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Spartans rolled by Ellsworth in wrestling opener

It wasn't a successful starting week for the Somerset wrestling team, with the Spartans facing defeat in all four of the matches they wrestled within a three-day span.

Somerset coach Dennis Potter took the chance with this experience to try teaching the Spartans the difference between "losing and failing."

The Spartans are giving away several forfeits to start the season and have a couple of their most experienced wrestlers unable to compete at the start of the season.

"We will at times this season lose, but not fail," Potter said. "With the number of forfeits we will give up at the present time, we will at times lose to inferior teams. But I won't consider those losses as failures if we show good wrestling technique, good conditioning and a competitive desire to wrestle our best."

The Spartans started the season last Thursday in a home dual meet against Ellsworth. Ellsworth rolled past the Spartans for a 68-9 win. Somerset's wins came in consecutive matches, with Tyler LeRoy scoring a pin at 130 pounds and Drew Baillargeon winning by decision at 135 pounds.

"We were just beaten by a superior team," Potter said. "The good news is that our kids know where they stand now. They know the level of competition that they will encounter this season. I guarantee we will be an improved team down the line."

On Saturday the Spartans competed in the Chisago Lakes Invitational. In the dual-meet tournament, the Spartans wrestled against Goodhue, Hibbing and Chisago Lakes. The Spartans opened against Goodhue, suffering a 55-17 loss. LeRoy got a tough win for the Spartans' first points, winning 5-3. Baillargeon followed with an 11-0 win. Austin Bell scored a 9-1 win at 160 pounds and Ambrose Martell finished the dual by getting a pin in the 275-pound match.

The Spartans then ran into a fierce team from Hibbing, with the Spartans losing 62-6. Baillargeon and Austin Bell came up with decision wins against Hibbing.

The best showing of the day for the Spartans came against Chisago Lakes, where the Spartans lost 43-30.

The Spartans got a pin from Steve Vanasse, decisions from LeRoy and Baillargeon, and three forfeits. Baillargeon leads the team in takedowns four matches into the season and went 3-0 in the tournament.

"Drew is stronger than he looks," Potter said. "He has a powerful double-leg takedown that is hard to defend."

The world for the Spartans was rocked on Sunday when the Bell family home was lost in a fire. Freshmen Elliot and Ethan Bell and senior Austin Bell are members of the Spartan wrestling team.

The Spartans continue their Middle Border Conference schedule this Thursday with a match at Osceola. Next Tuesday the Spartans wrestle in a non-conference match at Spring Valley.

Ellsworth 68, Somerset 9

103: Mike Brunner (E) pinned Elliot Bell :26. 112: Jordan Zimmer (E) pinned Ethan Bell :53. 119: Brandon Hayes (E) wins by forfeit. 125: Alex Hayes (E) def. Steve Vanasse 8-0. 130: Tyler LeRoy (S) pinned Austin Langer 3:58. 135: Drew Baillargeon (S) def. Derek Foley 9-5. 140 Trevin Hines (E) by tech. fall over Mitch Grahovac. 145: Jeremy Nelson by tech. fall over Nate Hildebrandt. 152: Mike Bell (E) pinned. Austin Bell 3:43. 160: Josh Kornman (E) won by forfeit. 171: RJ Langer (E) won by forfeit. 189: Brandon Olson (E) pinned Dylan Schachtner 1:03. 215: Jordan Eggenberger (E) pinned Bobby Springer 2:15. 275: Brandon Boe (E) pinned Ambrose Martell 5:25.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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