by Mikayla Fischer
The MSUM wrestling team rolled out the mat and opened the season against its crosstown rival Concordia this past week, but the Dragons came up just short against the Cobbers, losing 16-15. The dual was just as close as the score indicated, with several matches going back and forth, only to be decided in the third period.
The dual started at the 125-pound weight class with MSUM redshirt freshman Jonathan Lewis and Concordia’s Jakob Stageberg, who got a major decision of 13-3 over Lewis, bringing the team score to 4-0.
Next up was the Dragon’s junior all-American at 133 pounds, Blake Bosch, who faced the Cobber’s Gabe Foltz in a back-and-forth battle. Bosch led the three periods, and won the match with an 8-4 decision.
“I had a strategy coming in to push the pace,” Bosch said. “I knew he was going to try and slow me down and slow my offense down, and I got the first few takedowns right away and kind of just went from there.”
Bosch wasn’t the only MSUM wrestler to score the first takedown. Nearly all of the Dragon wrestlers scored first, but only five won their matches.
“A lot of our guys went out there and went way too hard right away and had nothing left in the third period,” head coach Kris Nelson said. “You have to win the third period.”
Following Bosch were redshirt freshman Kristian Vazquez at 141 pounds and junior Isaac Novacek at 149. Both had close matches ending in defeat.
The Cobbers lead the Dragons 10-3.
Junior Garret Hoffner defeated Ben Cousins with a 6-2 decision, bumping the team score to 10-6.
Concordia’s Parker Jackson scored a takedown in the third period to get the decision over freshman Adam Blees.
The next two matches helped MSUM add points to the scoreboard.
MSUM freshman Brayden Kuntz controlled his match against Dane Ringquist. Kuntz scored heavily with back points in the first period. He won the match with an 18-12 decision.
Freshman Austin May kept things rolling at 184 pounds. After being scoreless in the first period, May scored a takedown in the second and third periods, with Jake Johnson answering each time.
The match went into overtime, and May scored a takedown with two seconds left to earn the decision.
The Dragons were one point behind, with a score of 13-12.
At 197 pounds, MSUM junior Austin Warren and Concordia’s Hunter SantAmour also went scoreless in the first period. SantAmour earned a one-point escape in the second period and scored a takedown late in the third period to win the match.
The last match of the night was between the Cobbers’ and Dragons’ heavyweights. MSUM senior Mike Urban, who usually wrestles at 184 pounds, was bumped up due to injuries on the team. Urban stepped up and got the win over Concordia’s Jacob Briggs.
“At heavyweight, probably the tallest task for anybody, was Mike Urban,” Nelson said. “He does his job and gets the win. If everyone wrestles like he does and under control, I feel we would win that dual.”
Nelson said the team will work on doing just that, as well as being aware of the score, in upcoming practices.
The team’s next home dual is Dec. 4 at 4 p.m. against Long Island University Post at Nemzek.