by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
With nine rookies in the lineup, the Elk River wrestlers got steamrolled by No. 5 ranked Coon Rapids 57-6 in their home and conference opener Friday evening.
A pin by Evan Caldon at 132 pounds was the lone victory for the Elks, with three other Elks losing close decisions.
“We had a lot of first-year varsity wreslters, real young kids, and they battled,” said coach Paul Nelson. “And that team (Coon Rapids) is very strong. They sense they’ve got something special this year and they are going for it.”
The Elks have lost two of their best big guys as Jory Lubinski and Abe Williams, both seniors, face knee surgery for fall sports injuries in football and soccer, respectively.
“I hope to be back by sectionals,” said Williams. “I want to get on the mats so bad. I’ve never been injured before.”
Another returning starter, Yang Vong, is taking PSEO and hasn’t practiced enough to join the team, said Nelson.
The Elks have one ranked wrestler, senior heavyweight Kyle Wiemann, listed at No. 5, but his opponent was the top-ranked guy, Tanner Lowe, who’s been beating the Elk for three years. Lowe won this one 9-1.
The Elks, who placed second in the conference last year and tied for first the year before, probably won’t be winning many matches this year,
“It’s a chance for a lot of young guys to get some varsity experience,” said Nelson, who had three seniors, three juniors, three sophomores, three freshmen, and an eighth–grader on the mats. “When they are seniors I think they’ll be good.”
It will be a tough baptism, though, said the coach, as the December schedule is pretty daunting.
The Elks head for the Milaca Duals on Saturday.
Coon Rapids 57, Elk River 6
106: Blaine Tschida, CR, dec Garrett Caldon 12-7
113: Jarrod Julkowski, CR, dec Cole Moening 14-4
120: Joe Anderson, CR, pin Andrew Perry 5:24
126: Nate Julkowsi, CR, dec Kyle Ziemer 4-2
132: Evan Caldon, ER pin Michael Bothwell 4:49
138: Darren Gagne, CR, pinned Trevor Brink 1:19
145: Justin Reeves, CRm dec Ryan Osberg 7-5
152: Austin Lubinski, CR, won forfeit
160: Josh Fleck, CR, dec Kevin Weeks 3-2
170: Tyler Berdahl, CR, pinned Robert Schmitz 5:14
182: Riley Lawson, CR, pinned Justin Gagnon 2:38
195: Brandt Halseth CR, dec Mitch Beaudry 10-4
220: Michael Burkhardt, CR, pinned Jacob Brown 5:54
285: Tanner Lowe, CR, dec Kyle Wiemann 9-1