BONDURANT — Thursday was a good day to be a Bluejay wrestler — a Perry Bluejay, that is.
Head coach Trevor Kittleson’s squad made easy work of the Bulldogs of Van Meter, 52-24, and of the host Bluejays of Bondurant-Farrar, 49-15, as they prepare for a rugged test Saturday at the Ames Invitational.
“Once again I was pleased with the overall effort we gave as a team,” Kittleson said. “Sometimes we have been guilty of giving up easy points or easy scores, but that was not the case tonight. We came out and battled hard all the way and made sure the other guy had to earn his points and as a coach that is one of the things you are looking for.
“Another thing I liked about our effort was the number of bonus points (for victories by means other than decision or forfeit) we scored and how few bonus points we gave up,” he added. “That shows that each guy was going hard and that is what we want.”
Perry finished with a combined total of six pins, one technical fall and three major decisions while yielding four pins and one major decision, giving the Jays a 53-28 advantage in bonus points. Perry also received 42 points from seven total forfeits, with the remainder of the points scored coming from two Bluejay wins by decision while Perry lost four decisions.
Kaleb Olejniczak (106 pounds) and Zach Thompson (113) continued to dominate the low end of the weight classes, with the former scoring a pin and a 15-5 major decision while the latter recorded a pair of pinfall victories.
Zach Stewart (126) had a 10-0 major decision and a 20-5 technical fall, with Kade VanKirk (132) posting an 11-4 win and grabbing a forfeit while Jacob Thompson (145) claimed a forfeit and posted an 11-5 decision.
Eli Saemisch was 2-0 with a pin at 170 and a forfeit at 182 while Adan Medina collected a forfeit at 170, with Austin Hay dropping a tight 4-3 decision at 182.
Alonzo Zarate lost by fall at 195 but scored a victory by fall at 220, with Juan Campos handed a sudden victory-1 loss (8-6) at 195 and a loss by fall at 220.
Tyler Soll received a forfeit at 285 from Van Meter before using 61 seconds to record a fall against B-F.
Others in action for Perry included Fernando Catalan, who was 1-1 with a forfeit at 120, and Miguel Gonzalez and Gage Welch, both of whom were unable to grab wins at 138. Troy Jahnke was 1-1 with a 15-7 major decision at 152 while Tanner Darr was 1-1 with a forfeit at 160.
Perry will be tested Saturday as they compete in the Ames Invitational, which, unlike a duals tourney, will crown champions in each weight class.
“This will be a great test for us, a really good measuring stick to see where we are at and what we need to work on,” Kittleson said. “There will be some great wrestlers there and this will be the start of a the next few weekends that are going to provide us with a good look at where we stack up.
“One area that we are improving on but which could always be better is in our hustle,” he concluded. “The other guy might be stronger than you, he might have better technique than you, and if that is so there is not much you can do about it. You can, however, control your own hustle, and that is what we are always seeking to maximize.”
That “always aggressive” attitude is a key part of Kittleson’s belief in a “total effort” approach.
“When you refuse to stop hustling and when you refuse to stop forcing the action you are making the other guy work hard for any points he gets,” he said. “Does that mean you are going to win every match? No. But it does mean you are going to give yourself a chance and that you are going to go down hard, which is one way of validating the hard work you have put in.”
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