of Eagan 11-0.
Berney finished in fourth at 160 pounds losing to No. 2 seed Josh Francois of Rosemount 11-5. Baumann also finished fourth after winning with a pin in the consolation semis, but lost a heartbreaker to Josh Blake of Eastview 11-10. Bauman would have had a true second-place match with a win.
The upset of the tournament came in the consolation semifinal at 215 pounds when Park senior Chris Carte pinned No. 7-ranked Erik Ehrsmann of Eastview in 1:00.
Overall, Carte finished in fourth place at 215 pounds, after losing to eventual state entrant Isaac Eichman by fall.
Detzler started the tournament with a 8-4 decision over Ben Schmitz of Eastview, then lost to Rohr of Hastings, had a 9-7 decision over Sam Moeller of Rosemount and finished the tournament with an exciting 6-4 overtime win against Schmitz of Eastview. At 152 pounds, Gallogly finished sixth in what LaBrosse said was the toughest weight class of the tournament. Additionally, freshman J. P. Pallias finished in sixth place at 103 pounds, eighth-grader Jake Lanik finished sixth at 112 pounds, junior David Ayers finished sixth at 130 pounds, Gerhardt finished sixth at 135 pounds, freshman David Giadyu finished sixth at 140 pounds and junior Mike Lehman took sixth place at heavyweight.
Park must now say good-bye to four seniors — Detzler, Gallogly, Berny and Carte.