East Ridge wrestling: Raptors soar over .500 for first time in historyThe East Ridge Raptors wrestling team completed its most successful week thus far capping a 4-0 run with non-conference wins over Minneapolis Washburn and St. Paul Central, on Thursday, Dec. 15.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, Woodbury Bulletin
The East Ridge Raptors wrestling team completed its most successful week thus far capping a 4-0 run with non-conference wins over Minneapolis Washburn and St. Paul Central, on Thursday, Dec. 15.
The Raptors began the week with wins over Minneapolis Southwest and St. Agnes on Tuesday, Dec. 13. At 4-2 for the year, this marks the first time in history the Raptors wrestling team has had a winning record.
On Thursday, the Raptors began the night by defeating the hosts, Minneapolis Washburn, 69-12. East Ridge benefited from five Washburn forfeits. Earning wins for the Raptors were MJ Okada (106 pounds), Jake Trevis (126), Emilio Huerta (138), John Chatterton (145), Jon Balagot (182), Kyle Siemers (195), and JC Hassenauer (Heavyweight). Okada, Trevis, Huerta, Balagot, Siemers, and Hassenauer all recorded falls in the dual while John Chatterton fought out a 10-7 decision. Earning forfeits for the team were Ryan Thompson (113), Reid Lyden (120), Kevin Siemers (160), Nate Tigges (170), and Jake Pittman (220).
In its second bout of the evening, a 48-24 win over St. Paul Central, East Ridge won 10 of 13 weights while giving up six points with a forfeit at 220. It was the first-ever victory for the Raptors that did not include a forfeit from the opponents.
“We came out strong and the kids really wrestled like they wanted this one,” said Coach Hans Horning. “I think it meant a great deal to earn a victory without the benefit of forfeits, and we actually gave away a forfeit. That was impressive for this team to do in the short amount of time many of them have been wrestling.”
Okada, an eighth grader, started the Raptors off right with a technical fall at 106. Thompson, a sophomore, followed with his first varsity win, after receiving three forfeits in previous matches, scrapping out a 4-3 decision at 113. Thompson, a first-year wrestler, boasts a current 4-0 record. Lyden, a sophomore, brought a major decision to the Raptors at 120 bringing the lead to 12-0. One of the most exciting matches of the evening belonged to Trevis, a sophomore, who came from behind more than once to take an 8-6 decision at 126.
“That was a great finish for Jake,” said Horning. “He needs to be physical and use his conditioning to win and that is exactly what he did tonight.”
Other key matches, according to Horning, were at 160 and 182 where sophomores Siemers and Tigges eached earned falls while wrestling up a weight. Tigges earned a takedown with eight seconds left in the first and scored the fall with two seconds remaining.
“That was huge. Nate came out after Jon (Balagot) lost in an upset and got us right back on track,” said Horning. “Our underclassmen really came through tonight and the kids really came together as a team. We need to keep it rolling.”
Also picking up wins in the match were Huerta (138), Chatterton (145), Kyle Siemers (195), and Hassenauer (heavyweight).
Providing some possible foreshadowing to the big wins in Minneapolis were a pair of non-conference victories over St. Agnes and Minneapolis Southwest on Tuesday, Dec. 13. The pair of victories put East Ridge at 2-2 for the year – the first time the team had ever been at .500 in team victories.
The Raptors came out strong against St. Agnes, winning 11 of 14 weights and earning a 63-15 victory. Okada, at 106 pounds, and Thompson, at 113 pounds, got things going winning by forfeit. Lyden, at 120 pounds, earned his 75th career victory with a fall over Alex Hernandez, in 5:09. With 75 wins Lyden holds the school wins record and is only a sophomore.
Continuing East Ridge’s winning ways against the Aggies were Trevis (126) and Tigges (182), who accepted forfeits. Huerta (138), Kevin Siemers (152), junior David Kroger (160), Balagot (170), Kyle Siemers (195), Hassanauer (heavyweight) all won by fall for the Raptors and Chatterton won by decision 7-1, at 145 pounds.
In their second dual of the evening, East Ridge was again given a lead with forfeits but continued to show they did not need them to earn the win. Four Raptors, Lyden (120), Trevis (126), Balagot (17), and Kyle Siemers (195) all won by fall. Chatterton, at 145 pounds, was the lone wrestler to go the distance in victory, winning 8-5. The match of the night belonged to freshmen Bodie Sheehan who ended up losing in overtime, 11-9.
“Bodie wrestled a tremendous match. He was aggressive, he was on the offense, he never gave up,” said coach Horning. “I was very proud of the way he wrestled. He finally wrestled like he believed he could win, and he could have.”
Up next for the Raptors, in a late schedule addition, is a triangular at Columbia Heights on Thursday, December 22.