Wrestling: Battle for bonus pointsIrish end the regular season with 33-30 win against Eagan
By: Brian Hall, Rosemount Town Pages
With the regular season winding down, the end-of-the-year focus for the Rosemount wrestling team will soon turn toward individual finishes.
But with one South Suburban Conference meet remaining before the section team and individual championships, the Irish focused on their team. And they received an important reminder how it is a true team effort in duals — even when wrestlers don’t win.
Rosemount finished the regular season last week with a 33-30 win at home against Eagan. With three regular varsity starters out of the lineup, a tight match with the Wildcats became even closer.
And a lesson about bonus points soon followed.
“It came down to a team effort,” Irish coach Brett Larson said. “With three starters out of the lineup and with backups in, it came down to them doing the job. Coming in we knew it would be tight and it was. The turning point was really two guys that didn’t win, but didn’t give up bonus points.”
Eagan and Rosemount each won seven matches. The Irish earned the victory on bonus points.
While it’s easy to look at the bonus points in wins, Larson knows the bonus points saved in losses are equally important to the team finish.
Jacob Baker filled in for Kwame Owusu and kept his match close, while Jacob Pruter stood his ground against a state-ranked wrestler at 215 pounds after the Irish had built a lead through the middle weights.
“It went to a decision, but he saved the team three points. That’s the difference right there,” Larson said. “We had a few bonus point, but you have to look at the guys who wrestled hard and kept it close.”
Dan Rosa earned a forfeit win and Connor Hagen filled in for Adam Hedin at 112 pounds and won, 6-1.
“It was a huge lift to get that win at 112,” Larson said. “Another huge win was Colin Busho. He was behind, but he wrestled hard and got a fall.”
Between Hagen’s and Busho’s victories, Paul Domeier added a win at 130 pounds.
“That was probably the marquee matchup with one of our best against one of their best,” Larson said. “That was a great win for Paul.”
Adam Jackson added a tech fall and Josh Francois pinned his opponent to give Rosemount an 18-point lead heading into the final three matches.
The win locked up third place in the South Suburban Conference for Rosemount. Apple Valley won the conference title with 7-1 Prior Lake finishing one spot ahead of the 6-2 Irish.
Rosa finished the regular season with a 28-5 record at 103 pounds.
Hedin was 23-10 at 112 pounds.
Steve Levine is the No. 6 ranked wrestler in Class 3A at 125 pounds after going 25-3.
Domeier is 24-8 at 130 pounds and Nicholas Paxson is 20-10 at 135.
Jackson is currently ranked No. 3 at 152 pounds and finished the regular season 32-1, his only loss coming to No. 1 ranked Destin McCauley of Apple Valley.
At 160 pounds, Francois is ranked No. 7 with a 29-3 mark.
Heavyweight Jon Bishop finished the regular season 26-6 and is ranked No. 10.
As a team, Rosemount is ranked in the Class 3A “Lean and Mean” rankings, gaining honorable mention status after a 19-5 regular season dual meet record.
The team section tournament is this weekend with the individual section tournament following next week.
Rosemount had several place winners in the South Suburban Conference JV tournament and placed sixth as a team in the gold division.
In the gold division, Hagen finished fifth at 112 pounds. Baker was second at 119 pounds.
Sam Moeller was fourth at 145 pounds, while Isaiah Lufkin placed fourth at 152 pounds.
Nat Martin added a fourth-place finish at 160 pounds.
Jeries Fakhoury was second at 171 pounds. Payton Otterdahl finished sixth at 215 pounds.
Stefan Sauer placed second at heavyweight.
In the silver division, Rosemount’s Josh Payette took the title at 112 pounds.
Austin Swanson was third at 119 pounds.
Craig Szymanski finished third at 152 pounds.
Mike Funchie won the title at 171 pounds.