Wrestling: Toss-ups going Irish’s wayWinning pivotal matches has helped the Irish to an 18-5 record
By: Brian Hall, Rosemount Town Pages
Rosemount wrestling coach Brett Larson knows dual meets in wrestling often come down to how the respective lines match up.
The two teams’ strengths might be aligned. With few major upsets taking place in wrestling, a dual can often turn based on matchups.
“If we have a strong wrestler, they might have a stronger wrestler there,” Larson said about matchups. “If our guy’s a bit better, I think we get those. It’s usually those, what we call ‘toss-up matches.’ Out of 14 spots there are maybe three, four or five toss-up matches. If there are 14 of those, it’s completely in question from start to finish. But most of the time it’s about four toss-up matches, ones where it will come down to who wrestles best that time.”
The Irish have come up with most of the toss-up matches this season, a big reason they’ve compiled an 18-5 dual meet record. Winning the majority of the critical matches might be one reason Larson is able to move on quickly from the ones that don’t go Rosemount’s way.
The Irish lost 53-17 to Prior Lake last week in a conference dual meet. Rosemount took third place at the Blaine Bengal Duals last weekend, beating Bemidji 51-12 in the first round, losing 56-15 to Coon Rapids in the second round and taking third place with a 46-20 win against Elk River in the finale.
Prior Lake is ranked No. 10 in Class 3A, but Larson felt the final score could have been a little closer.
“We knew we had to wrestle well to have a shot at them,” Larson said. “We didn’t match up well with them, matchup-wise. We didn’t make things happen where we needed to make them happen. Overall, it wasn’t our best match of the season.”
The Irish won four matches. Nicholas Paxson, Adam Jackson, Josh Francois and Jon Bishop earned Rosemount’s points.
Saturday’s Bengal Duals also came down to the toss-up matches.
The Irish came out and beat Bemidji behind wins from Dan Rosa, Adam Hedin, Paul Domeier, Paxson, Sam Moeller, Jackson, Francois, Pat Massey, Alexander Johnson, Jacob Pruter and Bishop. Starting with Moeller, Rosemount won the final seven matches. Rosa, Paxson, Jackson, Massey, and Bishop each pinned his opponent.
“I thought it was potentially going to be closer, but we came right out of the gate and wrestled great,” Larson said.
Much like the dual against Prior Lake, the matchups didn’t go Rosemount’s way against No. 8 ranked Coon Rapids. Domeier, Jackson and Francois earned wins.
“We’d have liked to have it a little closer,” Larson said. “There were some matches we thought could have been different. It was a tough matchup for us. Once you get behind big early, there just isn’t enough time to make up the score.”
The Irish finished the day with a resounding win in the third-place dual.
Elk River was ranked No. 11 in Class 3A, but Rosemount jumped ahead early.
Rosa and Hedin started the match with back-to-back wins. Paxson pinned his opponent. Colin Busho won a major decision. Moeller, Jackson, Francois and Bishop added pins. Pruter won his match.
“With six falls that really tells the tale,” Larson said. “Those bonus points are huge.”
The Irish finish the regular season tonight with a home meet against Eagan.
Jackson takes fifth
The Irish’s Grant Jackson took fifth place at ninth-grade state tournament last weekend at Champlin Park High School.