Wrestling: Woodbury, East Ridge start seasons with strong performances
The Royals opened up their season on Thursday night as they traveled to Armstrong High School to wrestle three other schools.
It was a lot of memorable moments on that night for head coach Justin Smith and the Woodbury wrestling program.
Brock Rinehart and Cole West each earned their 100th career win as a Royal, while Alex Braun earned his first career win as a Royal.
"It's fun to see the young wrestlers and the veterans work together and cheer each other on," Smith said. "Brock and Cole have been role models to these young wrestlers and they're showing them what Woodbury wrestling is all about, while Alex is just starting his career and it'll be a fun six years with him on the team."
The first dual Woodbury had on Thursday was against Armstrong and the Royals showed their dominance early and often. Woodbury ended the dual with a 59-21 victory as there were a handful of forfeits and a few pins by the Royals to earn this victory.
The next dual was against Ogilvie and once again Woodbury showed their dominance with a 72-9 final score.
Braun earned his first pin of his career, while Cade Johnson won by forfeit to give the Royals an early lead. Then, Woodbury had four more forfeits before Sam Ellis finished his match with a pin.
Cole Smutny also earned a pin during his match, but the rest were forfeits to give the Royals their second win of the night.
Woodbury was looking to finish the night with a 3-0 record and the last team the Royals faced was Eden Prairie.
Braun and Johnson started the match off strong with each a pin to give the Royals a 12-4 lead. Then, Will Bents and Ryan Holt each recorded a fall and helped extend the lead to 24-7.
Then, Brady Moesenthin and Ellis each recorded pins and gave Woodbury a comfortable lead at 36-7. Afterwords, Rinehart and Mason Barrows recorded pins and the Royals came out with the 54-19 win.
"It was great to get three wins tonight, but it was good to see them work hard on the mat and earn these victories," Smith said. "The main thing we need to work on as a team is our conditioning."
The Royals brought that momentum from Thursday into Saturday as they traveled to Osseo High School for an invitational.
All 12 of the Woodbury wrestlers placed in the varsity tournament and the Royals finished second as a team in the 11-team tournament. Woodbury was just behind Suburban East Conference rival Mounds View.
Rinehart dominated his bracket and won his weight class. Moesenthin, West and Donald Nde each earned second-place finishes in their respective weight classes.
Raphael Orubo recorded his first ever victory as a Royal wrestler on Saturday.
Smith said he was happy to see the techniques being used in the matches on Saturday, but there are a few things to tweak before their next match.
That next match will be the Woodbury Duals Tournament as the Royals host many teams, with some being in the top 20 in the state. That tournament will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8 at Woodbury High School.
The Raptors opened up their season on Friday as they took on Lakeville North in the first dual match.
After facing a 14-0 deficit in the first three weight classes, East Ridge came storming back. Vito Massa had a technical fall at 126-pounds and then Tanner Holt got a forfeit at 132-pounds to make it a 14-11 deficit.
After a couple more forfeits, the Raptors were leading 29-14 and it became a pin show for East Ridge. Roman Rogotzke, Ethan Pittman and Sam Tollison each earned a pin to give the Raptors a comfortable lead and, eventually, the 47-32 win to grab the first win of the season.
After Lakeville North, East Ridge faced off with Shakopee on the mats.
The Sabres built a 26-0 lead in the first few wrestlers, which put the Raptors in a big hole to climb out of. Hunter Lyden, Royce Hogue and Tollison each earned a pin in their matches, but it wasn't enough as East Ridge fell to Shakopee with a 60-18 final score.
The Raptors also participated in the Faribault Invitational on Saturday and saw a few wrestlers earn some great honors to open up the season.
Matt Hogue earned second place in the 106-pound weight class, while Lyden became the 138-pound champion. Rogotzke was a champion as well in the 160-pound weight class and Pittman earned a second-place finish in the 170-pound division.