2011-12 Winter Preview: East Ridge wrestling team looking for first conference win this winterEast Ridge wrestling coach Hans Horning expects big things from his returning grapplers as they prepare for a new season and new section.
By: Teresa Townsend, Woodbury Bulletin
East Ridge wrestling coach Hans Horning expects big things from his returning grapplers as they prepare for a new season and new section.
This winter, East Ridge hopes to build off of last season’s 4-19 record, where key wins came from Minneapolis Roosevelt and Minneapolis Edison providing the team with their first multiple win meet and first home wins.
Looking forward to their January 20 match against Cretin-Derham Hall, coach Horning hopes his team can avenge last season’s 40-39 tie-breaker loss and earn their first SEC win. White Bear Lake and Stillwater will be the teams to beat in the SEC, according to Horning, while Henry Sibley and top-ranked Apple Valley will provide tough competition for East Ridge in their section.
Some of the team’s potential to score wins against strong conference and section teams rests on key returning wrestlers Reid Lyden, 30-7 last year (70-22 career) and pre-season state rank of seventh at 113, and senior Jon Balagot. Although Balagot left the team last year, he rejoined the team this season.
“I expect big things from him,” Horning said. “He has matured a great deal in the past year but has a lot of ground to make up from missing last season.”
Horning expects that leadership will also come from senior captains Kyle Siemers and John Chatterton. Although both are young in wrestling experience, they are, “hard workers and great students,” according to Horning.
“ I expect them to step up this season in the practice room and on the mat,” Horning said.
Along with new wrestlers, the Raptors will have to make up for the loss of Nick Bachmann (66-25 career), the team’s first-ever state tournament qualifier.
“Our lighter weights (106-138) could be very tough,” Horning said. “We could jump out ahead in many matches. It will be a matter of upper weights, and upper classmen, holding that lead.”