Wrestling: No. 12 Irish upset No. 7 Sabers, 33-30
When last week’s state rankings came out, the Rosemount wrestling team appeared in the top 12 for the first time in several years.
The Irish, with a lineup featuring five state-ranked individuals, moved out of the Lean and Mean category and into the No. 12 position in Class 3A. The team carried that ranking into competition for the first time Friday night at Shakopee and backed it up by knocking off the seventh-ranked Sabers, 33-30.
“That hasn’t happened in a while. It’s probably been 10 years since we’ve beaten a team ranked that high,” Rosemount coach Brett Larson said. “We had a long break after the Rumble on the Red and that dual was a great way to end it. We had seen Shakopee at their tournament and we knew their wrestlers pretty well. We felt going in we had a chance to win.”
The Irish trailed 30-18 late in the dual and had to win the final three matches — and score some bonus points along the way — to capture the win. Cameron Womack started the run with a 14-11 decision at 195. Tenth-ranked Craig Szymanski followed with a pin at 220 and ninth-ranked heavyweight Payton Otterdahl completed the rally with a pin of his own.
“It came down the way we expected it would,” Larson said. “We felt good with Payton at heavyweight and he did what we thought he would do. The whole lineup did well, top to bottom.”
The Irish kept the dual close early with a trio of closely-contested victories. Reuben Cephas held on for a 3-2 decision, Connor Hagen was a 6-2 winner and third-ranked Adam Hedin improved to 16-2 with a 3-0 decision.
Grant Jackson added an 11-4 win and Connor Busho won by fall.
Larson also credited Jake Baker and Josh Lorenz, who lost their matches but kept a pair of Shakopee’s top wrestlers from earning any bonus points. Baker lost a 5-0 decision and Lorenz, filling in for injured Austin Swanson, fell 5-1.
“Even though they lost, they saved us some team points against two of their best guys,” Larson said. “That was a real key to the match.”