East Ridge wrestling: East Ridge wrestling Raptors’ sophomore Lyden wins 100th career matchThe East Ridge wrestling team capped a busy week last week, with a very competitive day at the Robbinsdale Armstrong Duals, on Saturday, Feb. 4, finishing with two victories and one loss.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, South Washington County Bulletin
The East Ridge wrestling team capped a busy week last week, with a very competitive day at the Robbinsdale Armstrong Duals, on Saturday, Feb. 4, finishing with two victories and one loss.
“We were forfeiting three weights today with guys out due to injuries or match count,” said East Ridge head coach Hans Horning. “So to finish 2-1 is a great sign of how far we have come. Our guys stepped up today and wrestled as a team.”
The day began with a 54-20 loss to Goodhue. However, the Raptors quickly regrouped and won their next two duals defeating St Paul Harding 36-27 and Mankato West 37-36. The wins improved East Ridge’s season record to 12-13 with one dual meet remaining.
Going undefeated on the day for the Raptors were sophomore Reid Lyden (113 pounds), sophomore Jake Trevis (120 pounds), senior John Chatterton (138 pounds) and senior Jon Balagot (160 pounds). “John (Chatterton) needed a day like today. He has been wrestling great for us all year,” said Horning. “He deserved these hard fought ones today.”
Also on Saturday, Feb. 4, East Ridge freshman Emilio Huerta became the first Raptors’ wrestler to place at the 9th Grade League State Tournament.
Huerta didn’t end the day where he wanted to be, but he was standing where no Raptor wrestler had been before. After wrestling five matches in the 9th Grade League State Tournament at Champlin Park High School, Huerta had earned a spot on the medal stand with a fifth place finish at 132 pounds.
Huerta started the tournament with a thriller pulling out a 5-4 overtime decision against Logan Sahlstrom of Milaca. In the quarterfinals Huerta would suffer his only loss on the day, a 4-1 decision against Estavara Navarro from Willmar. Huerta was able to get back on track in his next match earning a quick fall against Parker Hale from GMLOK in 1:02. The Raptor freshmen continued his attack of the tournament with a 9-7 decision over Kody Lefebvre from Mahnomen/Waubun to reach the fifth place match. Huerta finished the day with an 8-5 decision over Dominic Ourada of Wabasso earning the consolation finish and a place in the record book. Two other Raptor wrestlers competed at the tournament as well. Brothers Ty and MJ Okada were both unable to win a match but turned in gutsy performances losing close ones. Seventh grader Ty, competing at 94 pounds, lost two decisions 9-0 and 4-1. Eighth grader MJ, competing at 100 pounds, lost a heartbreaker in the opening round 4-2, in overtime, and suffered a second loss 4-0. Both Okadas will look to make return trips to next year’s state tournament.
Prior to the Robbinsdale Duals and 9th grade state tournament, East Ridge had only a few bright spots in an otherwise bleak night on Thursday, Feb. 2, as the Raptors went 0-3 against Suburban East Conference foes Stillwater and Roseville and non-conference opponent Chisago Lakes.
With multiple wrestlers sitting out for injury or match count, East Ridge fell 75-4 to Stillwater, 61-12 to Roseville and 39-30 to Chisago Lakes.
Highlighting the night for East Ride, sophomore Reid Lyden (106) earned his 100th career victory becoming the first-ever 100-match winner for the Raptors. His 100th came in the second round of action and was, fittingly, a pin in 2:44 over Aung Win Naing of Roseville. Lyden had a major and another pin to finish the night with 101 wins. A career milestone, Lyden has two more full seasons to add to his win total and set the all-time win record for East Ridge.
The Raptors stepped up their performance in the final match of the night losing a close one to Chisago Lakes – a “Lean and Mean” team in Class AA. At 120 pounds, Trevis wrestled a great match against Dylan Connell, who is ranked seventh in Class AA. Trevis trailed 2-1 late in the match and was unable to turn Connell for the win giving up a reversal at the end for a final score of 4-1. “Jake can wrestle with anyone when he puts his mind to it,” said Horning. “That match does not surprise me at all. Jake is going to sneak up on some people before this season is over.”
Other bright spots included some JV wrestlers stepping into varsity positions to help the shorthanded Raptors. Kiry Koy (132 pounds) and Mitch Hobot (152 pounds) moved into the lineup and wrestled aggressively. Hobot was bumped up to 152 to fill the hole left by Kevin Siemers, who was out due to illness. Koy was in at 132 for Emilio Huerta who was out for match count. Huerta will be competing at the 9th Grade League State Tournament this weekend. Also out with match-count issues were MJ Okada (106) and Dan McKenzie (170). The Raptors had to forfeit at 113, 160, and 220 due to injuries. David Kroger (160) and Jake Pittman (220) are out with knee problems and Ryan Thompson (113) was out with an ear infection.
Next, the Raptors travel to seventh-ranked Forest Lake on Thursday, Feb. 9, to finish out the regular season.