Scott West 106-pounder Matt Randolph (rear) secured back points

Scott West 106-pounder Matt Randolph (rear) secured back points against Park’s Gunner Mullen during his 13-2 victory, lending to Scott West’s overall score of 42-24 over Park on Thursday, Jan. 9.  (Photo by Casey Ek)

The 5-0 Panthers place third at River Valley, WI  with Tracy (106), Church (113), Demmers (160), and Stuffert (220) as champions

The Scott West Wrestling Team made its first-ever trip to Woodbury on Thursday night, Jan. 9, where the Panthers opened the new year by wrestling their way to three dual meet victories, improving their current season record to 5-0.  

After defeating East Ridge 54-20 and Park 42-24, Scott West finished off the night with an exciting 41-30 win over the host team Royals, no.11 in AAA.  

The final meet in Woodbury on Thursday night got off to an awesome start for Team Panther behind Zach Tracy’s 6-0 shutout performance of the Royals’ no. 8 Alex Braun at 106.  The two wrestlers had met earlier in the year at the Rumble on the Red Championships in Fargo where Tracy had scored a 2-1 win on his way to a third-place finish in N.D.  This time Tracy widened the gap as he controlled the mat action from start to finish, winning from all three positions and all three periods that included a first and third period take down with a second period reversal.  

“It was good to see Zach bounce right back after a tough 4-1 match loss to Park’s  no. 4 rated Silvis and deliver a really solid performance,” Scott West coach Darren Ripley said.

Next, two Scott West wrestlers performed in a big way as freshman Landon Church at 113 and junior Adam Kelvington at 120 put up big wins that gave Scott West a 14-0 team lead in the early going.  Church lit up the scoreboard as he swarmed Woodbury’s Kaiden Kirby in a 16-0 second-period fall. Kelvington followed with a first-period pin as he used a double bar arm on the edge of the mat to get the 38-second match-ending pin fall call from mat official Rod Frost.

Woodbury’s Will Bents put up the Royals first five team points with a 15-0 technical fall of Scott West junior Tory Pumper at 126.

Seventh-grader Dylan Thomas delivered his first big win as a Scott West Panther at 132 as he drove Royal wrestler Gavin Wilson to his back with an arm bar for the second-period pin fall call from Frost at 2:22.  The Thomas pin gave Scott West a 20-5 lead over the Royals.  

Following a 10-0 major decision loss by Scott West sophomore Ashoton Holbrook to Woodbury’s Cade Johnson at 138, Team Panther approached a three-match winning streak started off by junior Luke Fogarty as he scored a second-period pin of Ryan Holt in their match at 145.  

The Fogarty pin was followed by an exciting 11-6 match win at 152 where Panther junior Blake Riemer started fast but did not score a third-period point against his Royal opponent Sebastian Zamaorano.

Senior captain Jace Demmers finished off the three-match winning streak as  he gave the Scott West Panthers a seemingly commanding 35-9 team lead, recording a second-period pin of Woodbury’s Dave Hawley.  

The Scott West 35-9 team lead, however, evaporated rather quickly as the home team Woodbury Royals rallied and upped the Team Panther three match winning streak with a four-match winning streak of their own.  

The Royals started their win streak with what was probably the most exciting match of the night as Woodbury’s Nick Siezkowski defeated the Panthers’ John Jack Wiese by a score of 13-12 at 170.  Wiese went into the third period trailing in the match 8-3 but made a furious comeback by scoring eight points in the final period with two reversals and two takedowns plus a stall call point.  

Woodbury followed the Siezkowski win with three straight pins as Omar Abdelal pinned Collin Fahey at 182, Tre Hockenberger pinned Carson Schoenbauer at 195 and Mason Barrows brought them to within striking distance at 35-30 when he recorded the pin of Gavin Fahey at 220.  

The Woodbury pin flurry  brought the meet down to the heavyweights where the Scott West big man Hunter Struffert  rolled the Royals’ heavyweight Denis Tokin to his back with a first period banana split spladle that led to not only  the match ending but Scott West’s 41-30 meet-winning pin fall call at 1:08 by one of the best in the business, mat official Rod Frost.

Third Place in Wisconsin

Scott West finished off their week of wrestling by traveling to River Valley High School in Wisconsin on Saturday, Jan. 11, for the second edition of the Rick Lawinger Invitational. Team Panther won the first one last year behind three individual champions in Justin Stauffacher at 126, Justin Backlund at 132 and Calvin Menke at Hwt.  

Unfortunately, Scott West was not be able to defend their tournament title from a year ago as last year’s runner-up team Waunakee won the event with 208.5 team points. Scott West  finished in a close third with 183 team points, just behind the second place team Chilton/Hilbert’s 184.5 team points.  

The Scott West Panthers were led to that third place team finish with championship performances by Zach Tracy at 106, Landon Church at 113, Jace Demmers at 160, and Hunter Struffert at 220.  

“Zach, Jace and Hunter have been leading our team in performance throughout the year,” stated Coach Ripley, and it was good to see Landon win his first varsity tournament as a Scott West Panther.”

Looking Ahead

The Scott West Panthers will have a busy wrestling week ahead as they welcome Northfield to the big Scott West Kevin Slack Mat at the Jordan Middle School on Thursday night, Jan. 16, where Team Panther has remained unbeaten in matches wrestled there.  

Following the Northfield meet, Scott West will travel to St. Peter on Friday night, Jan. 17, to wrestle the Saints and Tri-City United before closing out the weekend with a trip to the Eastview Invitational on Saturday.

Scott West Wrestling Team Schedule

Jan. 16: vs. Northfield @ Jordan Middle School-large gym

Jan. 17: Triangular @ St. Peter

Jan. 18: @ Eastview H.S.

Jan. 23: @ New Prague H.S.

Jan. 25: @ Conference Tournament @ Belle Plaine H.S.

Jan. 30: Triangular @ Maple Grove High School

Jan. 31: vs. Farmington @ Belle Plaine High School

Feb. 6: vs. Watertown-Mayer

Feb. 7: Triangular @ Annandale High School

Feb. 13: Sectional Tournament @ Jordan High School

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