Cardinals Place 2nd at Big Bear
December 16, 2012By Justin Brown of Willmar Wrestling
For the first time since our attendance to the Big Bear Tournament we traveled to Cass Lake with a full Varsity squad of 14 wrestlers. In seasons past, with this tournament being so early in the season, we have always experienced early season barriers of filling the lineup. Four of our wrestlers entered the tournament listed in the top 10 State rankings - Cass Herzog, Nate Mittag, Colten Carlson, and Austin Miley. There were 35 teams participating,
We finished the tournament in second place with 164.5 pts, our highest placing at Big Bear. We had 6 place winners. The tournament hosted numerous ranked wrestlers, and presented a high level of competition to it's competitors. Our Willmar wrestlers demonstrated great sportsmanship, wrestling with a high level of intensity and match strategy.
106- Jacob Bollig, 3-2, 2 pins DNP
113- Juan Resendez, 3-2, 2 pins, DNP
120- Zach Lueders, 4-1, 1 pin, 2nd place
126- Nathaniel Mittag, 4-2, 1 pin, 4th place
132- Austin Miley, 5-3, 2 pins, 6th place
138- Eli Gunderson, 1-2, 1 pin, DNP
145- Travis Deegan, 4-2, 3 pins, 4th place
152- Colten Carlson, 4-1, 1 pin, 2nd place
160- Vaughn Johnson, 3-2, DNP
170- Kory Welgraven, 1-2, DNP
182- Justin Skaro, 1-2, 1 pin, DNP
195- Jalen Cabrera, 1-2, 1 pin, DNP
220- Matt Hennes, 1-2, 1 pin, DNP
285- Cass Herzog, 5-0, 4 pins, 1st place
We like to attend the Big Bear tournament at this point in the season to give our athletes the experience of a high level competition. The multitude of teams in attendance provides our wrestlers with individual matches of high competition. The experience of wrestling in an atmosphere with that many competitors, over the course of two days, helps our wrestlers to prepare for bigger tournaments and competitions like the State tournament. There is a difference to a wrestler's mentality when they are put into long competitions with uncommon opponents. It is a good assessment of our physical and mental conditioning at this point in the season.
- Cass Herzog's championship, adding to his list of ranked opponents he has defeated this season.
- Zach Lueders second place finish
- All of our place winners at this tournament wrestled very well, and came away with successes to continue to build upon this season.
- some of our wrestlers that did not place showed a great deal of potential, and gained great experience at this tournament. They will be very influential to our success, and the achievement of our team goals.
Next week we travel to St. Cloud Apollo on Tuesday for a dual, and host Brainerd Thursday for Alumni Night. For Alumni Night we have invited the members of the 1998 State qualifying team to attend and be recognized. They represented Willmar's first team entry into the State tournament.
Both of these duals were our only conference losses last year, both losses being very close in scores, ending up just short of the conference title. We have aspirations to redeem ourselves from last season's match ups.