The Hastings wrestling team knew it would be a grueling three days last week as they wrestled Thursday at North St. Paul, a quadrangular Friday at Park, and then the well-known Kiffmeyer Duals on Saturday. A total of seven duals over the course of three days, head coach Josh McLay arranged for the tough stretch on purpose to prepare his team for state.
"We did this because the state tournament is three-straight days of wrestling," McLay said. "We wanted to expose them to that before tournament time came and to see how they reacted."
Well, there is no doubt that the Raiders rose to the challenge, winning six of the seven duals and sweeping their conference and section opponents.
North St. Paul
Hastings handled the Polars easily, winning 71-6. The Raiders won 12 of the 14 matches, eight of them by fall. Jesse Mimbach, Corbin Leflay and Jackson Schichel all received forfeits, while Matt Myers won by technical fall. The eight wrestlers who pinned their opponents were John Kendall, Croix Mader, Adam McSorley, Kyle Erickson, T.J. Pottinger, Cody Leflay, Trey Rogers and Josh Miser.
After the warm-up against North St. Paul the night before, Hastings traveled to Park on Friday to wrestle potential section opponents St. Paul Harding, Park and Cretin-Derham Hall. While McLay said he did expect to win all three duals, the value of the quad was in some of the individual matchups.
"Those teams are all in our section and seeing them had individual seeding implications for our wrestlers, so it was good to see some of those matchups early on before the end of the season," McLay explained.
Hastings did not encounter much trouble from any of the three teams and all three surrendered several forfeits. The Raiders beat St. Paul Harding 72-6, winning seven matches as well as receiving six forfeits. Winners for the Raiders were John and Paul Kendall, Mader, Mimbach, McSorley, Rogers and Guck.
The story was much the same against Park, who Hastings beat 66-9. Park gave up four forfeits to the Raiders, who won eight out of the 10 wrestled matches. Winners were John Kendall, Mimbach, Corbin Leflay, Erickson, Pottinger, Cody Leflay, Rogers and Miser.
Last was Cretin-Derham Hall, which continued the trend of having trouble fielding a full team, giving up eight forfeits to the Raiders, which is over half of the 14 weight classes. John Kendall won by major decision, and Marc Peterson, Corbin Leflay, Erickson and Pottinger all won by fall. Hastings won 76-3.
The real competition of the weekend came Saturday at the well-known Kiffmeyer Duals in St. Cloud. Hastings took third, beating Spring Lake Park 75-3 in the first round, losing to Foley 31-17 in the semifinals and then beating host St. Cloud Tech 47-20 in the third-place dual.
Against Spring Lake Park, the Raiders won 13 out of 14 matches, six by way of forfeit. Myers, McSorley, Mac Wilson, Pottinger, Cody Leflay and Drake Guck all won by fall. Mader, won by decision.
Hastings' first competitive dual of the weekend came from Foley in the semifinals. McLay said it was one of those duals that could easily have turned on the outcome of a few close matches. The results are as follows; Foley won 31-17.
106 pounds: John Kendall lost by major decision 11-1
113 pounds: Paul Kendall lost by fall in 0:24
120 pounds: Croix Mader lost by decision 3-0
126 pounds: Lyndon Wilson lost by decision 4-3
132 pounds: Adam McSorley won by decision 5-0
138 pounds: Mac Wilson lost by decision 3-2
145 pounds: Corbin Leflay lost by decision 7-3
152 pounds: Kyle Erickson lost by decision 4-0
160 pounds: T.J. Pottinger won by major decision 11-3
170 pounds: Cody Leflay won by decision 1-0
182 pounds: Godswill Pepple won by decision 11-4
195 pounds: Trey Rogers won by forfeit
220 pounds: Jackson Schichel lost by decision 5-3 in overtime
285 pounds: Drake Guck lost by decision 6-2
In the third-place match, Hastings did what McLay hoped they would do: respond to adversity.
"I wanted to see how the kids would respond to the losses to Foley and they did," McLay said. "I challenged the three lower weights to pick it up and they got three big pins in a row." The Raiders beat 10th-ranked in Class AAA St. Cloud Tech soundly by a score of 47-20.
106 pounds: John Kendall won by fall in 0:57
113 pounds: Paul Kendall won by fall in 2:34
120 pounds: Croix Mader won by fall in 1:16
126 pounds: Jesse Mimbach lost by decision 7-3
132 pounds: Adam McSorley won by decision 6-2
138 pounds: Mac Wilson lost by major decision 11-2
145 pounds: Corbin Leflay lost by decision 5-2
152 pounds: Kyle Erickson lost by decision 12-0
160 pounds: T.J. Pottinger won by major decision 17-8
170 pounds: Cody Leflay won by fall in 0:44
182 pounds: Trey Rogers won by fall in 4:56
195 pounds: Cole Benson lost by fall in 1:32
220 pounds: Josh Miser won by major decision 13-4
285 pounds: Jackson Schichel won by fall in 3:20
One fact of note over the weekend was that Jackson Schichel continues to receive an inordinate amount of forfeits. Schichel received a forfeit in the first five duals of the weekend before wrestling the last two duals at Kiffmeyer.
Hastings next wrestles Friday, Jan. 20, at home against Tartan.