IOWA-GRANT - When Lancaster’s 2012-13 prep wrestling schedule was released, attention was immediately drawn to Nov. 29, not just because it happened to be the season opener, but because it was against Iowa-Grant.
The Flying Arrows entered this season as the state’s top ranked team in division 3, while the Panthers came in ranked No. 5, making last Thursday night’s dual meet an important season opener for both squads.
As expected, the dual came down to the final few weight classes, but in the end, Lancaster came away with a 36-34 victory, and started the season with a 1-0 record.
Coach Brad Sturmer’s squad recorded four pins, two decisions and one forfeit, giving them 36 points.
The Panthers scored their 34 points on two pins, two forfeits, one major decision and two regular decisions.
Thursday’s match started out at 113 pounds, where Iowa-Grant’s Jordan Jenks recorded a 5-3 decision over Lancaster sophomore Tyson Wolf.
Lancaster then jumped out to a 24-3 lead after the next five weight classes, as Dustin Reynolds was awarded a forfeit at 120 pounds, and was followed by pins from Cole Martin at 126 pounds and Joe Crosby at 132.
Lancaster junior Kyle Mezera made the jump from 132 to 138 pounds, where he collected a narrow 4-3 victory over Luke Nowak, while Trenton Cornell managed a decisive 9-3 victory over state qualifier, Tucker Sarbacker at 145 pounds.
Iowa-Grant closed the gap a bit with a decision at 152 pounds, followed by a forfeit at 160.
Pins by Ethan Soderstrom at 170 pounds, and David Chadd at 182, gave Lancaster a 36-12 advantage with only four weight classes remaining.
Knowing that they were going to forfeit at 285 pounds and give up six points, the Arrows were just looking not to give up pins in the other three matches.
At 195 pounds, the Panthers got a much-needed pin to make the score 36-18, but with a forfeit coming at 285 pounds, it was more like 36-24.
Next up was Lancaster senior John VanDeHey at 220 pounds, against a very tough competitor in Cody Rider.
A very scary moment came in the first period of the match, when VanDeHey was put on his back, but managed to escape.
For the next two periods, VanDeHey stayed off his back, and by losing the match, 15-2, secured the victory for Lancaster.
Following the forfeit at 285 pounds, the Panthers got a pin at 106, closing out the meet with a 36-34 score.
“It was a tough opponent right away, and plus it’s been a tough start to the season,” said Lancaster coach Brad Sturmer. “The football team going to state threw a little kink in the first week, and that’s a positive thing. Plus, last week was a tough week for everybody.”
“We were kind of knocked down here at the beginning of the season in different ways, and we needed to get right back up and be ready to wrestle this dual,” Sturmer explained.
“One thing we talked about was what they could do individually to help the team win and hopefully that a victory for Lancaster would bring a lift to the community and give just a little bit of help in the healing process of everything that’s happened.”
Dealing with some early-season injuries, Lancaster was without seniors Jake Slater and Cody Glass last week.
Slater, who is expected to wrestle at 152 pounds, is recovering from concussion symptoms, while Glass, who could wrestle at 170 or 182 pounds, is dealing with a shin injury from football.
Last Saturday the Flying Arrows participated in the Reedsburg Scramble, where they finished first of nine teams with 205.5 total points.
Lancaster had four champions and two runners-up, while three others finished third in Saturday’s meet.
Taking top honors were Cole Martin at 126 pounds, Kyle Mezera at 132, Trenton Cornell at 145 and David Chadd at 182.
Taking second in their respective weight class were Tyson Wolf at 106 pounds, and Ethan Soderstrom at 170, who forfeited in the championship match due to a neck injury sustained during the semifinals.
So far this season, Lancaster has four undefeated wrestlers in Martin (6-0), Mezera (6-0), Cornell (6-0) and Chadd (6-0).
Soderstrom is 5-1 with an injury default, while Wolf is 4-2, Dustin Reynolds 4-2, Lizzy Austin 3-2 and John VanDeHey 3-3.
Other individual records include: Dan Rice (2-3), Alex Withy (2-4) and Connor Flynn (2-4).
Following this past Tuesday night’s home dual against Prairie du Chien, the Arrows will head to Tomah on Saturday.
(from Thursday, Nov. 29, at Iowa-Grant)
113 - Jordan Jenks (IG/H) def. Tyson Wolf, 5-3.
120 - Dustin Reynolds (L) won by forfeit.
126 - Cole Martin (L) pinned McClain Marshall, 1:07.
132 - Joe Crosby (L) pinned Weston Saturn, 1:24.
138 - Kyle Mezera (L) def. Luke Nowak, 4-3.
145 - Trenton Cornell (L) def. Tucker Sarbacker, 9-3.
152 - Brian Halverson (IG/H) def. Alex Withey, 4-2.
160 - Blake Bomkamp (IG/H) won by forfeit.
170 - Ethan Soderstrom (L) pinned Ross Caygill, 1:09.
182 - David Chadd (L) pinned Kyle Soderstrom, 3:11.
195 - Derek Peat (IG/H) pinned Connor Flynn, 1:23.
220 - Cody Rider (IG/H) won by major decision over John VanDeHey, 15-2.
285 - Ben McFall (IG/H) won by forfeit.
106 - Shania Sarbacker (IG/H) pinned Troy Deiter, 1:26.