Last season was again a strong year on the wrestling mats. Chatfield was one win away from the 1A title, and finished as section runner-up (15-2). They sent four guys to state. Caledonia had a good team season (17-8) and sent five guys to state. Both squads will again be potent. LARP (15-12), GMLOS (11-13), and FCLMC (11-11) were right around .500 as teams. The Bulldogs sent two guys and a girl to state. LARP and FCLMC came up empty in that department. One big note this year is that GMLOS, Chatfield, and LARP all have girls wrestling.
It could’ve been a state season for Chatfield last year. Matt Mauseth’s Gophers beat Dover-Eyota 35-31 to win the TRC crown (9-0) but fell to the Eagles in the 1A finals, suffering a defeat at 285 for a 33-30 loss. Chatfield finished 15-2. The Goph’s had four state entrants in Grady Schott (182), Javier Berg (106), Kail Schott (170), and Gage Bartels (113). G-Schott was the only graduate. He was the 182-pound state title (41-1). Berg (So. 30-10) and K-Schott (Jr. 37-6) each won section titles, while Bartels (So. 31-10) was runner-up. All three missed placing in St. Paul by one win. They return to lead the Gophers. K-Schott is two-time state entrant. Chatfield also brings back four other section placers; Ben Carrier (So., 3rd at 126, 28-10), Carson Rowland (So., 4th at 132, 26-11), Jack Dornack (Jr., 4th at 138, 20-22), and Ryan House (Sr., 6th at 120, 20-12). The Gophers bring back six of nine All-TRC picks; Berg, Bartels, House, Carrier, Rowland, and K-Schott. Seniors Jackson Schild (145) and Thad Evans (160, 14-11) are two more guys who wrestled at sections. Kaisen Johnson (Fr., 106, 10-5), Nathan Allen (Jr. 126, 10-9), and Sulley Ferguson (Sr., 160, 8-10) are a trio of other notable returnees. Chatfield graduated four big guys: G-Schott, Campbell Berge, Ethan Ruskell, and Caden Nolte. They’ll need to be replaced. Multiple girls are on the team. Chatfield’s schedule includes weekend tourneys at Lakeville-North, FCLMC, La Crosse (Bi-State), Lake Crystal, Lake City, and JWP. The girls have tourneys in Hastings, Hopkins, La Crosse (Bi-State), and Pine Island. The Gophers host a quad (GMLOS, Owatonna, Aquinas) and two triangulars (FCLMC & LC/H, GMLOS & St. Charles). They have a key dual at Caledonia/Houston December 20 and a key triangular at Dover-Eyota January 27.
Caledonia/Houston wasn’t too far behind Chatfield. Shay Mahoney’s Warriors went 6-3 in the TRC and 17-8 overall a year ago. They fell to the Gophers 44-21 in the 1A semis. Team Cal sent five guys to state; Owen Denstad (132), Tucker Ginther (145), Braxton Lange (106), Brandon Ross (126), and Ayden Goetzinger (195). Denstad (46-5) and Ginther (35-9) each took third. Lange (33-17) took fourth. Ross (19-4) took sixth after medically forfeiting. Only Goetzinger didn’t place. It was Ginther’s fourth state appearance. Ross, Denstad, and Goetzinger were section champs. Of that group, only Ross graduated. The Warriors thus return four state entrants in Ginther (Sr.), Goetzinger (Sr.), Denstad (Jr.), and Lange (So.). Also back are four section third place finishers: Isaac Blocker (Jr., 138, 41-7), Simon Seymour (Sr. 120, 26-19), Cory Scanlan (Sr., 152, 26-15), and Eric Mauss (Sr. 182, 27-17). Denstad, Blocker, Ginther, and Goetzinger made All-TRC. Tanner Ginther (So., 4th at 113, 8-10), Tyler Jennings (Sr. 5th at 220, 16-22), and Grant Ness (Sr. 5th at 285, 15-18) are three more returning section placers. Alec Weinbender (Sr. 170) also wrestled at the section meet. The Warriors return 12 of 14 kids from the 1A meet. Eleven placed, as the Warriors bested D-E and Chatfield team-wise. Aden Kulas is another notable returnee. Cal/Hou has a weekend tourney at La Crosse (Bi-State). They have weekend dual tourneys at St. Charles, Western Dubuque, and K-M. They host Chatfield and La Crosse-Aquinas for duals. They have a home quad (Chatfield, Glenwood City, Goodhue) and two home tris (LC/H & St. Charles, D-E & FCLMC).
GMLOS was the third “Journal 11” wrestling conglomerate to send kids to state. Randy Smith’s Bulldogs went 4-5 in the TRC. They fell to Dover-Eyota 64-11 in the 1A quarters, finishing 11-13. GMLOS had two guys make state, Cohen Wiste (138) and Christian Luthe (285), plus a girl, Diann Smith (138), in the first ever gals state meet. Wiste and Smith return. Wiste (41-6) is a four-time state qualifier, though he didn’t place last season. Smith (11-3) was 138-pound girls state runner-up. Wiste is the only returning GMLOS All-TRC pick, as Luthe and Donovon Felten graduated. Senior Aiden Quintana (4th at 126, 30-16) and junior Braxten Wiste (5th at 160, 29-15) are other returning section placers. Timmy Hogfeldt (So. 120 > 21-25), Teague Alden (So. 113), and Drake Payne (Fr. 132) also wrestled at the 1A meet. Rowan Sween, Lucca Sween, Zac Gehling, Dalton Pischke, and Ayden Stier are other experienced guys. Emma Hemann (4th at 114) joins Smith as having placed at sections last year for the girls. GMLOS has 11 girls out and four returnees competed at sections. The Bulldogs started with the Woodbury Duals. They have weekend tourneys at South Winn, FCLMC, Tartan, Stewartville, Hayfield, and Wisconsin Dells. They have three home triangulars (LARP & Westfield, FCLMC & LARP, Caledonia/Houston & Triton).
LARP wrestling had a nice spurt a year ago. The Screamin’ Eagles won eight in a row late before falling to Lake City 45-23 in the 1AA quarters. Tim Tekautz and Darrin Hegland’s group went 6-3 in the TRC and finished 15-12 overall. The S-Eagles had no state entrants. Of their five section placers, three graduated: Tyler Krzyer (3rd at 182, 23-11), Tyler Kreidermacher (4th at 113, 31-10), and Jacob Meyer (5th at 195, 31-12). With fellow graduate Brennan Corcoran, they were LARP’s All-TRC picks. Jordan Zibrowski (Jr., 5th at 126, 30-14) and Quintin Betthauser (So., 5th at 132, 32-14) are their two section-placer hold-overs. Zibrowski is former state entrant (2021). Titan Tekautz (Jr., 145, 17-11), Andrew Wilkemeyer (Sr., 285, 15-12), Spencer Nelson (Fr., 106, 20-20), Camdyn Anderson (Jr., 170, 18-20), and Colten Jenkins (Fr. 120) also return after competing at sections. Eli Jensen, Owen Lange, and Zach Plank are three other notable returnees. LARP has a couple girls out including Lauren Honken (107, 5-5), who competed in the 2021 girls section tourney. The S-Eagles have the Austin and K-M Duals. They have weekend tourneys at FCLMC, La Crosse (Bi-State), PEM, and Westfield, plus the Pine Island girls invite. LARP hosts two home triangulars (K-W & Triton, LC/H & W-K) while ending the year hosting Chatfield.
FCLMC was able to win as many matches as it lost last season. Blaise Sass’s Wolves went 2-7 in the TRC. They fell to Chatfield 63-13 in the 1A quarters. FCLMC finished at 11-11. The Wolves didn’t send anyone to state. Four Wolves placed at sections and all four returns; Kane Larson (Fr., 4th at 106 > 33-8), Oliver Hoeltzle (Sr. 4th at 182 > 33-13), Aaron Hutton (Sr. 4th at 220 > 15-21), and Orion Sass (Sr., 6th at 170, 33-10). Nine Wolves wrestled at sections last year and eight are back. Carter Hovland (Sr. 138 > 25-19), Connor Wingert (Jr. 145 > 19-17), Cole Sass (So. 152), and Clayton Knutson (Sr. 113) add to the continuity. Larson and O-Sass were All-TRC. Boston Wright and Cooper Ferrie are a couple other notable returnees. FCLMC’s weekend tourneys include their home Holiday invite, La Crosse-Logan, PEM, Pine Island, and Rochester-Century. The Wolves have two home triangulars (D-E & W-K, LC/H & Lake City).