WHS Wrestling: Trojans cruise by Panthers 47-27WORTHINGTON — The wrestling match between Worthington and Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove got off to a close start, but the Trojans were able to pull away in the middle and upper weight classes to secure the win.
WORTHINGTON — The wrestling match between Worthington and Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove got off to a close start, but the Trojans were able to pull away in the middle and upper weight classes to secure the win.
WHS picked up its seventh win of the season with a 47-27 rout of the Panthers Thursday night.
“The team did amazing,” 145-pounder Matt Poppema said. “We had a couple of forfeits that helped us through it, but our heavyweights really stepped up. They’re kind of weaker wrestlers just because they’re younger and don’t have as much experience, but they stepped up today. It was a great match.”
The match score was 16-15 in favor of Worthington after the 138-pound grapple between Jacob Clarke and Joe Ruppert — Ruppert pinned Clarke at the 5:05 mark.
After that, however, the Trojans got on a roll.
Poppema won his match at 145 pounds over T-M-B/W-WG’s Cody Christian after being down by a point with 30 seconds remaining in the third period. But Poppema was able to get a reversal and backpoints to secure the 6-2 decision and give his team a 19-15 lead at the midway point of the dual.
“He had me in the same move right at the end that he had me in earlier and I knew I could get out of it,” Poppema said. “He was good and he was strong. To start it off I wasn’t shooting much, just trying to finish each period. But I just got lucky in the end and picked over and got him on his back. It was a good match.”
After a forfeit in the 152-pound weight class to give the Panthers a 21-19 lead, the Trojans won three consecutive matches — all with bonus points — to regain a 35-21 lead.
At 160 pounds, Zach Kempema compiled a 17-7 major decision over Tanner Michelson to make the score 23-21.
Blake Schroeder followed with a pin at the 2:48 mark of the 170-pound match over Tristan Varpness and Carson Hagen received a forfeit at 182 pounds to give the Trojans a combined 12 more points.
“Our young kids in the upper-middle weights are really starting to come into their own,” head coach Mark Prunty said of Schroeder, Kempema and Hagen. “I wouldn’t say it’s been a surprise because we’ve seen good things out of them in the room. It’s really exciting as a coach to look at our upper weights and see tenth grader, tenth grader, ninth grader in the 160-182 range. Those kids aren’t going anywhere and teams are going to have to deal with them for a long time to come.”
Four Trojans got pins on the night. Anthony Luft started the dual off with a pin over Logan Axford at 106 pounds, 132-pounder Jared Kinley pinned Sterling Schwartz at 1:13, Schroeder got his pin at 170 pounds and Peter Abraham closed the dual out with a pin in the heavyweight division 39 seconds in over Brandon Balsavage.
T-M-B/W-WG compiled three pins on the night as well. Brandon Schroeder pinned Vince Riley two minutes into the 120-pound match, Ruppert got his pin at 138 pounds and Brad Schmidt pinned Brandon Riemersma at the 1:38 mark of the 195-pound grapple.
Worthington takes on Fulda/Murray County Central tonight at 7:30, while T-M-B/W-WG takes on MACCRAY/Reville County West tonight at home.
And with a quick turnaround, the Trojans hope to see many of the positives they saw in Thursday’s dual victory again tonight.
“We managed the clock well tonight and were constantly aware of the score,” Prunty said. “I think that’s something we continue to do a good job of is picking up those bonus points. As we’ve seen in so many close matches, one point is all it’s going to take to get you the win. So we’d like to continue to see the kids strive for those bonus points and continue working toward the pins.”
106 Luft (W) fall 3:56 Axford, 6-0
113 Caleb Christian (T-M-B/W-WG) dec. 6-1 Michelson, 6-3
120 Schroeder (T-M-B/W-WG) fall 2:00 Riley, 6-9
126 Artiga (W) maj. dec. 12-4 Salmon, 10-9
132 Kinley (W) fall 1:13 Schwartz, 16-9
138 Ruppert (T-M-B/W-WG) fall 5:05 Clarke, 16-15
145 Poppema (W) dec. 6-2 Cody Christian, 19-15
152 Peterson (T-M-B/W-WG) forfeit, 19-21
160 Kempema (W) maj. dec. 17-7 Michelson, 23-21
170 Schroeder (W) fall 2:48 Varpness, 29-21
182 Hagen (W) forfeit, 35-21
195 Schmidt (T-M-B/W-WG) fall 1:38 Riemersma, 35-27
220 Martinez (W) forfeit, 41-27
Hwt. Abraham (W) fall 0:39 Balsavage, 47-27
Daily Globe Sports Reporter Jocelyn Syrstad can be reached at 376-7335.