Delano invitational set for Saturday
BY DAVID PEDERSEN
One of the early-season wrestling matches for Rockford and Delano is often against each other. That was the case last week when the Tigers got off to a good start with a 49-18 win.
Another tradition at the start is the annual Delano Invitational, set this season for 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Teams entered include state power Apple Valley, Waconia, Dassel-Cokato, Watertown-Mayer, Foley and St. Peter.
The Rockets have two open weight classes resulting in 12 free points for Delano. One match involved a double forfeit. Otherwise there were a lot of pins or major decisions, especially by Delano.
“A win always feels good, although we try to focus on our effort and performance and then evaluate that afterwards,” said coach Jeff Olson. “I think every single wrestler for us had at least something positive they showed to build off of. We have a lot to work on yet and a very difficult schedule in front of us. But all in all, it was a great opening night for us.”
Olson said his lineup is made up of wrestlers in three different categories, including veterans with significant varsity experience, middle-upper classmen with limited varsity experience and some young guys new to varsity action.
“The veterans pretty much did what we would expect and dominated their opponents,” adds Olson about the Rockford match. “But I think the fun part was to see all the other guys stepping up and give a lot of great efforts out there.”
Tanner Kroells of Delano opened the match with a pin of Lucas Klonne at 106. Delano’s defending state champ Tucker Sjomeling won by forfeit at 113 as did Camden Tschudi at 120.
At 126 pounds, Delano’s Cole Paskach won by a technical fall over Colton Weber. , R, 4:00 18-3. 132: Sam Oeffling of Delano posted a 9-7 decision over Griffin Ekberg at 132.
Rockford got on the board when Ty Griffin, who also owns a state title, pinned Kameron Anderson at 138. Delano’s Zach Knight also won a close 10-8 decision over Fordy Thorson at 145.
Delano got major decision wins from Marty Soderberg over Chance Pwinell at 152 and by Steven Hajas at 160 against Bradly Scribner.
Rockford stormed back with a pin at 170 by Eric Dahl over Seth Streachek. At 182, Thomas Reinking pinned Delano’s Sawyer Nelson. The Tigers took back the momentum with a pin by Aaron Wagner at 195 over Nick Selly and a pin by Kevin Kneisl over Max Gulsivg at 285.
Both teams took part in Saturday tournaments. Delano placed sixth of 12 teams at the Fridley Invitational and Rockford was 11 of 12 at the Maple Grove tournament.
The Tigers crowned three champions at Fridley, including Sjomeling at 112, Wagner at 195 and Kneisl at 285. Kroells was fourth at 106. Paskach was fifth at 126 and Soderberg finished fifth at 152.
Griffin won the 138-pound class at Maple Grove. The senior posted two pins, earned a 5-3 decision in the semifinals and claimed the crown with a 4-0 victory. Klonne took fourth at 106 and Eckberg was fifth at 132.
Rockford has home meets scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 12 against Watertown-Mayer and Tuesday, Dec. 17 against Pierz and Eden Valley-Watkins. The Rockets are at Brooklyn Center Thursday, Dec. 19.
Before playing host to the Delano invite, the Tigers wrestle at Orono Friday, Dec. 13. The team is home Thursday, Dec. 19 against Waconia, Mound-Westonka and Orono in what is called a double dual meet.