By Jim Rueda email@example.com
The Mankato Free Press
---- — It was a costly meet for the Mankato West wrestling team Thursday.
Not only did the Scarlets drop a 43-34 Big Nine Conference decision to Faribault, but they may have lost one of their top wrestlers to injury. Evan Jakes, a 160-pounder, had to injury default against the Falcons’ Trevor Morris at 170 when he appeared to re-injure his surgically repaired right knee, which forced him to miss all of last season.
“That hurts us ... that hurts us a lot,” West coach Dustin Buttel said. “It’s not just that he’s a good wrestler, but he’s a captain, he’s a team leader.”
The injury default gave Faribault a 36-23 lead. When the Falcons’ Felipe Ramirez followed with a 20-7 major decision at 182, the meet was all but out of reach. Faribault clinched the dual when Dylan McEhran decisioned Jacob Viehweg 7-4 at 220 pounds.
“If we don’t have to give up six there at 170 that probably changes what we do the rest of the way,” Buttel said. “Maybe it makes a difference, maybe not. It’s just to bad for Evan because he’s worked so hard to come back. We’re hoping it’s not that serious.”
The Scarlets scored some big points in the lower weights against Faribault as Josh Block (106 pounds), Noah Lowe (120) and Charlie Dundas (126) all delivered pins for a 17-6 lead. The Falcons came right back with consecutive pins to take an 18-17 lead.
The most entertaining bout came at 145 where West’s Russel Koenigs took on Bennett Silkey in a match that was even most of the way. Both wrestlers appeared spent entering the third period, but Koenigs came through with a reverse half-nelson to pin Silkey in 5:31.
“I’m a little out of condition right now,” Koenigs said. “I wrestled a few matches and then I got a concussion and had to sit out three-and-a-half weeks. This was my first match back.”
Koenigs win put West back on top 23-18, but Faribault’s Isaa VanThomme needed just 30 seconds to get a pin at 152 to give his team a 24-23 lead it would never relinquish. Faribault won five of the last seven bouts.
West’s Jake Russell capped the night with an impressive win at heavyweight. He took Nick Aldrich down in the first couple of seconds and played catch-and-release the rest of the way. The result was a 25-9 technical fall in 5:24.
“Jake was definitely aggressive out there tonight,” Buttell said. “He did a nice job; he just needs to keep it going.”
West competes at Le Sueur-Henderson on Saturday.