Wrestling: Woodbury hangs on, edges Park for District 833 championshipFor the fourth consecutive year the District 833 title came down between Park and Woodbury and once again the outcome lay in the balance until the last match.
By: Nick Gerhardt and Patrick Johnson, South Washington County Bulletin
For the fourth consecutive year the District 833 title came down between Park and Woodbury and once again the outcome lay in the balance until the last match.
This time the Royals prevailed 35-33 Thursday at East Ridge High School as senior Josh McClain avoided giving up a fall to Wolfpack senior heavyweight Stephen Zemke. McClain, who weighed in at 197 prior the start of the dual, gave up nearly 100 pounds to Zemke, but did not give up a fall and the six points Park needed for the victory.
“We knew it was going to be a struggle for him, but he’s been in that situation before,” Woodbury head coach Justin Smith said. “Earlier in the year when we wrestled Eastview it came down to that same situation. I think he learned a lot from that situation and made sure he was in good position and actually took a shot here or there. Josh did a good job of moving when he had to and didn’t get put to his back, because if he got put to his back it would have been done.”
McClain tried some offense, but to little success against Zemke.
“At first I thought I was going to be able to move him around a little bit and then I tried to move him around and it wasn’t working,” McClain said. “I figured I just gotta let the match go on and try to win that way without a pin or anything because I couldn’t move him.”
Despite the loss to Woodbury, Park head coach Jim LaBrosse thought his team wrestled well.
“We are making small improvements individually,” LaBrosse said. “They are a good team with four real good individual wrestlers. We had our matchups but just didn’t capitalize.”
LaBrosse said he felt there were five matches where Park could have gained more points or not giving up major decisions, which could’ve been the difference in a win and loss.
“It was definitely a learning situation for our guys,” he said. “It’s going take a total team effort to beat good teams in the future.”
The victory by Woodbury made up for last year’s 38-33 loss to the Park. Last season, the Royals led 33-32 entering the final match of the dual, but Park heavyweight Craig Sargent won by fall in 16 seconds to lift the Wolfpack to victory.
This year, Woodbury led 35-31 entering the final match Thursday after third-ranked Cody Linssen secured a fall in 36 seconds at 220 pounds for Park. The Wolfpack won three of the final four weights with two coming by fall.
Royals junior Howard Jones picked up a fall in 1 minute, 1 second at 170 pounds over Park senior Jordan Ijohma to give Woodbury a 31-19 lead.
Jones’ victory came on the heels of fourth-ranked junior Justin Herold-Plakut’s 7-2 overtime win against Wolfpack sophomore Cory Flaata at 160 pounds. Herold-Plakut had to rally in the second period to tie the match at 2-2 with a reversal. Then, in overtime Herold-Plakut got Flaata on his back with a takedown to pull ahead and held on for the win.
“It makes for an interesting night each time,” Herold-Plakut said. “It was really exciting. I was just glad because we worked so hard to beat Park and when it comes down to that last match like that you just gotta pray I guess.”
Fourth-ranked Ben Donnelly won easily with a fall in 51 seconds at 145 pounds while Matt Delaney provided a 17-7 major decision victory at 138 pounds for the Royals.
Park, which won the flip, opted to forfeit at 120 pounds to Woodbury sophomore Ty Johnson and move junior Austin Thurmes up to 126 pounds to face sophomore David Beseman. Smith pointed the move out to Beseman and it seemed to inspire him to a fall in 3:33 to give Woodbury a 12-10 lead, its first of the match.
“We figured Ty Johnson was going to go out and get a pin so they forfeited and bumped that kid up,” Smith said. “We kind of got in David’s ear and said, ‘They don’t respect you and they’re coming after you because they think they’re going to be able to get that one.’”
The Wolfpack got victories from seventh-grader Garrett Whitehead, who pinned Young Vang in 5:55 at 106 pounds and freshman Collin LaBrosse, who earned a major decision victory over Austin Braun at 113 pounds. After the Royals took their first lead of the match Park sophomore Daniel Duval responded with a fall at 132 pounds over freshman Ben Malacko. Wolfpack junior David Giadyu then cut the Woodbury lead to 22-19 with an 8-4 victory over Royals senior Kevin Beseman at 152 pounds.
East Ridge still looking for first win over intra-district rivals
Woodbury went on to romp past the Raptors 66-11 where 11 wrestlers won by fall for the Royals. The Raptors won the first two matches of the dual, but Woodbury rolled after that.
East Ridge faired a little better against Park, losing 43-26.
Park won seven of the final nine individual matches to earn the victory.
For Park, which was down 19-4 after the first five matches, Jake Lanik started the Wolfpack’s run with a pin 54 seconds into his match at 138 pounds. Then Giadyu earned a pin in 57 seconds at 145 pounds to cut the deficit to 19-16. East Ridge’s Emilio Huerta edged Park’s Brandon Young at 152 pounds, 10-9, and East Ridge went ahead 22-16. But, Flaata evened the score at 22-22 with a pin at 160 pounds. East Ridge’s Nate Tigges then earned a major decision at 170 pounds to put the Raptors up 26-22 with four matches to go. However, Park ran the table the rest of the way. Wills won 7-0 at 182 pounds, Hubbard earned a pin at 195 pounds, Linssen won by forfeit at 220 and Steven Thondysirisak won with a pin at heavyweight.
In other matches, East Ridge’s Sam Cheeseboro began with a pin at 106 pounds to put the Raptors up 6-0. At 113 Park’s Collin LaBrosse earned a major decision to make it 6-4. East Ridge’s M.J. Okada won a 4-1 decision at 120 pounds over Austin Thurmes, East Ridge’s Jake Trevis won with a forfeit at 126 pounds and Reid Lyden won with a pin 54 seconds into his match at 132 pounds.