Park wrestling: Wolfpack 'responds,' says coachThe youthful Park wrestling team may have a ways to go before it is able to beat the top teams in the state, but last week the Wolfpack showed it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
By: Patrick Johnson, sports editor, South Washington County Bulletin
The youthful Park wrestling team may have a ways to go before it is able to beat the top teams in the state, but last week the Wolfpack showed it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Park had three meets last week — the 60-team Oshkosh on the Water tournament at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh; a Suburban East Conference dual with eighth-ranked Hastings; and, most recently, the Farmington Koda Classic, where the Wolfpack hit the mat against Paynesville, ninth-ranked Lakeville North, and the eighth-ranked team in Class AA, Milaca.
At the Oshkosh on the Water tournament, Park placed 15th out of 60 teams. The Wolfpack had six wrestlers advance to the second-day of the two-day event and had four place-winners.
Park junior 220-pound wrestler Cody Linssen led the way, going 6-1 to take third place. Linssen is ranked third in the state in Class AAA in his weight class. In addition, freshman Collin LaBrosse earned fifth place in the 113-pound weight class, going 6-2 in his eight matches. Also, at 145 pounds, junior David Giadyu earned ninth place, going 6-2 and freshman Zack Wills took 10th place at 182 pounds, going 4-2.
Additionally, seventh-grader Garrett Whitehead, at 106 pounds, and sophomore Corey Flaata, at 160 pounds, each went 4-2 and made it into the second day, but came a win away from placing in the top 10.
“It was a great weekend of wrestling and a very tough individual tournament,” Park head coach Jim LaBrosse said. “I thought we wrestled the best we have all season. Sending six wrestlers into the second day was a huge accomplishment for us. This is a type of tournament that we need to get us ready for the sectional and state tournaments. The boys responded well.”
Most recently, Park competed in another tournament, the Farmington Duals, placing fourth out of eight teams. Chatfield, the 11th ranked team in Class A, beat Lakeville North for the championship.
The Wolfpack went 1-2 at the tournament, beating Paynesville 35-30 in the first round before falling 42-22 to Lakeville North in the semifinals and losing 39-28 to Milaca in the third-place match.
Against Paynesville, Linssen’s first-period pin during his 220-pound match sealed the win for Park. Also, Collin LaBrosse won a 19-4 tech fall at 113 pounds and Giadyu won a 21-5 tech fall at 145 pounds. In addition, Daniel Duval won a 14-5 major decision at 132 pounds, Flaata won a 10-3 decision at 170 pounds, Cade Fishbaugher won a 12-10 decision at 126 pounds, Austin Thurmes won a 7-1 decision at 120 pounds and Whitehead won a forfeit at 106 pounds against the Tigers.
In round No. 2, against ninth-ranked Lakeville North, Fishbaugher, Linssen and sophomore heavyweight Steven Thongdysirisack won with first-period pins and Flaata won a 12-4 major decision. Linssen’s pin came against Lakeville North senior Aaron Almedina, who is ranked seventh at 220 pounds.
The third-place match came down to heavyweight. Park trailed 33-28, however, senior Stephen Zemke was unable to get the pin necessary to pull off the upset.
Whitehead, Collin LaBrosse, Linssen and sophomore 152-pounder Brandon Young each won with pins against Milaca and Giadyu earned a 19-8 major decision. Linssen was 3-0 on the day and was the Wolfpack’s lone undefeated wrestler. Whitehead, Fishbaugher, Giadyu, Collin LaBrosse and Flaata all went 2-1.
Sandwiched between the tournaments, Park faced Hastings in a conference dual, with the eighth-ranked Raiders coming out on top, 51-14.
Linssen and Collin LaBrosse each won major decisions, 14-0 and 14-5, respectively, in the loss. Also, Giadyu won a 7-4 decision at 152 pounds and Flaata won a 6-4 decision at 170 pounds.
Next, Park faces off with Hopkins and Wayzata in a triangular on Thursday, Jan. 10, at Wayzata High School, before competing in the Richfield Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 12.