Pirate Wrestling Bounces Back
After a rough start in their Triangular on Thursday, January 6, the Crookston Pirate wrestling team bounced back to win all three matches at Mahnomen on Friday, January 7.
In the Quadrangular at Mahnomen, Crookston picked up wins against Mahnomen-Waubun (48-30), Wadena-Deer Creek (51-18) and Pelican Rapids (58-15).
To wrap up a successful day, all of Crookston’s 48 points against Mahnomen-Waubun came from pins.
Gavyn Hluncy got it started by pinning Henry Geray in 1:25. After Crookston forfeited the 126-pound weight class, Casey Weiland, Carter Coauette, Braxton Volker and Ethan Bowman put up back-to-back-to-back-to-back points for the Pirates.
The Thunderbirds stalled the momentum with a 3-0 decision from Will Olson, but Leyton Fuentes, Hunter Knutson and Ethan Boll pinned their opponents for six points each.
Mahnomen-Waubun won the last two matches at 220 and 285, but Crookston had built up a big enough lead to secure the win.
In the second match of the night, Crookston got some help from Wadena-Deer Creek as the Wolverines had six open classes.
Hluncy got the Pirates’ first points yet again with a pin of Mason Brauch at 1:32. In the 126-pound weight class, both teams were open for a double forfeit. Crookston won the next three classes by forfeit.
The Pirates took the next three classes with a pin from Bowman, 9-7 OT decision from Ness, and 8-1 decision from Fuentes. Boll and Hunter Kresl won by forfeit, and Jesse Sanchez fell to Mathew Wegschied to round out the match.
In the opening match of the Quadrangular, the Pirates won a lopsided affair, as Pelican Rapids had five open classes, including the last four.
The first four matches were back and forth with two Crookston wins and two forfeits. The Pirates won the next five matches. Weiland won by forfeit, Coauette and Bowman won by pin and Volker and Ness won by 9-8 and 8-1 decisions, respectively.
Pelican Rapids scored their last points with a win at 170 pounds before forfeiting the last four classes.
On Thursday, January 6, Crookston faced tough competition in their triangular with United North Central (UNC) and Frazee.
After a rough start to the meet, the Pirates found another gear to start their match against Frazee.
“It’s a mindset,” co-captain Bowman said. “A lot of it is in your head. We came back and were ready to go.”
Trudeau got it started for Crookston with an 11-3 major decision. His efforts were erased, however, by a forfeit in the 113-pound weight class. Hluncy regained the lead with a pin in just 31 seconds.
Another forfeit set the Pirates back 10-12, but the next three wrestlers scored. Weiland won 10-6, Coauette dominated for a 12-1 major decision and Bowman wrestled strategically for the 12-4 major decision.
Volker fell 1-10, but Ness gave the Pirates three points, as he hung on for a 3-1 win.
It was Ness’s second win on the night, as he came off an eight-place finish at the Fargo Dome. Ness credits his recent success to his coaches.
“We’ve got a good group of coaches that work us hard and push us to get better,” Ness said. “It’s those early mornings and staying after practice that pays off, too.”
Fuentes had opportunities in the third period to win his match, but he ultimately fell 2-3. The Hornets took a 25-24 lead with Crookston’s forfeit in the 182-pound weight class. The Pirates regained the lead with Frazee’s forfeit in the 195-pound weight class.
It all came down to the last two matches where Frazee prevailed in both to win 37-30.
In the match against UNC, Crookston fell 16-66, with just three Pirates scoring: Coauette, Ness and Boll.
Levi Olson pinned Evin Trudeau with just .01 left on the clock to start the match. The next four weight classes were decided by fall or forfeit, all in favor of UNC.
Coauette pinned Dylan Rasmussen to get Crookston on the board, but the next three Pirates fell to make it 48-6 in favor of the Warriors.
In a game of strategy, Ness wrestled at 170 pounds instead of 160 pounds as listed on the roster and picked up a 12-2 major decision.
“They [Fuentes and Ness] both weighed in at the same weight class, and it was just a coach’s judgement,” head coach Wes Hanson said. “UNC’s 160 pounder Ness is a good wrestler, and I thought giving Spenc a different look might have been best for us.”
Boll provided the only other points for the Pirates that match with a pin in 1:20.
In the two-day span, the Pirates went 3-2 for a season record of 8-5. They host Blackduck-Cass Lake-Bena and Fertile Beltrami on Tuesday, January 11 starting at 6 p.m.