By Bruce Strand
The breakout season by the Rogers Royals wrestling team did not end with any podium finishes at the state tournament.
The Royals, with an 18-6 record, section runner-up finish and seven state qualifiers, had by far the best season in the program’s 10-year history. However, their final goal of adding state medals to their only one so far (by Todd Klemz, fifth, in 2008) didn’t come to fruition.
The three Royals were still going in wrestle backs Saturday all were stopped short. Senior 145-pound Connor Larson (26-15) lost 2-1 to Justin Jenks (32-15) of Little Falls and finished his career with 99 wins. Junior 152-pound Jordan Bond (26-16) lost 20-5 to Justin Herold-Platuk (43-4) of Woodbury. Sophomore 285-pound Andrew Piehl (33-9) lost 8-3 to Payton Otterdahl (36-7) of Rosemount.
On Friday, Philip Anderson and Jake Owens each had a win, then two losses, while Jordan Lemcke was 0-2 and Tyler Eicher 0-1.
In earlier action, three of Rogers’ seven state wrestling tournament entrants — Connor Larson, Jordan Bond and Andrew Piehl — remained in Class AAA medal contention after Friday’s first three rounds.
Larson, a senior, and Bond, a junior, each lost in the first round but won in wrestle backs to stay alive. Piehl, sophomore heavyweight, had a win, loss, and win.
Philip Anderson and Jake Owens each won in the first round, then lost twice. Jordan Lemcke lost twice. Tyler Eicher lost and didn’t get a wrestle back.
The wrestle back rounds for all classes on Saturday start 9:30 a.m., with consolation semifinals at 12:45 p.m., and third- and fifth-place matches at 4:30 p.m.
Larson (26-14), after losing in the section finals to the No. 2 ranked wrestler, Osseo’s Carson Brolsma, faced No. 1 ranked Mark Voss (44-2) of St. Michael-Albertville, in the first round of state. Voss prevailed 11-2.
When Voss won his next match, Larson got a wrestle back, and defeated Jake Anderson (37-11) of Hastings 3-2, his 99th career win. Larson faces No. 10 Justin Jenks (31-13) of Little Falls next.
Bond (26-14), 152-pound junior, lost in the first round to No. 7 Davionte Young (30-7) of Apple Valley 11-1 at 152 pounds. When Young won his next match, Bond got a wrestle back and defeated John Byers (27-18) of Mound-Westonka 2-1. Bond faces Justin Herold-Plakut (40-4) of Woodbury, who was top-ranked entering the tournament.
Piehl (33-8) had the lone takedown and beat Leon Richards (33-6) of Willmar 3-1 in the first round. He lost to No. 4 Bryce Kirchner (34-3) of St. Cloud Apollo 11-1 but bounced back 10-2 over Peter Palecek (32-11) of Stillwater in wrestle backs . Piehl goes against No. 9 Payton Otterdahl (34-6) of Rosemount next.
Anderson (37-4), 138-pound senior in his third state tournament, opened with an 11-0 conquest of Drake Heath (26-9) of Mound-Westonka. Anderson, ranked No, 5, fell to No. 2 James Pleski (35-3) of Forest Lake 11-4 in the quarterfinals, and was pinned by No. 7 Alex Coleman (34-7) of Shakopee in 4:53 in wrestle backs. Anderson, the Royals’ career win leader, finished with a 141-34 record.
Owens (32-8), 220-pound junior, won his first match over Haden Hausken (23-14) of Stillwater 5-3, then lost to No. 5 Kyle Chromy (39-6) of Cambridge-Isanti 9-1. In wrestle backs Owens was pinned by Sam Adams (24-6) of Brainerd-Pillager in 2:24.
Tyler Eicher (31-7), 182-pound senior, lost to fellow District 728 student A.J. Hannan (23-4) of Elk River 12-2 in the first round at 182 pounds, and when Hannan lost in the second round, Eicher did not get a wrestle back.
Lemcke (30-10), 195-pound junior ranked No. 8, lost in the first round to No. 2 Rylee Streifel (44-3) of Forest Lake 4-1. When Streifel won again in the second round, Lemcke got a wrestle back, but was ousted by No. 4 Jake Briggs (40-7) of St. Michael-Albertville 3-2.