Hastings senior Trey Rogers finally got his Santa hat. After taking fourth at 182 pounds last year in the annual Minnesota Christmas Tournament, Rogers beat Tyler Buesgens of Scott West by an 8-6 decision to win the 195-pound championship and was handed a Santa hat by a member of the U.S. Marine Corps.
The Minnesota Christmas Tournament, held at the Rochester Community and Technical College sports center, is considered one of the best tournaments in the Midwest each year as it features the best wrestlers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Iowa and Illinois. Winning a championship is a big deal, and instead of a medal or trophy, each of the 14 champions is given a Santa hat.
Rogers fell behind quickly in the championship match, but bounced back and by the end was clearly the better wrestler.
"It was kind of a controversial take down, you can't control what the ref does or what the other kid does, so I tried to keep that mindset," Rogers said about his win. "It's awesome, I remember my freshman year I went 2-0 the first day and 0-2 the second day, and being able to win it now, it's awesome."
The other Raider wrestler to place was Rogers' fellow senior and captain T.J. Pottinger. Pottinger took sixth after losing 7-5 to Bryson Alsteen of Kaukauna (Wis.) in the fifth-place match. He won his first three matches of the tournament before losing his semifinal match to Caden Steffen of Zumbrota-Mazeppa in Ultimate Tie Breaker. He then was unable to bounce back and fell in consolation semifinal to Calvin Sund of Prior Lake which put him in the fifth-place match.
As a team, Hastings finished 20th out of 39 teams with 81 team points. Some notable results are as follows:
Sophomore Croix Mader went 1-2 at 126 pounds; junior Mac Wilson went 3-2 with a bye before losing in the fifth consolation round in the 138-pound class; fellow junior Corbin Leflay also went 4-2 with a bye before losing by sudden victory in the sixth consolation round; sophomore Ryan Erickson (160) went 1-2 with a pin; junior Godswill Pepple won two matches by decision at 220 pounds and was 2-2 on the weekend; and at 285 pounds, freshman Wichern won his first Minnesota Christmas Tournament match and went 1-2.
Hastings travels to Mahtomedi on Thursday, Dec. 21, for a dual against the Zephyrs. The next week, they return to RCTC for The Clash, a highly-regarded team duals tournament that will once again feature teams from around the Midwest.