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Wrestling: Up against the best

The Rosemount wrestling team didn't waste any time testing itself against some of the best competition in the state.

The Irish opened the regular season last Thursday by hosting a triangular where they lost 52-15 to No. 1-ranked Apple Valley and 40-27 to a Lakeville North team that appears in The Guillotine's Lean and Mean list of state contenders. They got on the bus a day later and traveled to Cambridge where they fell 49-18 to a Cambridge-Isanti squad ranked third in the state. The team made the 70-mile trip home Friday night, and then got back on the mats just a few hours later where it finished fourth out of 10 teams at the Shakopee Invitational.

"It was a long weekend to get started with," Rosemount coach Brett Larson said. "Obviously all those ranked teams made for a tough start, but the boys performed well."

Performing especially well at Shakopee were Dan Rosa and Sam Moeller. The pair of returning state qualifiers are ranked eighth in the state in their respective weight classes and both came through with first-place finishes.

Rosa advanced through the 120-pound bracket with a pin and a pair of technical falls as he improved to 6-0. Moeller also went 3-0 with an 18-9 major decision in the final at 182 pounds.

"(Rosa) has wrestled really well and dominated all his competition so far. He has high expectations for a great year, as does Sam," Larson said. "Sam lost to the No. 1 kid in the state from Apple Valley 6-5 and the No. 2 wrestler from Cambridge 7-3, so he's wrestling tough against the best there are in the state. He wanted to see that competition early and he's been up for the challenge."

Jake Baker placed second for the Irish at 113 pounds and Kwame Owusu and Payton Otterdahl each placed third. Craig Syzmanski added a fourth-place finish and four other wrestlers placed fifth.

The Irish scored 158 1/2 points, just 5 1/2 points off the pace of third-place Bloomington Kennedy. Host Shakopee, ranked 11th in the state, easily outscored runner-up Rochester Mayo 240 1/2-178 1/2 for the team title.

Rosa, Baker, Grant Jackson and Connor Hagen scored the team's four wins against Cambridge-Isanti. Rosa, Hagen, Baker, Swanson, Jackson and Moeller won against Lakeville North and Rosa, Jackson and Jacob Bottem triumphed in the loss to Apple Valley.