Tigers get head start on way to wrestling victory over Rockets
Apple Valley wins Delano tournament
BY DAVID PEDERSEN
Defending state wrestling champ Ty Griffin of Rockford and state runnerup Myles Hammerlund of Delano stood by and watched as their teams took the mat against each other without them last Thursday.
The battle of neighboring schools featured forfeits and falls when several weight classes were not filled. Only six of the 14 events took place, all involving falls. There were six pins and one technical fall.
Otherwise there were eight forfeits in the match won by Delano 47-36. Delano opened the match by getting six-point forfeits at the first three classes. Connor Dalbec of Delano followed with an 18-3 technical fall.
Griffin won by forfeit to get Rockford on the scoreboard, followed by the Rockets scoring points in five of the next six matches, two by forfeit.
Brad Johnson won by pin in 30 seconds at 138 pounds, Sasha Galka won by pin at 152 and Cano Kado pinned his man at 182. Austin Green of Delano broke up the rally with a pin at 145.
The Tigers scored the last 18 points on two forfeits and a pin by Kevin Kneisl at 285. Delano was up by five points entering the last match, meaning whoever gets the pin gets the win.
“I thought we wrestled pretty well for the most part,” said Delano coach Jeff Olson. “In the matches that I think we were supposed to win and needed to win, we got good performances. And even in the matches we lost, our guys wrestled and fought hard. They were just overmatched with experience.”
Delano played host to the annual Tiger Invitational Saturday, won by defending state champion Apple Valley. The team won eight weight classes, plus took two seconds and three thirds.
Delano was sixth when three Tigers placed third. Eighth grader Tucker Sjomeling went 3-1 at 106 pounds, losing to the second place finisher.
Dalbec finished third at 126, only losing to class champion Brock Morgan from Apple Valley who was named wrestler of the meet. Sophomore Aaron Wagner also lost to the champion from Apple Valley.
Delano is home against Orono, 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13 before going to face Watertown-Mayer Tuesday, Dec. 18.
Johnson of Rockford claimed the crown at 138 pounds at Saturday’s Maple Grove Invitational. He won two matches by pin and another by a 6-0 score.
Griffin placed second at a tourney for the second time this season. After winning by a pin and 6-0 at 132 pounds, the Rocket wrestler lost 1-0 to Dustin Weinmann of Irondale.
Rockford wrestled at Chanhassen in a meet that includes Eden Prairie starting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13. The team returns home to face Kimball Area, 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18.