The Free Press, Mankato, MN

February 28, 2014

Sibley East finishes disappointing sixth

By Jim Rueda
The Mankato Free Press

---- — ST. PAUL — When the Sibley East wrestling team lost its final dual to finish sixth in the Class A state team tournament on Thursday, coach Chad Johnson summed up his team’s performance in one word — disappointing.

“I thought we would do better,” Johnson said. “Our top five guys won all of their matches, but the other guys didn’t come through. They had spurts, but overall, they didn’t step up.”

The Wolverines opened Thursday’s competition with a 43-20 loss to top-ranked Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City. They followed with a 31-24 win over Minneota before closing out with a 35-26 loss to Pierz in the consolation finals.

“We graduated seven kids off last year’s team so we had some inexperience up here today, but still, I thought we’d make a better showing,” Johnson said. “I don’t know if it was the arena or the crowd or what, but I’m just disappointed in the way we wrestled overall.”

Sibley East’s Big 5 were in prime form Thursday. Tanner Pasvogel (113 pounds) had a major decision and two decisions, Jason Meyer (132) had two majors and a 2-0 win over fifth-ranked Tyler Berghuis of ACGC, and Austin Brockhoff (138) had a fall, a major and a decision over ninth-ranked Derek Dengerud of ACGC.

Rounding out the Big 5 were Hunter Retzlaff and Nathan Rose. Retzlaff (145/152) had a major and two decisions, including a 7-3 win over sixth-ranked Bryce Bruner of Minneota. Rose (195/220), the two-time defending state champion, was dominant all day. He delivered three pins, including two in the first period.

The difference-makers in the victory over Minneota were Mitch and Jake Wentzlaff and Jaden Podratz. Mitch Wentzlaff (160) won a 2-1, four-overtime decision over Nicholas Esping and Jake Wentzlaff (170) was a 9-4 winner over Cole Hennen.

The meet came down to heavyweight where Podratz clinched it with an 8-7 win over Ryan Twedt.

“This was a day where we just didn’t take advantage of our opportunities,” Johnson said. “We were able to do that in the section team tournament and the section individual tournament, but for whatever reason, it didn’t happen today.”

Sibley East ends the season with a 23-10 record. Fourth-ranked Chatfield upset ACGC for the state title. Jackson County Central took third and Frazee was fourth.