east wrestling

Mankato East seniors Mat Schnorenberg (left) and Dylan Fast are each hoping to end their season at the Class AA state wrestling tournament in March.

John Cross
The Free Press, Mankato, MN

The wrestling careers of Mankato East senior co-captains Dylan Fast and Mat Schnorenberg have taken markedly different paths but they do share a common goal for the 2009-2010 season: They both want to go out with a bang.

Fast has been wrestling almost since he could walk but was disappointed with his 13-21 season of a year ago. He’d like to turn those numbers around and make a run a state tournament berth.

“I did not have a good year last year,” Fast admitted before practice last week. “As a sophomore I was second on the team in takedowns but I wasn’t as aggressive last season. I want to get back to being an offensive wrestler and scoring points.”

Fast’s sub-par performance last winter did not go unnoticed by head coach Bruce Urbatch.

“He just didn’t push himself very hard,” Urbatch said. “Right now he seems to have a positive outlook and that’s a big step in the right direction.”

Fast is probably going to start the season at 189 pounds. Urbatch would like to see him down at 171 before the end of the year.

Unlike Fast, Schnorenberg was a late-comer to wrestling. He didn’t take the sport up until eighth grade but has made himself into a quality wrestler.

“My first season in eighth grade I started out 2-6 but, by the end of the season, I was 13-12 so I was starting to catch on,” Schnorenberg said. “There are still times when I’ll get in an awkward situation and I’m not sure what to do but my opponent, who’s more experienced, will make the right move. It doesn’t happen as often as it used to, but it still happens.”

Urbatch remembers Schnorenberg was pretty raw when he first showed up in the wrestling room.

“But he’s a very sharp kid, he’s learned an immense amount since then,” Urbatch said. “He knows what he’s doing out on the mat now.”

Last season the 215-pound Schnorenberg went 24-14 but lost a couple of close matches in the section tournament and did not place. This year he’d like to win those close ones and finish in the top two in the section.

The Cougars, who finished 7-19 last year, will be young again this season. The largest class is the ninth-graders, some of whom have experience but many who do not.

“We’re a little more spread out this year so we’re hoping we can fill all the weights,” Urbatch said.

In addition to Fast and Schnorenberg, the Cougars return a handful of wrestlers with varsity experience. Junior Eric Ostgarden (130-135 pounds) is back as is ninth-grader Ricardo Fletcher (119-125). Ninth-grader Leon Fletcher returns at the 112-pound spot and freshman Cole Mosher is back at around 130.

Ninth-grader Cody Lorentz will likely wrestle somewhere around 140-145. Freshman Colin Gabler wrestled only junior varsity last year behind Paul Kratzke but is penciled in as the starting heavyweight this winter.

Fast said a .500 season is a good goal for this year’s Cougars and Urbatch won’t disagree.

“Considering how young we’re going to be, I think .500 would be a very good season for us,” Urbatch said. “I wouldn’t be disappointed in that all.”

The Cougars begin the season Saturday at the Rochester Invitational.

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