Facing the Ellsworth wrestling team can be an intimidating challenge.
But the seniors on the Somerset wrestling team have grown beyond being intimidated. While Ellsworth won 64-6 in the Middle Border Conference dual meet between the two teams Thursday, Dec. 14, the Somerset wrestlers showed no fear in facing the perennial conference champions.
Spartan seniors Preston Anez and Garret Hecht were winners against top Ellsworth opponents and several other seniors waged tough battles against Ellsworth. Somerset coach Ali Peterson said the younger Spartans need to learn the lesson the seniors showed.
"We've got to have the same mentality against all opponents," Peterson said.
Anez faced a proven opponent in the 152-pound class in Sawyer Hamilton. Anez was in control from the start, winning 5-0.
"I thought Preston was phenomenal," Peterson said. "He had a couple nice takedowns. He wrestled a really clean match."
Hecht was able to earn a 9-3 win over Cedric Kosnopfal in the 170-pound class. Hecht nearly had a pin at the end of the first period.
Peterson said Peter Lepper and Zeb Rivard were among the Spartans who performed competitively in their matches.
"To a man, the seniors wrestled a pretty normal match for themselves," Peterson said. "The aggression has to be there no matter who you are wrestling."
The Spartans will get another challenging test this Thursday. They face Spring Valley-Elmwood in a non-conference match that will be wrestled at Elmwood. Spring Valley is ranked ninth in Division 3 in the current state rankings.
"I like our chances, if we do what we do," Peterson said.