It was a productive opening night that turned into a humbling weekend for the Stillwater wrestling team on Friday and Saturday.
The Ponies knocked off East Ridge 60-12 and Forest Lake 43-32 in a Suburban East Conference triangular meet on Friday night at Stillwater Junior High School and then 12 hours later competed at the Hastings Raider Duals where they were swept by three teams that are each ranked in the state’s top 12 by The Guillotine.
Stillwater fell to seventh-ranked Albert Lea 49-19 in Saturday’s opening-round match and followed with losses to fourth-ranked Prior Lake 55-15 and 12th-ranked Centennial 48-24.
“I thought it was a good way to get the season started,” Ponies coach Rich Keller said. “We knew we had three tough duals on Saturday so to go off 2-0 was a big thing. Forest Lake was a big win.”
The Rangers and Hastings have been the dominant programs in the Suburban East Conference the past several years and it has been at least that long since Stillwater upended Forest Lake.
Stillwater finished strong in the heavier weights while recording victories in three of the last four matches, including pins by Mitchell Schertz at 195 pounds and Derrick Thingvold at heavyweight. The Ponies were leading by five points when Thingvold stuck Aaron Calhoun at 2:36 to clinch the victory.
Sebastian Dingle also provided a key victory when he edged Joe Rydell 3-2 at 182 pounds. Carrying a one-point lead into the final period, Dingle rode out Rydell the rest of the way to prevail.
“Hopefully that will give him some confidence to be able to go out there and beat some good kids,” Keller said.
The Ponies jumped out to a 12-0 lead after Christian Bahl’s pin at 113 pounds and Dillan Nelson needed less than a minute to pin Forest Lake’s Teddy Pierce at 126 pounds. Stillwater also came away with victories from Austin Jordan and Mina Yacoup at 145 and 152 pounds. Jordan recorded a 10-1 major decision over Andrew Myers and Yacoup followed with a second-period pin against Cameron Niemczyk.
Stillwater dropped just three matches against East Ridge in the opener.
Dillan Nelson at 126 pounds, Andy Jordan (138), Austin Jordan (145), John Lunn (160) and Anders Sandstrom (220) each pinned their opponents while Reid Vollmar (170) and Mitchell Schertz (195) won decisions. Stillwater also received forfeits at 106 (Patrick Stokes), 132 (Jason Wood) and 285 (Ryan Peltier) pounds.
The showcase match came at 126 pounds where Nelson pinned Reid Lynden, a returning state qualifier who is ranked seventh in Class AAA, in the second period.
“We knew that was going to be the big match,” Keller said. “He got taken down a couple of times, but each time got a reversal right away and then put him to his back.”
Stillwater 43, Forest Lake 32
106 — Patrick Stokes (St) won by forfeit; 113 — Christian Bahl (St) pinned Grant Brown, 3:21; 120 — Luke McCord (FL) major dec. Gage LeBourgeois, 18-5; 126 — Dillan Nelson (St) pinned Teddy Pierce, :58; 132 — James Pleski (FL) pinned Jason Wood, 3:15; 138 — Andrew Myers (FL) major dec. Andy Jordan, 10-1; 145 — Austin Jordan (St) major dec. Kelby Wagner, 11-0; 152 — Mina Yacoup (St) pinned Cameron Niemczyk, 3:31; 160 — Luke Niemczyk (FL) pinned John Lunn, :19; 170 — Austin Boniface (FL) pinned Reid Vollmar, 1:06; 182 — Sebastian Dingle (St) dec. Joe Rydell, 3-2; 195 — Mitchell Schertz (St) pinned Tyler Anderson, 1:05; 220 — Jeremy McLaughlin (FL) pinned Anders Sandstrom, :45; 285 — Derrick Thingvold (St) pinned Aaron Calhoun, 2:36.
Stillwater 60, East Ridge 12
106 — Patrick Stokes (St) won by forfeit; 113 — Ryan Thompson (ER) dec. Christian Bahl, 4-3; 120 — Jake Travis (ER) pinned Gage LeBourgeois, 1:06; 126 — Dillan Nelson (St) pinned Reid Lyden, 3:39; 132 — Jason Wood (St) won by forfeit; 138 — Andy Jordan (St) pinned Josh Stensgard, 1:30; 145 — Austin Jordan (St) pinned Kiry Koy, 1:18; 152 — Emilio Huerta (ER) dec. Mina Yacoup, 9-3; 160 — John Lunn (St) pinned Kevin Siemers, 2:49; 170 — Reid Vollmar (St) dec. Nate Tiggs, 6-4; 182 — Sebastian Dingle (St) pinned Jimmy Vitt, 2:14; 195 — Mitchell Schertz (St) dec. David Kroger, 4-0; 220 — Anders Sandstrom (St) pinned Jake Pittman, 4:45; 285 — Ryan Peltier (St) won by forfeit.
Hastings Raider Dualls
HASTINGS — There was some encouragement while dropping three in a row at Saturday’s Hastings Raider Duals, but the Ponies were overmatched in losses to Albert Lea, Prior Lake and Centennial.
Returning state qualifier Christian Bahl, an eighth-grader, had a tough opening weekend while dropping three of five matches against strong competition at 113 pounds. Bahl, however, picked up one of Stillwater’s four victories against Albert Lea while defeating Beau Johnsrud 5-1. The Tigers prevailed by the score of 49-19.
Austin Jordan, who lost just once in five matches, posted a 10-0 major decision over Spencer Carstens at 138 pounds and Reid Vollmar defeated Nick Krominga 7-2 at 170 pounds. Sebastian Dingle collected Stillwater’s final victory while holding off Tim Christianson 3-2 at 182 pounds.
“We battled in there in the matches we were able to compete with kids that were at our level or possibly a little better,” Keller said. “Austin majored his kid and looked good all weekend. He’s a kid that we’re going to be able to move around.”
Prior Lake has finished second at state each of the past two years and the Ponies managed just three victories in the 55-15 setback.
Dillan Nelson pinned Ian O’Connor in just 37 seconds at 126 pounds and Vollmar stopped Dahlton Felix in 3:02 at 170 pounds for the Ponies, who also received an 8-5 victory by Mina Yacoup over Michael Schwartz at 152 pounds.
“Prior Lake is the real deal,” Keller said.
Centennial won each of the last five matches to pull away from the Ponies in the finale. Stillwater won five of six matches from 126 to 160 pounds, but the Cougars were too strong in the upper and lower weights.
Nelson rallied from a deficit going into the third period to finish off a 14-11 victory over Matt Mulberry at 126 pounds while Jason Wood followed with a pin against Austin Miller at 5:23 at 132 pounds.
Austin Jordan at 145 pounds and Yacoup at 152 notched pins for the Ponies and David Olson pulled out a 4-2 overtime victory over Jake Solberg at 160 pounds. Olson’s victory gave Stillwater a 24-21 lead, but the Cougars outscored the Ponies 27-0 in the last five matches.
Albert Lea 49, Stillwater 19
106 — Garrett Aldrich (AL) pinned Patrick Stokes, 3:30; 113 — Christian Bahl (St) dec. Beau Johnsrud, 5-1; 120 — Garrett Wangsness (AL) pinned Gabe LeBourgeois, :48; 126 — Dakota Wangsness (AL) major dec. Dillan Nelson, 8-0; 132 — Trevor Westerlund (AL) pinned Jason Wood, 2:21; 138 — Austin Jordan (St) major dec. Spencer Carstens, 10-0; 145 — Devin Nelson (AL) pinned Andy Jordan, 2:20; 152 — Lucas Hansen (AL) pinned Mina Yacoup, 3:20; 160 — Bany Chan (AL) pinned John Lunn, :58; 170 — Reid Vollmar (St) dec. Nick Krominga, 7-2; 182 — Sebastian Dingle (St) dec. Tim Christianson, 3-2; 195 — Tristan Westerlund (AL) pinned Mitchell Schertz, :42; 220 — Haden Hausken (St) pinned Alex Seuser, 2:18; 285 — Jacob Kunkel (AL) dec. Derrick Thingvold, 4-2.
Prior Lake 55, Stillwater 15
106 — Kenny O’Neil (PL) pinned Patrick Stokes, :41; 113 — Dylan Sogge (PL) dec. Christian Bahl, 6-4; 120 — Tanner Johnshoy (PL) pinned Gage LeBourgeois, 1:20; 126 — Dillan Nelson (St) pinned Ian O’Connor, :37; 132 — Ben Rock (PL) pinned Jason Wood, 3:00; 138 — Blake Carlisle (PL) dec. Austin Jordan, 10-3; 145 — Ryan Norton (PL) pinned Andy Jordan, :20; 152 — Mina Yacoup (St) dec. Michael Schwartz, 8-5; 160 — Sean O’Neil (PL) tech fall David Olson, 16-0; 170 — Reid Vollmar (St) pinned Dahlton Felix, 3:02; 182 — Robby Schultz (PL) major dec. Sebastian Dingle, 18-4; 195 — Alex Hart (PL) pinned Mitchell Schertz, :16; 220 — Rylee Strifel (PL) major dec. Haden Hausken, 12-3; 285 — Luis Pinto (PL) pinned Derrick Thingvold, 3:28.
Centennial 48, Stillwater 24
106 — Cody Peterson (Cen) pinned Patrick Stokes, 2:31; 113 — Mike Mischke (Cen) dec. Christian Bahl, 9-5; 120 — Mike Matheson (Cen) pinned Gage LeBourgeois, 4:49; 126 — Dillan Nelson (St) dec. Matt Mulberry, 14-11; 132 — Jason Wood (St) pinned Austin Miller, 5:23; 138 — Amakale Tilleskjor (Cen) pinned Andy Jordan, 2:48; 145 — Austin Jordan (St) pinned Adam Long, 3:20; 152 — Mina Yacoup (St) pinned Tanner Mazanec, 5:30; 160 — David Olson (St) dec. Jake Solberg, 4-2 in OT; 170 — Tom Handley (Cen) dec. Reid Vollmar, 6-1; 182 — Will Noll (Cen) pinned Sebastian Dingle, 3:28; 195 — Kodie Sickmann (Cen) pinned Mitchell Schertz, 3:04; 220 — Justin Davis (Cen) pinned Haden Hausken, 3:40; 285 — Andrew Gustafson (Cen) pinned Derrick Thingvold, 5:43.