The Mound Westonka White Hawks wrestling squad hosted conference and section rivals Waconia and Willmar on Thursday, Jan. 10, but came up empty in two close losses.
In the opening dual, the White Hawks fell 40-33 to conference foe Waconia.
“We battled well, but just didn’t have enough to get by them,” said head coach Todd Munsterteiger.
The White Hawks suffered the same fate against defending section champion Willmar, this time by a 34-27 score.
“Waconia and Willmar are both tough squads, and are close to being state-ranked by virtue of their 'Lean and Mean' rating," coach Munsterteiger said. "We still aren’t full strength, but we need to win the battle of bonus points. In both duals we split wins 7-7, but we gave up too may pins and didn’t get big points where we needed them."
On Friday, Jan. 11, the White Hawks traveled to Minnetonka for an individual tourney. Several of the varsity wrestlers did not participate because of high match counts, so several JV wrestlers got a crack to compete.
“It was fun to see these guys get some valuable varsity experience,” commented assistant coach Eric Rodelius.
Placing for the White Hawks were: Bricen Rasmussen, 7th place, Justin Gresenz, 6th place; Cole Peterson, Cole Anderly and John Byers, 4th place; Eric Hannigan, 2nd place; and Noah Byers, champion.
Several milestones were also reached, as Anderly, Gresenz and Rasmussen all earned their first varsity win, while Hannigan and Noah Byers both reached their first tournament championship match.
Byers is still undefeated in his limited varsity action at 6-0.
The White Hawks will continue their tough schedule when they travel to Hutchinson on Thursday, Jan. 17 to take on the state-ranked Tigers, as well as the nationally ranked St. Michael-Albertville Knights.
The White Hawks follow that up by hosting a quad the next day against section opponents Rocori, Robbinsdale Cooper and Wayzata. First-round action begins at 5 p.m.