Wrestling: Royals are runners-up at Maple Grove tourney; Wilson, Eicher nab titles

The Rogers wrestlers, coaches and managers posed for a photo taken by Julia Koch.
The Rogers wrestlers, coaches and managers posed for a photo taken by Julia Koch.


The Rogers Royals wrestlers, who have competed in the Maple Grove Invitational for many years, finally brought home some trophies in the 2013 edition of the tournament.

The Royals got a runner-up  trophy for finishing a close second behind New London-Spicer, and had a pair of champions in Bret Wilson and Tyler Eicher.

“That’s the first time we’ve brought home any hardware from Maple Grove,” said coach Chris Donnay. “We had ten guys in the semi’s and pushed half of those through to the finals. All but one of the matches we lost were within three points. We’re really proud of the boys today. Ten of the twelve placed. Bret and Tyler were the first champions we’ve ever had at Maple Grove.”

New London-Spicer won with 187 points with Rogers a close second at 178.5 and Sauk Rapids-Rice third with 134.5 among 10 teams.

Wilson, an eighth-grader who’s started his varsity career 6-0, beat Hunter Rajkowski of SRR 5-2 in the 106-pound title match. He had two first-period pins and a 6-4 decision to reach the finals.

Eicher, a senior, beat Nate Tigges of East Ridge 6-0 in the 182-pound finals. He had a pin and decisions of 6-5 and 8-3 to reach the finals.

Philip Anderson, Sam Suedbeck and Jake Owens were runners-up.

Anderson’s weight class, 138, had four state entrants. He blanked two opponents 10-0 and 4-0 before losing to Rockford’s Ty Griffen (a 2012 state champion) 4-0 in the finals.

Suedeck ground out 3-1 and 3-2 decisions (the latter double overtime) before losing to NLS’s Jarrett Hatlestad 17-4 in the 160-pound finals. Owens won 5-3 and 5-2, then lost to NLS’s Noah Welsh 7-2 in the 220-pound title match.

Andrew Piehl placed third at 285, winning four of five matches, three by pin, with a 9-6 loss in the semifinals.

Placing fourth were Connor Larson (2-2) at 145 and Jordan Lemcke (2-2) at 195. Larson had a double-OT loss in the semifinals to Mahtomedi’s No. 7 ranked Jordan Helmer. Placing fifth were Jordan Bond (3-2) at 152 and Jeff McClay (3-2) at  170. Bond lost 9-7 in the semifinals on a reversal in the final seconds.

The Royals will wrestle at Big Lake on Thursday in the conference opener.