Antigo wrestlers lose heartbreaker home dual to Thunderbirds, 36-31|
The Antigo Red Robin wrestlers had a very intense and electric dual Thursday with the visiting Lakeland Thunderbirds.
For the first half of the dual it looked like the Robins were going to walk away with the win but the Thunderbirds hadn’t finished fighting and it came down to the last match of the evening.
Robin head coach Dallas Moe had this to say, “This one hurts. It really does. We had the match, we had the momentum, and we had home crowd. Every year our dual with Lakeland comes down to one match and tonight it was their year. We wrestled very aggressive and passionate, but our technique and execution was a little off and they capitalized on it. Hats off to Lakeland and their coach for making the right moves and coming out with the win.”
The night started a little rough for the Robins as Mike Keyser gave up a fall to Jake McClintock at 2:57 in the 132 bout.
“Mike wrestled hard but he’s still young. He got a little out of position and he wasn’t able to fight off the fall. He’s come a long way and I’m excited for the rest of the season for him,” said Moe.
But from there, Antigo made a huge run with a string of wins all the way up to 182. Moving up to 138 as a team move, senior Kirk Prince had a massive 14-7 win over Frank Scandin.
“Kirk basically went up two weight classes because it was good for the team and he and I both knew that he could win. I’m really proud of how he handled it and how he wrestled the match. That really got us going,” Moe said.
Receiving forfeits at 145, 152, and 160, Will Dixon, Tony Meister and Marcus Spencer brought home the easy 18 points. On a roll, Antigo sent out Jake Steenweg to face Devan Eades at 170 who also got a big win with a final score of 14-6 for the major decision for four team points.
Following that at 182, Garrett Becerra came up with a pin over Jameson Schultz to add another six points to the Robin total, bringing the team score to 31-6 in Antigo’s favor.
“Jake and Garrett both wrestled great. They stayed out of danger and wrestled aggressively continuing to score. Both of them looked solid,” Moe said.
Unfortunately, this is where Lakeland made their big push. Giving up first period pins all right in a row, Mason Zanon, Josafat Garcia-Morales, and Alex Jagala gave their best efforts at 195, 220, and heavyweight respectively as they were defeated by William Graveen, Leon Stowe and Byron Owen.
“These guys are all first year wrestlers still so they are going to get caught occasionally,” explained Moe. “They are giving it their all and learning every match and that’s what we want. It just stinks that it all happened back to back.”
With the dual on the line, Lakeland’s coach, Adam Bremer, made a bold move sending his remaining two wrestlers up to go for the win.
“Sometimes as a coach, you have to gamble and bet on your underdogs to come through,” Antigo’s coach Moe said. “I’ve done it and won and lost with it and tonight it worked in his favor.”
With that strategy, there was a double forfeit at 106 and 113 bringing up Antigo’s Seth Doering and Dylan Hunter at 120 and 126.
Although both wrestlers gave it an excellent effort, Doering lost a back-and-forth, very exciting match to Michael Holton and Hunter gave up a pin to Matt Hanne.
“Seth had a great match,” said Moe. “He was so close to coming through with a win in the end and getting a pin, but it just didn’t work out for him in the end. Dylan’s match was technically for the win but you can’t put all of the blame on him. We lost as a team. We had a few guys that shouldn’t have gotten pinned but we gave them up and it cost us in the end.”
Antigo returns to the mats on Tuesday night at home for senior night against visiting Oconto with JV at 6:30 p.m. and varsity at 7 p.m.
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