Pins by Jake Wagner and Collin Leckie sealed the victory for Crookston over the Rams.
In a match that saw eight combined forfeits and only two wins by Crookston other than wins by default, the Pirates did enough to come away with a 42-39 win against the Roseau Rams.
Seniors Jake Wagner and Collin Leckie won with pins in the 195 and 285 weight classes both in the first period which proved to be enough along with the five forfeit victories.
“That’s a super rare occurrence and it hasn’t happened for us ever,” Head Coach Wes Hanson said. “I’m not super thrilled with the way it played out, but we got a nice win by Wagner at 195 to keep us in the dual at that point. Then it came down to Collin and it’s fitting for a couple of seniors to get it done.”
For Leckie, the memory of a similar scenario that did not work in his favor crept into his mind, but the thought of losing this time did not.
“I went in their thinking about the last time I went in with a situation like this,” Leckie said. “The team counted on me and I didn’t make it through and we didn’t win. The only thing I was thinking was, ‘I’m not letting them down again. This is my match. I’m going to finish it and I’m going to do it well.’”
The match started with three straight forfeits by Roseau to award wins to freshmen Zach Brown and Nolans Dans and seventh grader Braxton Volker.
Roseau went on to win the ensuing three matches. First a win by technical fall over freshman Cameron Weiland, then a pin against sophomore Cameron Hulst and finally, a win by fall over seventh grader Ethan Boll.
With the score 18-17 in favor of Crookston, Roseau moved one of their wrestlers, Chandler Mooney, to another weight class. Hanson elected to keep junior Lukas Meier at the original 145 class and let back-to-back forfeits by each team cancel out the points.
“We jumped out to an 18-0 lead and I really wasn’t anticipating them winning the next three matches,” Hanson said. “We had wrestled Chandler Mooney before and he had beaten us twice already. We were kind of looking forward to a rematch, but not at the cost of the dual. I figured it gave ourselves the best opportunity to take the team points instead of playing into the matchups that they wanted to do.”
Roseau followed with a major decision win over senior Luke Trandem and then received six points after a Pirate forfeit in the 170 class to lead 33-24.
Junior Damian Hodgson won by default in 182 bringing the Pirates closer by a score of 33-30 in favor of Roseau with three matches to go.
Wagner pinned his opponent in 58 seconds and the Pirates led once again 36-33. A forfeit by Crookston gave the Rams a 39-36 lead with one match to go.
Leckie went into the heavyweight match with a win by decision tying the score and anything higher winning the whole match. Twenty-nine seconds later, Leckie won by fall and rushed back to his teammates who congratulated him.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in all of our guys and I thought it was a good opportunity for Collin to go get it done,” Hanson said. “It was fun to see him go out there and wrestle well. Collin was patient and stayed in great position, settled in for a half nelson so it was a big win for him.”
The win improves Crookston’s dual record to 11-4 with only one more competition before the section tournament. That next event is the Northwest Invitational in Fertile on Saturday, February 3 at 9 a.m.