Park wrestling: Wolfpack takes down RosevillePark improved to 2-1 in the Suburban East Conference and 4-3 in dual meets this season with a 52-18 thumping of a rebuilding Roseville squad.
By: Patrick Johnson, sports editor, South Washington County Bulletin
Battling injuries and illnesses, things haven’t gone perfectly in the first month for the Park wrestling team, but the Wolfpack keeps fighting – and picking up wins along the way.
Park improved to 2-1 in the Suburban East Conference and 4-3 in dual meets this season with a 52-18 thumping of a rebuilding Roseville squad on Wednesday night in a triangular at Park High School. Park also fell 34-28 to Eagan prior to bouncing back to beat the Raiders.
“It’s been a rough couple of weeks,” Park head coach Jim LaBrosse said. “We wanted to be 2-0 tonight obviously. To wrestle where we need to be we’re just too depleted. We had a lot of guys out and a lot of guys just coming back who haven’t wrestled in a while and it showed. But, we’ll be OK. I thought we fought hard. There were a lot of bright spots too.”
Park won 10 of the 14 matches in the victory over Roseville – three of which came by pin.
Park junior Austin Thurmes earned a pin 2 minutes, 22 seconds into the match at 120 pounds to give the Wolfpack an early 15-0 lead. At 160 pounds, sophomore Cory Flaata pinned his opponent just over a minute into the first period, making the score 36-9 at that point. Also, sophomore Steve Thongdyrisack won with a pin just 18 seconds into his heavyweight match to cap the scoring at 52-18.
“A win is a win, we have to be happy about that,” said Park junior David Giadyu, who won both his matches on the night. “We could have done better I think. We’re a really young team right now and we’re just getting it all together. We’ll be better soon.”
A pair of Park standouts, freshman Collin LaBrosse and junior Cody Linssen drew forfeits as Roseville likely felt heavily overmatched at 113 pounds and 220 pounds, respectively. The crowd – and Linssen – were disappointed not to see a battle between him and Roseville senior Trae Story, who beat Linssen twice last season. Story is ranked fifth at 195 pounds and Linssen is ranked third at 220 pounds this year, so Story would have had to move up a weight to challenge Linssen.
“I was hoping for a rematch, but he’s still down at 195,” said Linssen, who is currently 12-0 with nine pins and three forfeits. “That’s what I figured would happen.”
LaBrosse said he thought the Roseville coaches would move Story up to face Linssen, but he also said he probably wouldn’t have either, if he were in their shoes.
“I don’t know why they didn’t,” LaBrosse said. “Cody is wrestling really well, maybe that’s why, and Story is giving up 15-20 pounds, maybe that’s the difference. But, Cody is really wrestling well. He’s running on all cylinders right now.”
Story’s 195-pound match was no breeze, however, as 182-pound freshman Sam Figlmiller fought him hard and took him to the third period before eventually being pinned.
“Hats off to Sam Figlmiller,” LaBrosse said. “To wrestle against a kid of Story’s caliber and not quit was really good. We found something in him. It’s good for all the kids to see that, to keep pushing and not quit is a big part of this sport.”
Park sophomore Jake Lanik and Giadyu also earned back-to-back forfeits against Roseville at 134 pounds and 152 pounds, respectively, which made the score 30-9 and all but sealed the match for the Wolfpack.
Other wins for Park against Roseville were turned in by: Seventh-grader Garrett Whitehead, 10-4 at 106 pounds; sophomore Daniel Duval, 12-9 at 132 pounds and freshman Zach Wills, 10-0 at 182 pounds.
“It was a good win,” Linssen said. “Eagan was close. It would’ve been better if we won, but it was still a good match.”
Against Eagan, which is a Section 3AAA opponent, Linssen tied the score 28-28 with a pin 49 seconds into his match at 220 pounds. However, Eagan’s heavyweight, senior Colin Fisher is ranked fourth in Class AAA and won the match with a pin of Park senior Stephan Zemke.
The loss left Park 1-1 against Section 3AAA foes.
The future is bright for the youthful Wolfpack however. Park only has three seniors in its lineup, but the team has its eyes set on the postseason.
“Sending the whole team to state is the goal,” Giadyu said. “But if we fall short I think we can send five or six guys. We’ll be really good when we peak. We’re a big family. We’ve known each other so long and we all get along. We’re really close.”
Park played host to non-conference foe New Richmond, Wis., on Thursday, after the Bulletin went to print. Next, the Wolfpack travels across the border on Friday, Dec. 28, to compete in the two-day Oshkosh on the Water Tournament at Lourdes High School in Oshkosh, Wis.
“We’re going to run into some good kids,” LaBrosse said. “With 60 teams there’s some good individuals in every weight class. There will be some state-tournament level competition there.”