JACKSON -- Oddly, the Jackson County Central wrestling team keeps winning but also keeps falling in the Minnesota state rankings.
The Huskies began the season seventh in Class A according to The Guillotine, and with their Thursday night 49-19 victory over a solid Worthington rival, they improved to 10-1. But heading into the match, their ranking was 11.
“A couple more wins and we’ll be down to ‘lean and mean,’” said head coach Nate Hanson.
Hanson says he doesn’t mind what the voters say. He was more disappointed that Thursday’s meet, which was supposed to be a triangular, turned into a dual after Blue Earth Area was unable to appear. The Bucs are the fifth-ranked Class A team in the state, and the Huskies were hankering for a showdown.
No matter. JCC won five of the first six weight classes against the Trojans and held on for a convincing triumph. Nolan Ambrose at 106 pounds, Thomas Freking at 132, Isaiah Rodriguez at 152, Matthew Haley at 170 and Caleb Vancura at 195 all recorded falls. At 126, Logan Butzon won by a technical fall, and at 138 Dylan Withers scored a 13-0 major decision.
Defending state individual champion Payton Handevidt posted a 13-1 major decision over the Trojans’ Jaden Hennings at 160 pounds. For Handevidt, who is 11-0 on the season, it was only the second time this season that he didn’t pin his opponent.
The Trojans had a few good matches, too. Ethan Meyer was the first WHS wrestler to get on the board when he decisioned JCC’s Seth Stai 6-1 at 120 pounds. Damon Schutz was strong in a 13-1 major decision over Coltan Bents at 145. Heavyweight Cole Hennings pinned Trace Michelson in 2:00.
Hanson, a 1998 JCC grad, said his Huskies are following a winning script.
“JCC has a really strong wrestling tradition, and we talk about it, quite a bit, having a lot of pride,” he said. “We have an aggressive style. We like to attack.”
The Huskies will get a chance to attack Blue Earth Area today in a triangular meet in Marshall. But if they do manage to knock off the Bucs, all bets are off regarding where they’ll be next in the rankings.
JCC 49, Worthington 19
106-Nolan Ambrose (JCC) pinned Alex Galvez
113-Kie Anderson (JCC) decisioned Oscar Galvez
120-Ethan Meyer (W) decisioned Seth Stai 6-1
126-Logan Butzon (JCC) TF Oliver Ortiz 17-2, 2:00
132-Thomas Freking (JCC) pinned Miat Htoo
138-Dylan Withers (JCC) MD Zaydan Abdulrahman 13-0
145-Damon Schutz (W) MD Coltan Bents 13-1
152-Isaiah Rodriguez (JCC) pinned Mason Schutz
160-Payton Handevidt (JCC) MD Jaden Hennings 13-1
170-Matthew Haley (JCC) pinned Evan Neuberger
182-William Freking (JCC) decisioned Kent Lais 8-1
195-Caleb Vancura (JCC) pinned Tanner Hennings
220-Kasey Gerhard (W) by forfeit
285-Cole Hennings (W) pinned Trace Michelson 2:00