Back on track
Tigers pick up 2 bounce back dual wins
Following last Thursday’s dual defeats to Cherokee and Estherville Lincoln Central, Spencer’s wrestlers were forced to take a long, hard look at themselves. A difference showed with Saturday’s third place finish at the West Sioux Invite, and Tuesday night’s wins over MOC-Floyd Valley (39-33) and Sheldon/South O’Brien (46-31) showcased a Tiger team that appears to have gotten back on track.
“We had a really good practice on Friday,” Spencer co-head wrestling coach Adam Gress said. “I think some of the guys realized going through the motions in practice and going through the motions out here isn’t enough. You’ve got to get a little mean. Get a little pushy. Get a little shovy. And it started in the practice room on Friday and showed Saturday. And we had a good practice (Monday) with just varsity guys and got to hone in on some stuff.”
“I thought they wrestled a lot better,” co-head coach Ryan Pratt added. “I think they definitely gained some confidence Saturday which I think carried into today. It showed. Wrestling at home, I think our kids really get up for that, and it was a perfect time to get that confidence back with a couple of wins at home.”
Spencer’s night started against the Dutch, and a 4-0 decision at 220 followed by a pair of falls at 285 and 106 for MOC put the Tigers in a quick 15-0 hole.
The purple and gold had the perfect response as Bryson Blair (113), TJ Arnold (120), Cade Hopkins (126), Chris Gross (132), Matt Fox (138) and Isaiah Spencer (145) went on a pinning spree, seemingly competing to see who could stick their man the fastest.
Arnold won that game within the game with a 24-second job at 120 pounds.
The Dutch came back with a pin at 152 and a 7-1 decision at 160 to cut Spencer’s lead to 36-24 going into the dual’s final three bouts.
“The thing we talked about in the room before coming out was getting bonus points and staying out of bonus points,” Gress said. “For the most part we had kids that were scrapping and fighting. Going into those last three matches, we knew we had to get a win and stay off our back, and both things happened. Sam Brandt (182) stayed off his back and stepped into a varsity spot tonight as a freshman that I don’t think was really expecting it. He fought, and him staying off his back won us that dual.”
Brogan Seier got the win at 170, grinding out a 3-2 decision while Brandt went the distance in an 11-4 defeat. MOC got a pin at 195 for the 39-33 final score.
Sheldon took the 285 match by fall for a quick 6-0 lead before Case Cauthron (106) fought back from a 5-0 deficit to record a 13-5 major decision for a 6-4 scoreboard.
The Orabs answered back with a 12-2 major at 113 before Arnold, Hopkins and Gross went on a three-pin streak that totaled just 61 seconds.
Sheldon stopped the bleeding with a pin at 138, but Isaiah Spencer’s pin at 145 put the Tigers in front 28-16.
Sheldon got a decision at 152, but Brody Kacmarynski (160) and Seier pinned their men for a commanding 40-19 lead.
“That’s one of the things we talked about a week ago — momentum,” Gress said. “Last Thursday we had none. This time we lost a couple then rattled off a couple more and got some wins, and it was a nice way to keep the ball rolling. Then we lost a couple more, but we’d rattle off a couple more wins. As a team, we looked more cohesive. We had each other’s backs. Our bench was not dead. They were yelling and screaming and into it, and like Ryan said, I think part of that was being at home and seeing the crowd. It’s noisy in here, and they thrive on that stuff.”
Sheldon tried to battle back with a pin from No. 5-ranked 182-pounder Luke Jenness, but Drew Thompson (195) added one more pin for the Tigers ahead of an Orab fall victory at 220 for the 46-31 final score.
Tuesday night’s duals also came with some postseason implications.
“With Sheldon being a sectional opponent and MOC being a district opponent, I think tonight was a gauge to see where we’re at with those guys and get some head-to-head matchups,” Pratt said. “I think we’re sitting pretty good. Brody Kacmarynski’s match (against MOC) stands out to me. I think if we fix one position on that kid and get out from bottom, it might be a different story the next time, and we’ll be ready when that next match comes.”
The Tigers get a stiff test in their next outing as they’ll travel to West Des Moines for the Valley Duals on Saturday. They’ll finish out the Lakes Conference dual season Thursday, Jan. 18 in Spirit Lake against Spirit Lake Park.
SPENCER WRESTLING DUAL RESULTS
SPENCER HIGH SCHOOL — TUESDAY, JAN. 9
Spencer 39, MOC-Floyd Valley 33
106 — Johnny Hua (MOC-FV) over Case Cauthron, Fall 1:02
113 — Bryson Blair over Chad Klein (MOC-FV), Fall 3:02
120 — TJ Arnold over Sergio Ramos (MOC-FV), Fall 0:24
126 — Cade Hopkins over Camryn Van Zee (MOC-FV), Fall 0:34
132 — Chris Gross over Alex Pohlen (MOC-FV), Fall 1:16
138 — Matt Fox over Tzion MacArthur (MOC-FV), Fall 1:44
145 — Isaiah Spencer over Mason Vaas (MOC-FV), Fall 0:47
152 — Noah Fleming (MOC-FV) over Titan Coleman, Fall 2:55
160 — Logan Koedam (MOC-FV) over Brody Kacmarynski, Dec. 7-1
170 — Brogan Seier over JJ Okihn (MOC-FV), Dec. 3-2
182 — Issac Zavala (MOC-FV) over Samuel Brandt, Dec. 11-4
195 — Conner Huss (MOC-FV) over Drew Thompson, Fall 1:54
220 — Gage Fisher (MOC-FV) over Zach O’Clair, Dec. 4-0
285 — Stephen Trejo (MOC-FV) over Xander Cheevers, Fall 1:43
Spencer 46, Sheldon/South O’Brien 31
106 — Case Cauthron over Osvaldo Ocampo (Sheldon), Major Dec. 13-5
113 — Elijah Broesder (Sheldon) over Bryson Blair, Major Dec. 12-2
120 — TJ Arnold over Peter Hamill (Sheldon), Fall 0:14
126 — Cade Hopkins over Dalton Wagenaar (Sheldon), Fall 0:16
132 — Chris Gross over Dakota Peters (Sheldon), Fall 0:31
138 — Mason Warnke (Sheldon) over Matt Fox, Fall 2:54
145 — Isaiah Spencer over Dakota Johannes (Sheldon), Fall 2:41
152 — Gavin Leng (Sheldon) over Titan Coleman, Dec. 8-4
160 — Brody Kacmarynski over Clayton Leng (Sheldon), Fall 4:26
170 — Brogan Seier over Bobby Beldt (Sheldon), Fall 2:43
182 — Luke Jenness (Sheldon) over Samuel Brandt, Fall 0:39
195 — Drew Thompson over Thomas Nelson (Sheldon), Fall 3:50
220 — Jonah Dacken (Sheldon) over Zach O’Clair, Fall 0:54
285 — TK Lang (Sheldon) over Xander Cheevers, Fall 3:44