If you like some tight dual wrestling meets, GSL was where you wanted to be on Fri. night. Central ventured into GSL sporting a 3-2 record and looking for more wins against 3 teams that were good matchups for them.
The Raiders started off the night with Mont. Lons./LeCenter in a non-conference dual. Even though both Central and MLLC had a couple of forfeits in the lineup, the match still came down to the end with the Raiders winning a 37-34 decision. Josh Hendel got the Raiders off to a nice start with a Tech. Fall at 103 and Justin Stevens followed a loss with an impressive win at 119 over the Coyotes best lower weight wrestler. After a forfeit and a 4-3 loss at 125, the Raiders reeled off 22 straight points helped by 2 forfeits, a pin by Tyler Swanson and a major decision by Austin Kidrowski. With a couple of injuries still healing Central forfeited a weight and lost by fall, when Tim Kloempken stepped on the mat to try and seal the meet for Central, he did just that with a pin at 189 lbs. and the meet was in the books in the win column.
Following MLLC, Central faced Mound-Westonka whom the Raiders have beaten the previous 2 seasons. Things have remained the same as Central jumped out to a commanding lead winning 7 of the first 8 matches and taking a commanding 35-3 lead, Mounds strength in the final 6 matches took it to the Central upper weights and made it a 35-30 score, but Andrew Schmiegs win at HWT. sealed the match and the Raiders were victorious once again 41-30. Josh Hendel again started off the match with big points getting a pin and Grant Mueller, Austin Kidrowski, Josh Lord, Justin Stevens picked up 6 point wins for Central while the Swanson duo notched nice wins over solid opponents.
With 2 victories in hand, Team Raider moved to the rivalry matchup of the night with GSL. GSL had handed the Raiders an embarrassing loss last season and Central was looking to defeat the Panthers on their home mat. Things did not start off as well this time for Central as the starting Josh boys at 103 and 112 ran into some tough opponents and Central was in a hole 12-0. Two forfeits to Stevens and Dustin Hale who had lost 2 close matches during the night knotted the score at 12-12.Captain Tim Swanson stepped on the mat needing to help the Raiders score and he did just that with a 3rd period pin. Grant Mueller then dropped a tough 9-4 decision to a solid wrestler from GSL to make the team score 18-15. Kidrowski kept rolling along with a forfeit and James Lord picked up a very big pin at 145 to increase the lead to 30-15. Tyler Swanson and Zach Thon both stepped in to wrestle to of GSL's better opponents and gave good battles to help save some team points and it was 30-26. Central then forfeited and Team Raider was down 32-30. After a not so impressive performance in the first two dual meets, the Raiders upper weights were now faced with the challenge of bringing home a victory. Tim Kloempken started the climb back with a 4-1 win to put Central back in the lead 33-32. Tyson Tellers then stepped on the mat and delivered a huge 9-4 win over a 16 lb. larger opponent to make the score 36-32. With a raucous crowd of Raider fans getting ready to celebrate, Jordan Stevens made things interesting falling behind 9-1 in the 3rd period, a GSL win by this margin would have meant a tie with the Raiders still claiming victory. But Stevens managed to find a nice little sneak-thru from the bottom and put his opponent to his back and the referee hit the mat sending the Central Wrestling family into a frenzy.
"This team is working extremely hard and learning how to win matches with different people stepping up and contributing and giving us a lift. While we still have a lot of things to work on, our kids are still fairly young at varsity level competition but the growth they are seeing and learning to work for and with each other will make us a much better team when the really important matches come in Jan. and Feb." said Coach Fox.
Team Raider now stands at 6-2 with two home duals scheduled for Tues. night at 5:00 and 7:45. We invite everyone to come and see the Central Wrestlers at their home events to help cheer us on.