Hastings wrestlers get season started with a pair of impressive wins
Many teams in many sports load up their early-season non-conference schedule with cupcakes. That, though, is not the recipe that the Hastings High School wrestling team follows.
The season began over the weekend for Hastings at the Raider Duals. The No. 8 ranked Raiders faced the state's No. 11-ranked team, the state's No. 5-ranked team and the state's No. 4-ranked team all in the first weekend of the season.
Hastings won two of those matches and will likely move up the statewide rankings when they are released again.
"Things have gone pretty well - we came out ready to go," coach Josh McLay said. "The kids are wrestling well. At this point in the year, it's as much as we could expect. They're just hungry to win and hungry to get better. They just really get after it.
"They're hard working kids. They have great attitudes. I see them being successful just because of their attitude and their work ethic."
Hastings started the season with a thorough drubbing of Centennial, 47-16. Through the first four matches the meet was tied, 10-10, but Hastings won the next eight matches to pull away and build a 47-10 lead.
Hastings got four wins by fall in the match. They came from Luis Sanchez (120), Jake Spitzack (138), Andy Rachuy (182) and Daryale Harris (195).
Wins were also turned in by Spencer Kopp (106), Luke Rowh (132), Austin Eichmann (145), Stuart Mattison (152), Jake Anderson (160) and Dan Marquette (170).
Marquette's win was one of the highlights of the match. The Centennial wrestler, Will Noll, is ranked No. 3 in the state. Marquette, wrestling up a class, is ranked No. 10.
Against Coon Rapids, Hastings won 37-27. Last season Coon Rapids beat Hastings. This time, though, three wins by fall and two wins by technical fall led the way.
The falls were recorded by Kopp, Sanchez and Marquette.
The tech falls were recorded by Rowh and Anderson.
Also winning were Spitzack, Rachuy and Harris.
In the final match of the day, Hastings took on Prior Lake and lost, 36-22.
Hastings fell behind 17-0 after the first four matches and then won six of the next seven matches to take a 22-21 lead. Prior Lake won the final three matches to pull away.
"We were in a good position to win that one," McLay said. "We know if we wrestle them again, there's a good chance it would be a different outcome."
Rowh had a big win for Hastings at 132 pounds, facing No. 10 ranked Ben Rock.
"In matches sometimes, being aggressive, you make a mistake," McLay said. "(Rock) caught Luke being aggressive and he put Luke to his back. He was fighting for his life for a full minute. Usually you lose a lot of energy doing that. Luke has come a long way from last year, just with his composure. He got off his back and he just looked like he was calm and collected. He knew he was going to come back and win the match. Sure enough, he comes back and wins, 12-10. He showed a lot of heart."
Rachuy also had a big win, upsetting No. 8 ranked Robby Schultz at 182 pounds.
Also winning for Hastings were Eichmann, Mattison, Anderson and Marquette.
Hastings faces another ranked team on Friday when they travel to Shakopee.