Woodbury wrestling: Royals edged by Park in District 833 triangularOne of the area’s biggest wrestling matches of the year came down to the wire last week.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, Woodbury Bulletin
One of the area’s biggest wrestling matches of the year came down to the wire last week.
Against its intra-district rivals, the Woodbury wrestling team beat East Ridge, but then fell to Park the District 833 Triangular on Thursday, Dec. 8, at Park High School.
To start the third-annual Suburban East Conference match Woodbury took down East Ridge 63-18, but then Park beat the Royals 38-33 and the Raptors 61-15 to win the triangular’s traveling trophy – and bragging rights.
Three years ago, Park won the first-ever District 833 triangular, however, Woodbury won last year’s match.
This year, in the much-anticipated Park and Woodbury match, Woodbury had a 33-16 lead over Park with four matches remaining. However, Park won the final four matches, three by pin, to earn the comeback victory.
“We knew it was going to be close,” Park head coach Jim LaBrosse said. “It’s just very exciting. We needed that win. To start the season like this is very big for our program. To get that trophy back was one of the team’s goals this year.”
With the score 33-32 in favor of Woodbury, Park senior heavyweight Craig Sargent won by pin to give the Wolfpack the win over the Royals. It was the third straight year the Park and Woodbury dual came down to the heavyweight match at the District 833 Triangular.
“We couldn’t hold onto the lead,” Woodbury head coach Justin Smith said. “We split the matches seven to seven, but they had more bonus points.”
Winning for Woodbury against Park were: freshman Ty Johnson, sophomore Matt Delaney, sophomore Justin Herold-Plakut, freshman Ben Donnelly, senior Ryan Dickhausen, sophomore Howard Jones and senior Connor Harreld. Winners against East Ridge were: Johnson, Delaney, Herold-Plakut, Donnelly, Matt Lundblad, Dickhausen, Jones, Harreld, Chandler Ignaszewski, Anthony Doreo and Pavel Swensen.
After the District 833 Triangular, Woodbury had seven wrestlers finish in the top four places as the Royals finished in fifth place at the 12-team Maple Grove Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 10.
Woodbury totaled 136.5 points in the tournament. Mora won the championship with 201 points.
Donnelly, who is ranked third at 138 pounds, was the Royals’ lone champion at Maple Grove. Herold-Plakut took second place, while Johnson, Dickhausen and Jones finished in third place and Harreld and Delaney earned fourth-place finishes. Herold-Plakut earned his 100th high-school win at the tournament.
“We had some great individual efforts on the day beating some state ranked wrestlers,” Smith said. “Plakut beat fifth-ranked Devin Wolf of Irondale in the semis but then lost to two-time state place winner Jordan Hanan of Annandale/Maple Lake by a close 4-2 score, Jones pinned fifth-ranked Derek Weinmann of Irondale in his third place match, and Donnelly avenged a loss last season in the same tournament in the finals against 10th-ranked Johnny Dill of Maple Grove by a score of 7-1. We are making some positive strides as a team & that is fun to watch.”
Woodbury’s junior varsity team also wrestled well with four champions: Swensen, Anthony Doreo, Kevin Beseman and David Beseman.
Woodbury now will have an opportunity to get plenty of practice time in on the mat. The Royals don’t compete again until the Rumble on The Red on Dec. 28.