Crookston won the tournament and sent six wrestlers to the All-Tournament Team.
One day after a close 39-37 loss at the hands of Hillsboro, the Crookston wrestlers returned with a vengeance at the Mahnomen-Waubun Dual Tournament winning all four of their duals. The clean sweep gave the Pirates the team championship and saw six of their wrestlers earn All-Tournament honors, the most of any school at the invitational.
“It was awesome,” Head Coach Wes Hanson said. “We wrestled really well and it was a lot of fun. It was nice to be able to bounce back from [the last dual].”
The night for the Pirates started with a competition against Red Lake Country Central, a team Crookston previously beat this season. With seven open weights for RLCC, the Pirates were able to snag 42 free points in the dual.
Along with the forfeit points, Crookston earned points from a pins by seventh grader Ethan Bowman, seventh grader Braxton Volker, freshman Cameron Weiland, senior Jake Wagner and senior Collin Leckie. The pins and forfeits helped Crookston cruise to a 66-15 win.
The Pirates next faced Wadena-Deer Creek. After suffering a tiebreaker loss to WDC last season, the Pirates felt an extra urge to avenge their defeat.
“I think the guys kind of felt like we had to go prove how good we are,” Hanson said. “The guys were fired up to wrestle Wadena because we lost to them last year.”
Crookston rattled off 10 pins in 14 matches to earn a 66-12 win. Winning by fall for the Pirates were freshman Zach Brown, freshman Nolan Dans, Volker, Weiland, sophomore Cameron Hulst, seventh grader Ethan Boll, senior Colton Weiland, junior Lukas Meier, senior Jake Davidson and Leckie. The other win for Crookston came from senior Luis Argueta after a forfeit.
In the third dual of the night, the Pirates faced their closest match of the evening, but Crookston still took the match by a score of 51-21 against Pelican Rapids.
Brown started the match off with a win by fall. After two wins by decision for Pelican Rapids, the Pirates went on to win six matches in a row with pins from Cameron Weiland, Colton Weiland and Meier. Hulst and Boll earned wins by forfeit. Senior Luke Trandem won by decision 12-8 to give Crookston a 39-6 lead.
Pelican Rapids won the next three matches with two pins and one decision to cut the deficit to 39-21, but Crookston took the final two matches with a pin by Wagner and a forfeit win for Leckie to win 51-21.
Finally, Crookston ended the tournament against the hosting Mahnomen-Waubun. Six open weights by Mahnomen-Waubun granted the Pirates 36 points en route to a Pirates’ victory by a score of 61-12.
Cameron Weiland won his fourth match of the competition winning by decision 8-4. Boll took his fourth match winning by major decision 14-4 which was followed by Colton Weiland’s third pin of the night and fourth win. Wagner won by fall to give Crookston their 21st pin of the tournament.
“A standout performance for me was Jake Wagner’s,” Hanson said. “He wrestled his best matches of the season. He showed a lot of offense and was dominant tonight. He beat two opponents who he lost to in December. Shows that he’s improving.”
The four wins improved the Pirates’ record to 8-3 in duals. Meier, Boll, Cameron Weiland, Brown, Wagner and Colton Weiland won all four of their matches granting them All-Tournament Team honors.
“The guys were very excited and they enjoyed themselves tonight,” Hanson said. “They had a lot of fun and ultimately, that’s what it’s all about.”
Crookston heads home for their first home dual of 2018 against Roseau on Thursday, January 11 beginning at 7 p.m.