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Wrestling: Sit back and enjoy, Trojans down Redwood Valley

CALEB NELSON/DAILY GLOBE Worthington senior Zach Kempema (top) scores a near-fall on Redwood Valley sophomore Chase Rahe during their 160-pound match Thursday evening at Worthington High School. 2 / 3
CALEB NELSON/DAILY GLOBE Worthington heavyweight Trevor Wietzema goes against Redwood Valley’s Logan Zaske during Thursday night’s Southwest Conference wrestling dual at WHS. 3 / 3

WORTHINGTON — In unrelenting fashion, the Worthington Trojans rolled over Redwood Valley Thursday night, in their final wrestling dual of the regular season.

The result, a 66-7 triumph for the hometown Trojans, caps a run over the last several days in which the team has won eight of their last nine outings. Worthington finishes the regular season at 11-7 and has plenty to be proud of as the postseason looms ahead.

“The main thing after a match is that — every time — we want to get a little bit better, and I think we did that,” Trojans head coach Mark Prunty commented. “We won some tight matches, some close matches.”

The Trojans received forfeits at both 106 pounds and 126 Thursday, leaving the state’s second-ranked Class AA 126-pounder — Anthony Luft — without a match to wrestle on Parent’s Night.

The forfeits taken sandwiched quick falls earned by Hser Eh Pwae at 113 and Hser Moo Pwae at 120. At 132, sophomore Jeffrey Comacho won an 11-3 major decision. That set up an exciting come-from-behind pin by sophomore King Blanchette at 138.

Wrestling from the bottom in the second frame of his match, Blanchette came up with a masterful reversal and a subsequent pin at 2:53 of his match with Cardinals senior Jordan Mann. The win gave the Trojans a 34-0 lead at that point.

“Every time I wrestle, I wrestle for my team. I wrestle as hard as I can for them,” Blanchette said after the meet. “If we keep wrestling like this we could possibly make it to state and do well up there, but it’ll take a lot more hard work and doing the best we can.”

Worthington sophomore Cody Michelson (145) lost a tough 7-5 decision in overtime and freshman Nic Putnam fell in a 14-1 major decision at 182 pounds, but a tech fall (16-1) from Zach Kempema at 160, a pin from Blake Schroeder at 170, a forfeit received by Carson Hagen at 195, a pin by Peter Abraham at 220 and a 9-7 decision at heavyweight by Trevor Wietzema helped the Trojans pull away.

Several kids had gutsy wins on the night for Worthington including Camacho and Wietzema. These were all efforts Prunty was especially proud of as the team enters postseason wrestling.

“I’m really happy with those guys coming from behind and the others guys did their jobs, too,” Prunty said. “Our kids are learning that regardless of what the score is, you can always be in a match. That’s the great thing about wrestling.

“It can be 14-0, but if you get him on his back and pin him, you win the match. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done the previous three or four minutes. It doesn’t matter,” he added. “(The wrestlers) learn not to give up and that if they make good decisions they can pull out matches even from behind.”

With four ranked wrestlers as the postseason closes in — including Luft, Eh Pwae, Kempema and Hagen — the team takes its full head of steam onward.

Thursday’s win was the Trojans’ third and final in Southwest Conference contention as they end up 3-3. The dual with Redwood was also the last home meet in the regular season for the team’s six seniors including Luft, Joey Mills, Jaren Solt, Lars Opaczek, Kempema and Schroeder.

“Unfortunately Anthony received forfeit tonight, but I kind of forced myself  in a way — for Zach and Blake’s matches — to sit back and enjoy watching them,” Prunty said. “You don’t get to do that all year long, but I got a chance to slow down and enjoy watching our seniors. These guys have been with us so long and it was great for them to pick up a couple of wins for us tonight.”

Worthington 66, Redwood Valley 7

106: Prunty (W) received forfeit; 113: Eh Pwae (W) pin Groebner 1:13; 120: Moo Pwae (W) pin Quast 1:41; 126: Luft (W) received forfeit; 132: Camacho (W) major dec. Bommersbach 11-3; 138: Blanchette (W) pin Mann 2:53; 145: Goblirsch (R) dec. Michelson 7-5 overtime; 152: Riley (W) pin Zuey :37; 160: Kempema (W) tech. fall Rahe 4:53; 170: Schroeder (W) pin Garnhaldt 2:43; 182: Andersen (R) major dec. Putnam 14-1; 195: Hagen (W) received forfeit; 220: Abraham (W) pin Torre 3:14; 285: Wietzema (W) dec. Zaske 9-7.

Caleb Nelson
Caleb Nelson is the Daily Globe sports writer. He hails from southwest Iowa and served as sports editor at the Audubon County Advocate Journal there for 2 ½ years before moving to Worthington in October 2013. Caleb trys to enjoy life and everybody that he meets. He enjoys music, playing guitar and drums, and is an avid sports fan. 
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