Somerset wrestlers give New Richmond a scare
Somerset’s wrestlers went into last Thursday’s rivalry match with New Richmond as underdogs.
Somerset coach Trent Larrieu was pleased with the Spartans’ effort, saying the younger wrestlers in the lineup were impressive with the fire they showed.
“I was really happy with how hard our kids fought,” Larrieu said.
The Spartans instigated the action in many of the matches, particularly early in the night. That has been an emphasis with the new coaching staff.
“We preach every day to be the first one to score and force the action,” Larrieu said.
The night started with two young wrestlers competing at 106. Somerset freshman Josh Maack earned his first varsity win, getting a pin in the second period.
That was followed by three forfeits, which left the score tied at 12-12. New Richmond then got a pin from senior Shane Blackman.
One of the biggest surprises of the night was Somerset’s Fred Mangine, who scored a first period pin in the 138-pound class. Larrieu said Mangine was caught in a logjam last year behind Bobby Leroy, Bailey White and Logan Peterson.
“Freddy was a hidden gem last year,” Larrieu said. “He’ll be down to 132 by (the Northern Badger Invitational) and he’ll be a force then.”
White and New Richmond’s Derek Dowd locked into a rapidly-paced, intense match at 145 pounds. White came out with a 5-4 win, putting the Spartans ahead 21-18.
Peterson then faced Austin Anderson at 152 pounds. There was very little activity in the first two periods by either wrestler but they made up for it in the third period. The score was tied 2-2 after six minutes and it stayed that way through two overtimes. In the 30-second ultimate tie-breaker, Peterson won the flip and chose the up position. He rode out Anderson to get the win.
“We were pretty confident Logan wouldn’t give up a point,” Larrieu said.
The Spartans only got one more win and that was more exciting than the Somerset fans expected. Somerset’s Max Praschak was nearly pinned and had to fight off his back in the 195-pound match against Kevin Kern. It was a battle to the end, with Praschak winning 13-9.
Larrieu said one of the best efforts came from Harrison Kern. Kern weighs 150 pounds, but bumped up to 170 pounds to fill a slot in the lineup. Kern lasted into the third period before being pinned.
The Spartans continue facing the top Middle Border Conference teams this Thursday when they wrestle at Amery. The Spartans will also be in action on Saturday, competing in the Tomahawk Invitational.