MARSHALL - Since the holiday break, nothing has stopped the Honey Badger.
A nickname from college football and Youtube lore, the Marshall wrestling coaches gave eighth-grader Nick Erbes the nickname for his tenacity on the mat.
"I've been starting to wrestle a lot better, working harder in practice," the soft-spoken Erbes said. "Staying aggressive and working on takedowns every single day."
Photo by Joe Brown
Jackson County Central’s Ryan Timko holds onto the ankle of Marshall’s Ramzi Gregoire during the 132-pound match of Thursday’s competition between the Huskies and Tigers at Marshall High School.
And over the last three weeks, Erbes has been a force for the Tigers at 113 and 120 pounds.
"Nick is wrestling super well right now. I think before Christmas break, he's 10-0 and he's just wrestling outstanding," said Marshall head coach Justin Bouwman. "He's doing anything we ask him to do. (On Thursday), we bumped him up, he gave up some weight and he wrestled really well."
With Marshall hosting Southwest Conference foes Jackson County Central and Worthington, the Honey Badger was on the attack. Against the Huskies, Erbes battled with Ryker VanderWoude, pinning the JCC seventh-grader in 5 minutes, 42 seconds.
Jackson County Central 45, Marshall 23
106-Kyle Edlin (JCC) pinned Tristan Bukowski, 1:04
113-Nick Erbes (M) pinned Ryker VanderWoude, 5:42
120-Cameron Henning (JCC) pinned Brent Breczinski, 1:56
126-Riley Roth (M) tech. fall Kyle Kapplinger, 16-1
132-Ramzi Gregoire (M) pinned Ryan Timko, 4:27
138-Keegan Moore (JCC) pinned Matt Facile, 0:36
145-Connor Gumto (JCC) won by forfeit
170-Darick Vancura (JCC) pinned Campbell Hofstetter, 0:24
182-Nate Guggisberg (JCC) pinned Brandon Appel, 2:52
195-JCC won by forfeit
220-Justin Varpness (M) pinned Jack Ziemer, 2:09
HWT-Alex Tewes (JCC) dec. Austin Nath, 4-3
Worthington 48, Marshall 27
106-Hser Eh Pwae (W) pinned Toby Semler, 1:04
113-Anthony Luft (W) pinned Tristan Bukowski, 4:13
120-Nick Erbes (M) dec. Vince Riley, 2-1
126-Riley Roth (M) pinned Torey Rogers, 2:20
132-Jared Kinley (W) pinned Ramzi Gregoire, 3:31
138-Matt Facile (M) pinned Nate Gustaf, 3:20
145-Matt Poppema (W) pinned Garrett Maxwell, 0:20
152-Zach Bruns (W) won by forfeit
160-Zach Kempema (W) pinned Jarrett Louwagie, 1:52
170-Campbell Hofstetter (M) dec. Blake Schroeder, 7-3
182-Carson Hagen (W) pinned Brandon Appel, 1:13
195-Joe Pavelko (W) won by forfeit
220-Justin Varpness (M) dec. Brandon Riemersma, 3-0
HWT-Jake Holbrook (M) won by forfeit
Against Worthington's Vince Riley, the two lightweights duked it out and were tied at 0 after two periods. But thanks to a pair of escapes in the third period, Erbes kept his hot streak going in a 2-1 decision.
"I knew I was going to get away," Erbes said. "I kept moving and I didn't stop."
Bouwman added, "That's a big match for Nick. If you're moving somebody up, you're hoping for whatever you can get out of them."
But things did not go easy for the Tigers at home on Thursday, as they fell 45-23 to JCC, the No. 1-ranked team in Class A, then suffered a 48-27 loss to the Trojans.
Against the Huskies, the Tigers held a 17-12 advantage after five matches, thanks to pinfall victories by Erbes and Ramzi Gregoire (132 pounds), and a 16-1 technical fall by Riley Roth over Kyle Kapplinger. But thanks to a pinfall by Keegan Moore over Matt Facile at 138 pounds and a forfeit at 145 pounds, the Huskies quickly took a 24-17 advantage. Following a pair of double forfeits, Darick Vancura, ranked No. 1 in Class A at 160 pounds, pinned Campbell Hofstetter in 24 seconds in the 170-pound match. Nate Guggisberg added another pinfall for JCC, catching Marshall's Brandon Appel at 2:52.
Justin Varpness grabbed the last victory of the dual for the Tigers, pinning Jack Ziemer in 2:09. At heavyweight, No. 9-ranked Alex Tewes of JCC outlasted Austin Nath, winning in a 4-3 decision.
"With JCC, you know what you're going to get. They're going to come and they're going to be good and give you everything they have," Bouwman said. "They got numbers, they got guys all the way around, and they have quality guys all the way through.
"I thought our guys did an outstanding job by stepping up, winning some big matches and scoring some points that a lot of teams wouldn't have thought we'd get."
JCC went 2-0 at the triangular, defeating the Trojans 41-34 in the second dual.
Against Worthington in their second dual, the Tigers had more of a slugfest than a fast-paced, pin-heavy matchup.
The Trojans took a 12-0 lead after two matches before Erbes won by decision and Roth snatched a pinfall at 2:20 to close the gap to 12-9.
Jared Kinley, ranked ninth in Class AA at 126 pounds, secured a pinfall for Worthington at 3:31 against Ramzi Gregoire at 132 pounds, but Matt Facile responded for Marshall with a pin of his own, defeating Nate Gustaf at 3:20.
"It's been a long year for Matt," Bouwman said. "He gives up a lot of weight and helps us out by wrestling at 138. He should probably be down at 126 or something like that, but he fills a spot and does an outstanding job."
Worthington won the next three matches to take a commanding 36-15 lead before Campbell Hofstetter put the Tigers back on the board with a 7-3 decision. Varpness added another win, topping Brandon Riemersma in a 3-0 decision at 220 pounds.
Marshall is off for a week before returning to the mat on Jan. 19, hosting SWC foe Windom/Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin.