Park wrestles past Woodbury, East Ridge
On a day where Park's wrestlers wouldn't be denied, the Wolfpack won three straight matches including dramatic last-match victories over rivals Woodbury and East Ridge in a four-team meet Thursday, Jan. 25, at Cottage Grove.
Park got past St. Paul Central 48-36 in round one, defeated Woodbury 43-36 in the second round and then edged East Ridge 41-36 in a third-round thriller.
In the other duals, East Ridge easily topped Woodbury 54-21 and St. Paul Central 65-12. Woodbury rolled against St. Paul Central, winning 69-12.
Both the Park-Woodbury and Park-East Ridge matches came down to the heavyweight bout and both times Park junior Archie Zogaa came through with clutch wins. Zogaa pinned Woodbury's Alex Mancera in 5:40 to clinch the Wolfpack's win against the Royals. He then put East Ridge's Wes Eggers on his back and pinned him in 3:53 to lift Park over the Raptors in the finale.
Park topped East Ridge despite giving up four forfeits and 24 points in the lower weights. Park won the last eight matches to overcome the early giveaways, racking up four pins and two technical falls in the streak. The Wolfpack closed the match with four straight falls.
East Ridge led 36-0 before the Wolfpack started their rally.
"We knew we had to win eight matches and we did," Park coach Jim LaBrosse said. "We believed in the guys and they came through and did what they had to do. The big thing was Edric (Waindim) winning at 170. He wrestled the best he could and it was just good to see him get that monkey off his back and wrestle the way he does."
Waindim's 6-3 decision over East Ridge's Ethan Pittman at 170 pounds was a key six-point swing in the match.
"And all the guys came through and got the pins we needed," LeBrosse added. "It was fun, exciting."
Park 138-pounder Solomon Lankow had three pins in the meet. Garrett Whitehead and Waindim each had two pins and a technical fall.