The Hastings wrestling team started its season 2-2 this past weekend with a Metro East Conference win over Tartan on Friday, Dec. 1, and then went 1-2 at its own Raider Duals event. The Raiders beat Tartan 53-18, lost to 12th-ranked in class AAA St. Francis 51-22, beat a solid Coon Rapids team 39-26 and then fell to third-ranked in AAA Prior Lake 37-32.
The Raiders handled Tartan easily by winning six matches, receiving four forfeits and losing four matches. Matt Myers won 9-5 at 120 pounds, Croix Mader won by fall (54 seconds) at 132 pounds, Mac Wilson won by tech fall (19-2) at 145 pounds, Corbin Leflay won by fall (1:51) at 152 pounds, T.J. Pottinger won 12-3 at 182 pounds and Trey Rogers won by tech fall (26-11) at 195 pounds.
Head coach Josh McLay said that his team did not start their first match of the Raider Duals off on the right foot but wrestled better throughout the day.
"We wrestled St. Francis right off the bat and the kids did not come out firing on all cylinders and it showed," he said. "I talked to the kids after and said we can do better, it's about fighting for six minutes and that's what we have to focus on, putting six minutes together and battling the entire time. We got pinned a bunch of times in this match, more than most duals I've ever been in, which is uncharacteristic of a Hastings team getting pinned like that."
Against St. Francis, the Raiders won just five matches and were pinned in seven matches. Billy Crowe won by major decision (13-3) at 113 pounds, Leflay won by fall in 2:44 at 152 pounds, Pottinger won 8-3 at 182 pounds and Rogers won by fall in 4:22 at 195 pounds.
Hastings bounced back against Coon Rapids and won eight matches for a final of 39-26.
"We knew it was going to be another tough match but believed we could beat them," McLay said. "The kids bounced back pretty well after taking a lump with that first dual and the kids wrestled a heck of alot better in that second dual."
In their final dual of the day against Prior Lake, McLay said that despite a slow start his wrestlers continued to improve.
"We knew they were going to be tough and again, we took another step forward with that match," he explained. "We bounced back, we started off slow with the light weights again but picked up steam as we went. Up top, it was really nice we got to match up Trey Rogers, our stud, with one of their studs, Calvin Sund, who is ranked no. 4 in the state (at 182 pounds) and Trey beat him by technical foul and took him down just a ton of times."
Overall, McLay said that
Some highlights from the day were Pottinger beating the fifth-ranked wrestler at 170 pounds Cole Kirpach of St. Francis and eighth-ranked Andrew Johnson within 24 hours in back-to-back duals. Pottinger, Leflay and Rogers all went 3-0 during the Raider Duals. Also, Billy Crowe's match against St. Francis at 113 pounds was his first ever wrestling match, at any level, and he came away with the win.
Hastings travels to Park on Friday, Dec.8, for a triangular against Park and Forest Lake.