Raider wrestlers pick up three more wins
Well, that was rather anticlimactic.
Hastings wrestling coach Josh McLay and the Raiders were prepared for a pair of nail-biters on Friday night. Instead, they got a pair of big and relatively lopsided wins.
Hastings beat Farmington, 46-21, and Owatonna, 53-18, in a preview of the three teams expected to contend for the section title at the end of the year. All the while, Hastings was without the services of one its best wrestlers – Stuart Mattison – who was injured the night before.
“I was stressing about that triangular for a while,” McLay said. “We haven’t had a meet this early in the year that had such big section implications. I was worked up and the kids had a lot of nervous energy going on.”
Apparently they had nothing to be nervous about.
“We were ready to go,” McLay said. “The kids came out firing and wrestled tough.”
A couple big matches stood out on the night, including Jake Anderson’s win over Taylor Venz of Farmington. Venz is the defending state champ. Anderson won, 6-4.
“Jake just went out there and wrestled his style of match,” McLay said. “He scored off of bad shots from the other kid. He looked tough in all positions and he just wore the kid out by the third period.”
Anderson scored two takedowns in the third period to win.
“Jake has a lot of heart,” McLay said.
Adam McSorley had a couple big wins last week, including a couple by fall.
“He’s just been a pinning machine this year,” McLay said. “Most of his wins this year have been by fall. He’s been on a tear this year.”
Mark Vaith had a couple big pins on the week, too.
Hastings won six of 14 matches against Farmington by fall.
“These guys got after it,” McLay said.
While the wins were impressive, McLay doesn’t want his team to get overconfident. A lot of things can change between now and February when the section tournament begins.
“I told the guys, don’t be complacent,” he said. “These wins mean nothing come section time. It helps as far as seeding goes, but there’s a lot of hard work that has to be done. If we’re complacent, we’ll get crushed come section time.
“We need to stay hungry and stay motivated to take that next step and knock off some of these teams that are ranked ahead of us.”
Hastings beat Henry Sibley in the Metro East Conference season opener, 46-21.