Finally! In his 27th year as a head wrestling coach, Gene Hildebrandt gets his first win for the St. James Area Saints.

Of course, that Saints win last week against Worthington gets added to his 457 career wins as the head coach of the St. James Saints.

    Finally! In his 27th year as a head wrestling coach, Gene Hildebrandt gets his first win for the St. James Area Saints.

    Of course, that Saints win last week against Worthington gets added to his 457 career wins as the head coach of the St. James Saints.

    By the numbers, Coach Hildebrandt now has 458 career wins and   the SJA Saints opened their season with a convincing 46-24 win against the visiting Trojans.  

    More numbers - the Saints got seven pins and senior Isaac Carreon got his 75th career win as a Saint with one of the pins.

    Worthington held an early lead through the lower weights. The Trojans led 15-12 through the 132 lbs. weight class.

    In these lower weights the Saints gave up some points late in periods and that affected the scoring in some of the matches.

    The visitors got a pin at 106 over the Saints Mario Garcia and the Saints Cody Hanson was pinned at 120 lbs. Hanson was wrestling Anthony Luft, who is ranked fourth in 2A wrestling, while Hanson is ranked seventh in smaller class A.

    Angel Zamarripa got a pin at 113 to knot the team score at 6-6 before Hanson’s loss gave Worthington a 12-6 edge.

    Richy Soto came right back for the Saints, with a pin at 1:59 of the first period in the  126 lbs class.

    The Saints lost a close decision at 132 lbs. when Sammy Guzman lost to his Worthington foe 7-3.

    Then the Saints got going by winning the next four matches.  Carreon got his pin at 3:09 of the second period to put SJA ahead for good by a team score of 18-15.  

    Kody Curry won by a 10-2 decision and pushed the team lead to 22-15. Conner Engel got his first win as a Saint when he pinned his Trojan competitor at 5:20 of the third period.

    At  160 lbs. Zack Gleiter kicked off his senior year with a pin at 2:45 of the second period.

    The Saints Ryan Westman lost a very close match at 170 lbs. by an 8-7 score.

    SJA won three of the next four matches. Devin Wolle won a 5-1 decision at 182 lbs. SJA’s Colin Hoppe was pinned at 195 lbs.

    The Torres brothers closed it out for the Saints. At 220 lbs. Adrian Torres pinned his foe at 3:48 of the second period. Adrian was taken down and put on his back with no time at the end of the first period. What could have been a disaster turned out just to be a takedown for Worthington.

    Senior Victor Torres won a 6-0 decision pushing the final score to 46-24.   

Saints go 2-1 Saturday in a quadrangular meet at Mankato West
    The Saints wrestled three teams on Saturday at a quadrangular meet hosted by Mankato West.     The Saints blasted the host school 59-9 and beat a good Byron team 40-30, but SJA fell to Wabasso/Red Rock Central 46-19. Wabasso is the fourth ranked team in Minnesota Class A.

    Against Mankato West the Saints collected five pins and padded the team score with four forfeits.

    Angel Zamarripa got a forfeit and Cody Hanson got a pin for the Saints at 113 and 120 lbs respectively.   

    Richy Soto, Sammy Guzman and Isaac Carreon squeezed out decisions. Kody Curry and Connor Engle picked up forfeits.

    Zack Gleiter lost a decision at 160, but then the Saints closed out the Scarlets with four pins and another forfeit.

    Ryan Westman got a pin at 170. Colin Hoppe planted his foe right at the end of the first period.

    The forfeit went to Devin Wolle at 195. The Torres brothers each got first period pins. Adrian got a pin at 220 lbs in 1:28. Big brother Victor was faster getting his HWT pin at 1:03.

    The wrestlers picked up their second win against Byron. It was a high scoring match and the outcome was not decided until Victor Torres pinned his opponent in just 39 seconds of the first period to pick up six team points and securing a 40-30 win.

    Mario Garcia lost a decision at 106, Zamarripa won a decision and  Hanson won a major decision.

    Soto and Guzman got pins. Richy collected his at 1:20 and Sammy got the pin right near the end of the match, at 5:54.

    Isaac Carreon got a close win at 138 when he won 4-3. At that time, the Saints led 22-3. Then Byron got back to back pins on Curry and Engel. Gleiter lost a decision so the Saints were up by four 22-18.

    Wrestling to keep the team lead, Ryan Westman got a pin at 2:48 of the second period. The Saints were up 28-18. At 182, Colin Hoppe got pinned and the lead closed 28-24.

    Devin Wolle came back and pinned his foe in 1:20 of the first period for a 34-24 team lead.

    The pattern remained in place as Adrian Torres got pinned. That’s when Victor Torres secured the match with a pin.

    The marquee match of the day was the Saints against Wabasso/Red Rock Central. Wabasso is fourth ranked and has six ranked wrestlers compared to the Saints having five ranked wrestlers.  

    In two weight classes ranked wrestlers went head to head against each other.

    At 120 lbs. Cody Hanson is ranked seventh and Wabasso’s Spencer Jenniges is ranked eighth. Hanson was in a close match, but was injured and was forced to default.

    At HWT, Victor Torres lost to second ranked Alex Schroepfer. Torres was pinned in the first period.   

    Wabasso jumped out to a 6-0 team lead when Garcia was pinned. Zamarripa got half that back with a decision.

    After Hanson’s default, Soto closed the gap to a 12-7 Wabasso lead with a major decision. Guzman got pinned by a ranked wrestler and at 138 Carreon lost his first match of the young season by a 10-4 decision. This put Wabasso up 22-7.

    Curry got a decision to make the team score 22-10, but Wabasso smacked the Saints down with four pins in a row. 

    Simon Beck, Engel, Westman and Hoppe were all pinned. Wolle broke the string at 195 with a 3-0 decision.

    Adrian Torres won by a pin at 220 in the first minute of the match, but lost when he was pinned at 41 seconds.

    That made the final team score 46-19. The Saints will get a second shot against Wabasso this year as they come a calling on Jan. 15, as part of a three team match. Madelia will also be paying the Saints a visit that night.

    The Saints wrestle at Fulda on Thursday night and host five other teams in a tournament on Saturday. Matches get underway at 9 am.