Pirate Wrestlers Sweep Home Triangular

Natalie Dillon
Crookston Times

The Crookston Pirates wrestling team went 2-0 in its Triangular with Blackduck-Cass Lake-Bena (BCLB) and Fertile on Tuesday, January 11.  

To cap the night, Fertile had five open classes, leading to a 57-15 Pirate victory. 

Before varsity began, Jesse Sanchez had the chance to gain more experience with a JV match. Sanchez, who came out for the team later in the season, had no prior wrestling experience and has been improving with each match, leading up to his first win by fall. 

“That was a special moment for him and our program,” head coach Wes Hanson said. “He’s just improved so much. For it to come together for him was awesome. It was a fun match for him and our fans to see, and we’re excited for him to improve each week.” 

Evin Trudeau opened the varsity match with a pin in 3:57. The next four matches were forfeited, one by Crookston and three by Fertile. 

Carter Couaette, Braxton Volker and Ethan Bowman scored in succession to extend the Pirates’ lead to 39-6. Coauette pinned his opponent in just 13 seconds, Volker pulled out a 6-1 decision and Bowman got a pin with seconds left in the third period. 

Layton Fuentes and Hunter Knutson won their matches by forfeit and Ethan Boll picked up his second pin of the night in under 20 seconds.  

Hunter Kresl took it down to the wire in his match, needing a takedown to go into another period, but he fell 3-5. In Sanchez’s varsity match, he fell to James Flynn.  

In the opening match, the Pirates won a close contest against BCBL 45-33. 

The first two matches the Bears and Pirates exchanged forfeits, as BCBL moved 106-pounder Brody Mistic up to 113 pounds where Crookston was open. Gavyn Hluncy and Lucas Perala fell in the next two matches, giving the Bears a 18-6 lead. 

The Pirates surged back, though, as the next three of four wrestlers put points on the board. Casey Weiland got it started with a pin in 4:25.  

“Casey is a guy that, when he’s looking to score and he’s on his offense, he’s really tough to beat,” Hanson said. “We were in a situation where we needed some team points, so he responded and kept the pace up, picking up a win and changing the momentum.” 

Coauette, who has 20 wins on the season, faced a challenge from Christain Pater, losing a 2-7 decision. Bowman and Volker put up six points apiece, as they pinned their opponents.  

The two teams exchanged forfeits once again in the 160- and 170-pound divisions.   

Knutson came up big, wrestling his way to a 10-4 decision followed by Boll with a pin in 19 seconds. Kresl won by forfeit, and Sanchez battled but fell to Tyreese Goodman.  

“That was a big match and a big moment for him [Knutson],” Hanson said. “I think he gave up the first takedown, but after that it was all Hunter. It was one of his best performances of the year. He stayed aggressive, looked good on his feet and rode tough in the top position.” 

After the triangular, the Pirates move to 10-5 on the season. They get a day off before traveling to Hillsboro on Thursday, January 13. 

Casey Weiland sparked the Pirates' turnaround against Blackduck-Cass Lake-Bena with a pin of Eli Sharbono.
Hunter Knutson won with a 10-4 decision against Gage Dunn, setting the Pirates up for the win against BCLB.
Ethan Bowman won both his matches by fall on Tuesday, January 11.
Jesse Sanchez picked up his first JV win.
Braxton Volker went 2-0 in the Triangular with one pin.