Manske's win seals victory for New Richmond wrestlersThe annual non-conference wrestling battle between New Richmond and Park of Cottage Grove, Minn., always seems to come down to the final match.
The annual non-conference wrestling battle between New Richmond and Park of Cottage Grove, Minn., always seems to come down to the final match.
It did again on Thursday, when the Tigers trekked into Minnesota for their final match before the holiday break. New Richmond sophomore heavyweight Gage Manske scored a pin in the final 30 seconds of the deciding match, giving the Tigers a 39-32 win.
The next competition for the Tigers arrives Friday and Saturday, when they travel to La Crosse to compete in the annual Bi-State Classic at the La Crosse Center. Tiger coach Mark Neumann said this year’s Classic will be even stronger than in past years, with the addition of Luxemberg-Casco, one of the state’s top teams.
Thursday’s match versus Park is a test Coach Neumann likes having on the schedule heading into the holidays. He said it seems that the two teams trade wins year-by-year, with each team winning at the other team’s gym.
Nearly every Tiger had a close match or a difficult opponent that tested their skills. The night started out with New Richmond’s Seth Leavens getting a hard-fought 6-3 win at 106 pounds. Pins by Shane Blackman, John Keifer and Abe Anderson, along with a forfeit and a decision win by Caleb Neumann, put the Tigers ahead 30-6.
Park put on a charge in the upper weights, with Michael Steel’s 7-2 decision being the only Tiger win until the 285-pound class.
The score stood at 33-32 when Manske got his win. Coach Neumann said Manske had to change his approach to the match and his willingness to try a new tactic earned him the win.
“We’re proud of him. He worked hard and he listened,” Neumann said. “As he continues to listen and be disciplined, he’ll continue to improve.”
Coach Neumann also praised the attitude shown by the younger members of the team and how they’ve added to the competitive spirit of the team.
“Our young kids have so much heart. They want to win so badly,” he said.