Fresh off his team’s 51-18 victory over host Richland Center last Thursday night, Lancaster wrestling coach Brad Sturmer told one of his assistant coaches that he was ready for some tight duals.
Coach Sturmer got his wish on the following Saturday when the Flying Arrows participated in the Portage Duals against some of the toughest teams in the state.
The Flying Arrows, who hold the state’s No. 1 ranking among division 3 teams according to Crossface Magazine, went 4-0 on the day against the likes of Portage, Sauk Prairie, Edgar and Lodi in the six-team tournament.
Four individuals also went 4-0 on the day, and include: Tyson Wolfe (106), Kyle Mezera (126), Ethan Soderstrom (160) and David Chadd (171).
Lancaster’s day began with a convincing 63-15 win over host Portage, where the Flying Arrows recorded seven pins, received three forfeits, and got one decision.
Next up for the Arrows was Sauk Prairie, who entered the meet ranked No. 10 in the Division 1 field.
“I had a pretty good idea that they might be the toughest team to be there,” said coach Sturmer of Sauk Prairie. “Even though I know most of our guys were looking forward to the Edgar dual.”
After the first three matches which began at 138 pounds, Lancaster trailed, 16-0, but then the Arrows made a little run in the next four matches, which surprisingly involved two losses.
After David Chadd and Cody Glass each collected decisions at 170 and 182 pounds, Connor Flynn and John VanDeHey each lost by decisions to two of Sauk Prairie’s top wrestlers.
“We were pretty impressed that Connor went out and only got beat by five points, and then John went out and he kept it to a decision also, getting beat 7-2,” said Sturmer. “That was really important when you’re in a tight dual.”
Flynn scored the last four points in his 195-pound match to lose 9-4 and avoid a major decision, which wound up being a big deal in Lancaster’s 32-31 victory.
After trailing 28-10, Lancaster went on a nice run with pins by Tyson Wolf, Cole Martin and a forfeit to Kyle Mezera.
Sauk Prairie’s Aaron Hankins, who normally wrestles at 126, took his chances wrestling up a weight against Joe Crosby, leaving a forfeit for Mezera.
Down by three points going into the last match of the dual, everyone knew Crosby needed a major decision to secure the team victory.
After the first period, Crosby held a slim 2-1 lead.
In the second, he used three takedowns and gave up two escapes to hold a 9-3 lead going into the third.
In the third, Crosby took an 11-4 lead on a takedown and gave up another escape. With 45 seconds remaining, Crosby turned a six-point advantage into an eight point lead with a takedown, then held on the remainder of the time for the 13-5 victory.
Ironically, that was Crosby’s only match of the day, as he hadn’t been feeling good.
Lancaster’s next match was against fourth-ranked Edgar, who previously to the meet was ranked No. 2 behind the Arrows.
After four matches, Lancaster held an 8-7 lead, then the Arrows gave up back-to-back pins at 182 and 195 to the Nowak twins, who coach Sturmer described at “complete animals.”
At 220 pounds, VanDeHey won a 3-2 decision, but Brandon Richardson followed up by getting pinned at 285.
With six weight classes remaining, Lancaster trailed 25-11.
The Arrows then used three forfeits, one pin and a decision to outscore Edgar 27-3 in the final six matches and collect a 38-28 victory.
The only loss in that time came at 126 pounds, where Cole Martin wrestled up a weight and lost an 8-4 decision to Devin Lemanski, who finished third at state last year.
The two wrestled each other at state last year in the 106-pound weight class, where Martin won the match, 9-5 to finish second.
The team’s final match of the day came against Lodi, who entered the meet ranked seventh among division 2 teams.
“The match of this dual meet, and may be the whole tournament, was at 120, where Cole (Martin) wrestled John Joutras,” said Sturmer.
Joutras placed fourth at state last year in division 2, and is ranked second in division 2 at 120 pounds this year.
With Martin not feeling well, coach Sturmer gave it some thought not even to wrestle him in this match.
“We could tell that as the dual meet got closer to his weight class, he was just going to have to suck it up,” Sturmer said of Martin.
“So he goes out there and takes him down twice in the first period to go up 4-1. And then the kid chose down in the second and Cole turned him and pinned him. It was pretty sweet,” Sturmer added.
Martin’s pin, along with back-to-back pins from Mezera and Rice, sealed a 37-33 victory for the Flying Arrows, and allowed them to go 4-0 on the day.
“It was definitely a test for us,” said Sturmer of the Portage Duals. “When I entered us into the Portage Duals last year, I knew what teams were going to be there. So I got us into this tournament for the specific reason of challenging us at this stage of the game.”
“It’s one thing in our conference where we’re just killing these teams. It’s nice, but it doesn’t really teach the team how to win tight duals. I think this taught us how to win in tight duals,” Sturmer said.
Richland Center 18
(from Thursday, Jan. 17, at Richland Center)
285 - Kaleb Crook (RC) pinned Brandon Richardson, :24. 106 - Tyson Wolf (L) pinned Isaac Orr, :21. 113 - Troy Deiter (RC) received a forfeit. 120 - Dustin Reynolds (L) def. Trevor Curtis, 7-1.126 - Cole Martin (L) pinned Austen Chafer, 1:59. 132 - Kyle Mezera (L) pinned Andrew Gander, 1:29. 138 - Joe Crosby (L) def. Hunter Whitney, 9-4. 145 - Dan Rice (L) pinned Chase Dilley, 3:46. 152 - Alex Withey (L) def. Keegan Stibbe, 6-5. 160 - Ethan Soderstrom (L) pinned Brandon Banker, :57. 170 - Joshua Kidd (RC) def. Cody Glass, 3-1. 182 - David Chadd (L) pinned Silas Coleman, 3:07. 195 - Mark Doudna (RC) pinned Connor Flynn, 2:55. 220 - Jace Simonson (RC) won in third tie breaker over John VanDeHey, 4-1.
(from Saturday, Jan. 19)
Lancaster 63, Portage 15
132 - Dan Rice (L) pinned Sawyer Timme, :23. 138 - Joe Crosby (L) received a forfeit. 145 - Jacob Poches (P) pinnd Alex Withey, 4:00. 152 - Trenton Cornell (L) pinned Alex Jerome, 1:13. 160 - Ethan Soderstrom (L) pinned Cristian Naxi, :49. 170 - Cody Glass (L) pinned Josh Parks, 3:30. 182 - David Chadd (L) pinned Brandon Askey, 1:36. 195 - Connor Flynn (L) def. David Rusher, 6-5. 220 - Josh Kowalk (P) def. John VanDeHey, 5-3. 285 - Spencer Shier (P) pinned Brandon Richardson, 5:07. 106 - Tyson Wolf (L) received a forfeit. 113 - Dustin Reynolds (L) received a forfeit. 120 - Cole Martin (L) pinned Hunter Hayes, 2:44. 126 - Kyle Mezera (L) pinned Mitchell Golke, 1:36.
Lancaster 32, Sauk Prairie 31
138 - Austin Fjoser (SP) won by major deicision over Dan Rice, 13-4. 145 - Austin Powell (SP) pinned Alex Withey, 1:11. 152 - Brandon Sprecher (SP) received a forfeit. 160 - Ethan Soderstrom (L) won by major decision over Chris Chrisler, 12-0. 170 - David Chadd (L) def. Jared Schaaf, 11-8. 182 - Cody Glass (L) def. Abe Bonneville, 4-2. 195 - Gage Neumeier (SP) def. Connor Flynn, 9-4. 220 - Gage Sisbach (SP) def. John VanDeHey, 7-2. 285 - Gavin Halverson (SP) pinned Brandon Richardson, 1:57. 106 - Tyson Wolf (L) pinned Alex Bader, 4:59. 113 - Eddie Smith (SP) def. Dustin Reynolds, 2-1. 120 - Cole Martin (L) pinned Kyle Herbrand, 3:11. 126 - Kyle Mezera (L) received a forfeit. 132 - Joe Crosby (L) won by major decision over Aaron Hankins, 13-5.
Lancaster 38, Edgar 28
145 - Wylie Frahm (E) won by major decision over Alex Withey, 16-2. 152 - Anthony Lemanski (E) won in overtime over Trenton Cornell, 5-3. 160 - Ethan Soderstrom (L) won by major decision over Connor Handrick, 11-0. 170 - David Chadd (L) won by major decision over Zach Schneeberger, 10-2. 182 - Matt Nowak (E) pinned Cody Glass, :23. 195 - Luke Nowak (E) pinned Connor Flynn, :19. 220 - John VanDeHey (L) def. Wesley Dittman, 3-2. 285 - Brad Garveen (E) pinned Brandon Richardson, 3:16. 106 - Tyson Wolf (L) received a forfeit. 113 - Dustin Reynolds (L) pinned Kodi Chase, 1:47. 120 - Owen Austin (L) received a forfeit. 126 - Devin Lemanski (E) def. Cole Martin, 8-4. 132 - Kyle Mezera (L) received a forfeit. 138 - Dan Rice (L) def. Isaac Dahlke, 2-1.
Lancaster 37, Lodi 33
152 - Sam Porter (Lo) received a forfeit. 160 - Ethan Soderstrom (La) def. Joe Conklin, 4-1. 170 - David Chadd (La) pinned Noah Maerz, 3:19. 182 - Cody Glass (La) pinned Logan Gordon, 1:25. 195 - Ryan Ripp (Lo) def. Connor Flynn, 4-2. 220 - Cody Dolson (Lo) def. John VanDeHey, 2-1. 285 - Ryland Crow (Lo) pinned Brandon Richardson, 1:00. 106 - Tyson Wolf (La) won by major decision over Jacob Busser, 14-5. 113 - Jason Clapper (Lo) def. Dustin Reynolds, 7-3. 120 - Cole Martin (La) pinned John Joutras, 2:31. 126 - Kyle Mezera (La) pinned Grant Robertson, 1:51. 132 - Daniel Rice (La) pinned Cole Endres, 1:37. 138 - Brock Hargis (Lo) received a forfeit. 145 - Kyle Clapper (Lo) pinned Alex Withey, 3:43.