WABASSO - Despite playing host to three of the best wrestling teams in the state on Saturday, the Wabasso/Red Rock Central Bobcats went 3-0 at their home tournament to remain unbeaten on the season. The Bobcats, ranked fourth in Class A, defeated the Canby Lancers 48-12 before defending their home gym against a pair of 10th-ranked squads. Adrian Area, ranked 10th in Class AA, fell to the Bobcats 42-30, and the Zumbrota-Mazeppa Cougars, ranked 10th in Class A, lost by a score of 44-15.
"Overall I thought we performed pretty well," Bobcats co-head coach Brett Bartholomaus said. "I would say if we were to grade the performance, it would probably be somewhere in the B or B-plus area. Definitely some individuals that need to keep improving and step it up a little bit for our team to continue to improve."
The 3-0 day on Saturday wrapped up a 6-0 week for the Bobcats (13-0 overall), who displayed both depth and balance in their home gym.
"Over the week we wrestled six duals and we only had one undefeated wrestler, which speaks two different types of volumes," Bartholomaus said. "One would be that we have tremendous balance, but we are lacking the superstar. We need to take it one match at a time and keep improving because we don't have a guy that's ranked number one in the state, we don't have a guy that's unbeatable. We have good balance and that's where our team's strength lies right now."
Alex Schroepfer did his best to fill the superstar void for the Bobcats, as the junior heavyweight went a perfect 3-0 for the Bobcats, but wrestled for just 39 seconds.
"He definitely did what he could do against those heavyweights," Bartholomaus said. "He likes to go out there and be aggressive and take care of business. And that's what he did (Saturday). I was pretty pleased; but on the coaching standpoint, how do you gauge what we need to work on by only wrestling 39 seconds? Obviously he's doing the job he's supposed to be doing at this point."
Schroepfer pinned Canby's Gavin Benz in 10 seconds, while his longest match of the day was a 21-second pin fall over Adrian's Quinn Cleveland. In his shortest match, Schroepfer took just eight seconds to pin Zumbrota's Shane Bode.
Five other Bobcats went undefeated on Saturday.
Caleb Kemp went 2-0 at 132 pounds, while Jordan Schroepfer and Blake Altermatt went 3-0 with a pin fall each. Tanner Rohlik and Spencer Jenniges also went 3-0, though Rohlik scored two pin falls on the day.
Jenniges, wrestling at 113 pounds, was crucial to helping the Bobcats get off to quick starts in their wins over Zumbrota-Mazeppa and Canby. With Jenniges a near lock for points at the start of the dual and Alex Schroepfer imposing his will at the end, the Bobcats have been able to ease the pressure of performance across the whole team.
"Having a good starter and good closer is something that makes my job as a coach a lot easier," Bartholomaus said. "If we can jump out to a big start then we know where we're at in the dual. In team wrestling you talk about momentum. If we can get the momentum on our side to start, then we don't have to worry about other people thinking too much and thinking they have to do too much. That's a lot of pressure to put on a high school kid. Starting out with a lead is always a plus."
Of the 13 pins recorded by the Bobcats on the day, perhaps none were more important to maintaining their unbeaten season than Rohlik's pin of Adrian's Mitchell Wagner at 152 pounds.
Rohlik's pin after just 44 seconds gave the Bobcats a 21-18 lead in the dual, their first lead against the Dragons. The Bobcats would record three more pin falls over the final six matches to hand the Dragons just their second loss of the season.
"Adrian is a familiar opponent and we know that Adrian is a team, has always been a team, where if we punch them they're going to punch back," Bartholomaus said. "I like to think we are kind of the same mold. If we have something bad happen, we will be able to fight back and I think that's kind of been our thing all year long. We know where our strengths are, we know what we need to improve on.
"In team wrestling everyone has a job to do and everyone knows what they're job is day in, day out. Against Adrian, we knew it was going be back and forth and we were fortunate to come out with a win in that one."
The Bobcats will put their undefeated mark on the line again on Tuesday as they travel to St. James for a triangular with the Saints and Madelia/Truman/Martin Luther.
Canby, the only unranked team at the tournament, fell to Adrian 35-31, but defeated Zumbrota-Mazeppa 35-28. Adam Evenson and Jack Citrowske both went 3-0 for the Lancers, who move to 15-5 in duals on the season.
The Lancers led the Cougars by as many as 20 points during their dual, but saw Zumbrota-Mazeppa get within four points at 26-22 after five consecutive match victories. Cole Regnier's second-period pin of Andy Siems gave the Lancers a 10-point lead with just two matches to go, while Evenson's 4-0 decision over Jordan Runinngen secured the victory.
Against Adrian, the Lancers found themselves in a hole quickly. Trailing 29-10, however, Canby started a comeback and won five of the final six matches. Unfortunately for the Lancers, they simply just ran out of wrestlers in their bid for the upset of the Dragons.
Canby will be back in action on Thursday for a home triangular with Ortonville and the eighth-ranked Minneota Vikings.
Dual Results: Wabasso/Red Rock Central 48, Canby 12; Adrian Area 41, Zumbrota-Mazeppa 28; Wabasso/RRC 44, Z-M 15; Adrian 35, Canby 31; Wabasso/RRC 42, Adrian 31; Canby 35, Z-M 38.
Wabasso/RRC Individual Records
106-Mitchell Fulton, 2-1
113-Spencer Jenniges, 3-0
120-Josh Altermatt, 1-2
126-Derek Christians, 2-1
132-Caleb Kemp, 2-0; Cole Anderson 0-1
138-TJ Fulton, 2-1
145-Dominic Ourada, 0-3
152-Tanner Rohlik, 3-0
160-Blake Altermatt, 3-0
170-Mitchell Schroepfer, 2-1
182-Brady Bierl, 2-1
195-Jordan Schroepfer, 3-0
220-Brian Hagberg, 0-3
Hwt-Alex Schroepfer, 3-0
Canby Individual Records
106-Wyatt Johansen, 1-1; Nick Antony, 0-1
113-Konnor King, 0-3
120-Jack Citrowske, 3-0
126-Quentin Beiningen, 2-1
132-Billy Deslauriers, 1-2
138-Nick Stoks, 2-1
145-Austin Campbell, 1-2
152-Levi Citrowske, 0-2; Jesse Lokken 0-1
160-John Deslauriers, 2-1
170-Hayden Goplen, 0-2; Bryce Gorder, 1-0
182-Christian Full, 1-2
195-Cole Regnier, 2-1
220-Adam Evenson, 3-0
Hwt-Gavin Benz, 0-2