Wrestling: Woodbury, East Ridge compete in strong invitationals over the weekend
It was a busy weekend for both East Ridge and Woodbury.
The Royals hosted a quadrangular on Thursday night and took off for the Chisago Lakes Invitational on Friday night. The Raptors wrestled Roseville and Forest Lake on Thursday night before heading down to Rochester for the big Christmas tournament on Friday and Saturday.
Both teams had their eyes on having most to all their wrestlers place on the podium and those expectations were met on Friday and Saturday.
Woodbury High School was packed on Thursday night as head coach Justin Smith prepared for some tough competition. The Royals invited Mounds View, Lakeville South and Tartan to the Lions Den.
Woodbury wrestled all three teams and went 2-1 on the night. The Royals started the night with a 46-20 loss to Mounds View, but came firing back with a 68-4 win over Tartan. Finally, Woodbury continued that winning streak and won 51-21 against Lakeville South to end the night.
"I was happy with how we stayed conditioned throughout the entire night," Smith said. "After the hard loss to Mounds View, our wrestlers didn't give up and fought back to get a big win."
Conditioning was one of the biggest things Smith brought up when Woodbury opened the season at Armstrong. Since then, he said he's seen so much improvement from all the wrestlers and it's shown on the mat.
Instead of giving the wrestlers a break on Friday, Smith decided to schedule an invitational that night.
"We sometimes do back-to-back nights for wrestling," Smith said. "We want them to be prepared for section and state tournaments because those tournaments will be consecutive days in a row."
The Woodbury wrestlers didn't disappoint on Friday night in Chisago Lakes.
The team as a whole brought home a second-place finish, but the Royals had four individuals that reached the finals.
Alex Braun had a decision and a fall to give him the opportunity to wrestle in the finals. He lost in the finals to earn second place.
Cole West has two falls in the quarterfinals and semifinals to advance to the finals. He continued his dominance and became the champion for his weight class.
Brady Moesenthin advanced to the finals with a fall and a decision. He lost in the finals to take the second place spot.
Mason Barrows has two falls and kept that momentum rolling into the finals with a win.
It was a busy night on Thursday for the Raptors as they took on two tough teams.
They started the night with dual against Roseville and won 58-21 to take the first win. Then, their eyes were set on Forest Lake, but East Ridge wasn't able to get the victory. The Raptors fell 49-21 to make it a 1-1 record on Thursday night.
After that night, the focus changed on wrestling in Rochester with some of the best wrestlers in the state. It was a two-day tournament, but East Ridge was determined to bring back wrestlers on the second day.
The Raptors did just that as they had eight wrestlers advance to Saturday for a chance at the podium in their weight classes.
Matt Hogue lost in the first round, while Vito Massa had a bye in the first round and lost in the second round. Tanner Holt also had a bye in the first round, but lost in the second round.
Hunter Lyden had a strong weekend as he won the first four rounds, but lost in the semifinals. He finished third in his weight class after pinning down an Owatonna wrestler.
Royce Hogue lost in the first round, but Roman Rogotzke had a small run. He won the first three rounds and lost in the quarterfinals.
Ethan Pittman had a bye in the first round and won the next round, but lost to the top seed of his weight class. Marco Cavallaro won his first two rounds before losing in the quarterfinals.
This weekend was a big learning weekend for the Raptors as they have one more week before the holidays.