Depth pays off for New Richmond wrestling teamWith a half dozen starters sidelined, the New Richmond wrestling team was still able to put together a winning effort in its Middle Border Conference dual match last Thursday.
With a half dozen starters sidelined, the New Richmond wrestling team was still able to put together a winning effort in its Middle Border Conference dual match last Thursday.
The Tigers put together a 46-29 win over Osceola in front of the Tigers’ Parents Night crowd.
Among the wrestlers missing from the lineup for the Tigers were their two returning state tournament qualifiers, Shane Blackman and Abe Anderson. Four other Tigers who were in the lineup are freshly back from dealing with injuries. Casey Schuh, John Greening, Aaron Daul and Jake Rose have missed most of the season because of injuries.
The injuries and illness that have enveloped the team all season have created opportunities for younger wrestlers and they’ve done well to fill the roles.
“Our younger kids have really fought hard and established themselves,” said Tiger coach Mark Neumann.
The match began in Osceola’s wheelhouse, at the 182-pound slot. Senior Tyler Hawkins, a first-year wrestler, fought to not give up a major decision.
“He saved us three big team points at the time,” Neumann said, praising the work ethic Hawkins has shown in his first year on the team.
Kevin Kern followed with a pin at 195 pounds to give the Tigers a 6-3 lead. Osceola would get 16 points from the next three weight classes, before the Tigers took charge in the light weights.
First, Dylan Dowd received a forfeit at 113 pounds. That was followed by a string of four straight pins by Garret Hildebrandt, Derek Dowd, Greening and Schuh, to put the Tigers in front 36-19.
Schuh drew the only female wrestler in the conference, Osceola’s Keely Hanlon. Schuh handled the match with tact. He immediately moved in and lifted Hanlon off her feet. He gently placed her on her back, scoring the pin in 14 seconds.
Freshman Caleb Neumann assured the Tigers of a team victory with his 11-2 win in the 145-pound class. The Tigers also got a pin from Daul in the 160-pound bout.
The most competitive match of the night was at 152 pounds. New Richmond junior Austin Anderson faced one of Osceola’s top wrestlers, Alex Freese, who was also in his first match of the season after recovering from an injury. Freese got a takedown in the first period and Anderson had an escape in the second period. Anderson worked frantically through the third period, trying to turn Freese for back points. He came close several times, but Freese held him off to get a 2-1 victory.
With all the illness and injuries, the Tigers were happy to not have any matches scheduled last weekend. They return to the mat this Thursday with a match at Baldwin-Woodville. The Tigers will also be in action on Saturday, wrestling among a talented field of teams in the Eden Prairie Invitational.