by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Spectrum High School proudly hosted a 10-team wrestling tournament in its two-month old gymnasium on Saturday, and with the Rogers Royals on hand there were two locals among the individual champions.
“Establishing a wrestling culture here at Spectrum has always been a dream of mine,” said Sean Ryther, Spectrum coach, “and this is where it starts. We’ve got 10 teams here and about 500 fans. This was fun.”
Sartell-St. Stephen was the champion with Richfield (paired with Edina) second. And all the visiting teams and their fans now know there is a Spectrum High School and it’s got wrestling.
Spectrum had just five entrants, four of them managing at least one win (see below). Eighth-grader Esteban Teigen won three of four matches, with two pins, and placed third at 106 pounds, raising his record to 21-9.
“We are a young team — 26 guys, and 20 of them in their first or second year,” said Ryther. “We are improving every week, and working hard.”
The only neighboring school on hand was Rogers, which had two champions — Phillip Anderson and Clay LeVasseur — and placed fourth with a lineup missing two starters with injury and two others held out due to match counts.
LeVassuer, a standout linebacker on the Royals conference and section champion football team, got back into the wrestling lineup three weeks ago after a year away. A right shoulder injury (torn labrum) cut short his junior season, and after getting banged up in football this fall, too, he said at the time he was unsure if he’d report for wrestling at all.
“It’s feeling a lot better now,” said LeVasseur. “And frankly, I was getting bored, not being in a sport. So I thought I’d give it a try.”
LeVasseur was voted outstanding wrestler in the tournament by coaches as he pinned three straight opponents, including Chandler Arredondo (9-6) of Richfield-Edina in the finals, for the 195-pound title. He has won all 11 matches so far, and broke into the Class AAA rankings this week at No. 10 in Class AAA.
“My goal is to have fun, and to make state this time,” said LeVasseur, adding that he fell one win short his sophomore year with a true-second loss to a Monticello opponent at sectionals. Last year, of course, he didn’t get the chance to complete.
Anderson (26-4), a sophomore who leads the team in wins, pinned all three opponents, just like he did two weeks ago at the St. Croix Lutheran tournament. Anderson stuck Michael Schrimpf (16-10) of St. Croix Lutheran in the finals.
Rogers had one other surprise finalist in Jordan Lemcke, a freshman in his first year wrestling. Lemcke (5-7) notched two decisions before getting tech-falled by Delano’s Andy Rieder in the 170-pound finals.
Rogers junior Tim Beach (19-10) placed third at 132 pounds.
Next for Rogers is their own invitational next Saturday. Next for Spectrum is a tri against Washburn and Minnetonka on Friday at Minnetonka.
1. Sartell-St. Stephen 212
2. Richfield-Edina 139
3. Sauk Rapids-Rice 133
4. Delano 129.5
5. Rogers 129
6. Trinity 113
St. Croix Lutheran 113
8. Brooklyn Center-Concordia Academy 87
9. Spectrum 39
10. Minneapolis Roosevelt 24
106–Drew Bienusa (19-5), Sartell-St. Stephen
113–James Goman (21-6), Trinity
120–Connor Dalbec (18-10), Delano
126–Phillip Anderson (26-4), Rogers
132–James Lettow (21-6), Richfield
138–Ben Rynda (26-3), Trinity
145–Chris Keske (20-7), Sauk Rapids-Rice
152–David Afolabi (25-4), Brooklyn Center-Concordia Academy
160–Daniel Vitale (20-3), Sartell-St. Stephen
170–Andy Rieder (17-5), Delano
182–Miles Hammerlund (29-3), Delano
195–Clay LeVasseur (11-0), Rogers
220–Ryan Odelius (8-12), Sauk Rapids-Rice
285–Mike Dyer (25-2), Richfield
How Rogers fared
120–Kyle Ysteboe (7-5), 2-2, 4th place
126–Phillip Anderson (26-4) 3-0, 3 pins, 1st place
132–Tim Beach (19-10), 3-1, 3 pins, 3rd place
138–Steffen Paige (8-15), 0-2
145–Andrew Fields (2-2), 2-2, 1 pin, 5th place
152–Tyler Eicher (9-21), 1-3, 1 pin, 6th place
160–Jake Owens (7-10), 2-2, 1 pin, 5th place
170–Jordan Lemcke (5-7), 2-1, 2nd place
195–Clay LeVasseur (11-0) 3-0, 3 pins, 1st place
220–Jack Pavloff (1-4), 0-2
How Spectrum fared
106–Esteban Teigen (21-9), 3-1, 2 pins, 3rd place
113–Luke Nolden (14-11), 1-3,1 pin, 6th place
120–Ian Neitzer (7-11), 2-2, 2 pins, 5th place
126–Sam Rogers (3-10), 1-3, 1 pin, 6th place
132–Alex McDonough (5-17), 0-2