The Mound Westonka White Hawks wrestling team closed out the conference dual meet season with three close, but disappointing losses.
On Thursday, Jan. 24, the White Hawks traveled to Glencoe-Silver Lake to take on the Panthers. After giving up a forfeit at 106, the White Hawks won five of the next six weights, and appeared to be in control. However, after Bryan Tierney received a forfeit at 182, they lost the last three weights and the dual by a score of 35-33.
“We had some big wins early but were unable to hang on," said head coach Todd Munsterteiger. "We had some guys out that could have made the difference, but we still just didn’t get it done."
Unfortunately, it was more of the same the next night, as the White Hawks hosted Dassel-Cokato and Litchfield in a double dual, and lost two more close ones. The White Hawks fell 35-31 to Dassel Cokato in the first dual, and came short in the second dual, losing 39-35 to Litchfield.
“It was very frustrating to get that close and lose," commented assistant coach Eric Rodelius. "We needed to win one more match or the battle of bonus points, and couldn’t do either."
There was no rest for the weary, as the White Hawks competed in the tough Don Veldman on Saturday, Jan. 26 at South St. Paul High School. The White Hawks finished a respectable 6th out of 16 teams, with three finalists.
Placing for the White Hawks were: Erik Hannigan and John Byers, 8th; Drake Heath, 4th; Ben Rogers and Ryder Schmidt, 3rd; and Sam Bennyhoff, Tyler Hebig and Bryan Tierney, 2nd place.
“We had some tough luck in the finals, and could have had a couple of champs,” added assistant coach Jake Saatzer.
Senior Ryan Atkinson was the champion at 160 pounds in the JV competition.
While the rest of the squad was at South St. Paul, some of the freshmen were competing at the Ninth Grade League Region tournament in Dassel Cokato.
Placing for the White Hawks were Kwin Retterath in 6th place, Noah Byers in 3rd place and Ryan Reid in 2nd place. By virtue of his second place finish, Reid qualified for his second-straight Ninth Grade League state tourney, to be held this Saturday, Feb. 2 at Champlin Park High School.
“It was a roller coaster of emotions, as the kids battled back from some tough losses,” said freshmen coach John Wardlow. "I was proud of their efforts, and am looking for big things out of Ryan at State."
The White Hawks will be back in action this Friday, Feb. 1, when they head to Delano for the Wright County Conference tourney. On Saturday, Feb. 2, they will travel to Rogers for the Rogers Royal Rumble dual meet tournament. Start times for each are 3:30 p.m. and 10:00 a.m., respectively.