The Saint James Area Saints wrestling team traveled to Wells last Friday night to take on a tough United South Central team.
The Saints prevailed with a 38 to 32 win over the Rebels.
This match was a bit of a concern to the Saints Head Coach Gene Hildebrandt thought this was going to be a ‘barn burner’ of a match because the week before USC had finished a strong second in 28 team Redwood River Riot with six of the wrestlers placing in the meet.
The Saints finished sixth in that tourney with only three wrestlers placing, but Friday night was a team match and the Saints were deep enough to come away with the win.
Cody Hanson got it going for the Saints with a pin at 113. That was followed by a major decision by Richy Soto at 126. He remains unbeaten this year.
Having split the first four weights, the Saints lost the next three, so the match could have gotten away from the SJA boys.
But Kody Curry got a major at 152, Zack Gleiter got a pin at 160 and Ryan Westman got a pin 170 for the Saints.
The Saints lost the next two matches with Devin Wolle losing 7-4 at 195 in what could be called an upset.
With two weights to go, the Saints trailed by six points. It was up to the Torres brothers and they delivered for their teammates. ‘Little’ brother Adrian got a pin at 220 to tie it up and big brother Victor got a pin at heavyweight to secure the six point win.
Having won wrestle offs against teammates, three Saints saw their first vastity match against USC. Sophomore Joe Dominguez wrestled at 132, Junior Mark Alvarado wrestled at 145 and freshman Chris Johnson wrestled at 182. All three of the wrestlers lost their first time out, but their opportunity to step on the mat is an indication the Saints are developing some depth at various weights. Coach Hildebrandt said Johnson wrestled well against the fourth ranked wrestler in the state at that weight.
The other Saint that had a ‘good’ loss was Mario Garcia at 106. Marion lost by one point to a USC grappler who finished second at the Redwood tourney. The Saint had his opponent on his back in the third period when time ran out.
The wrestlers have the rest of 2012 off from competition but the wrestling room is full during the mornings over Christmas break. Their next action will be on Jan. 3, when they host conference foe the Waseca Bluejays at 7 pm.