COON RAPIDS — Four of the 11 Woodward-Granger wrestlers in action reached the finals of the Crusader Invitational Saturday, with three Hawks earning the top spot on the podium.
Those efforts, and an all-around strong team performance, allowed W-G to finish second in the team standings despite leaving the 126, 220 and 285 pound weight classes open.
“My guys have really been working hard and we have come out locked and loaded after the first of the year,” W-G head coach Dave Smeltzer said. “This is what every coach wants to going into the post season.”
“We dominated this past week with four more dual wins going into the Crusader Invite,” he added. “W-G grapplers dominated all day, with the team points lead fluctuating between first and second place going into the final round. We had the four finalists but several other guys were wrestling for third or fifth as well.”
South Central Calhoun edged W-G, 172-158.5, for the top team honors, with Guthrie Center third at 128. Panorama was fourth at 114.5, with WCV (108), English Valleys (93.5), Audubon (76), Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton (64.5), CR-B (45.5), and East Sac County (27) completing the top 10. MVAO did not record any team points.
“I am pleased with the results but a little disappointed at not taking home the team title because of all the hard work my guys have put it,” Smeltzer said. “Honestly, if we would have been full at all 14 weights nobody would have stopped us.”
Ty Turner claimed the crown at 113 with a pin and a win by decision, with Tanner Vermaas winning at 182 with a pair of pins.
Austin Scharlau won the crown at 160 with a pair of pins to collect his eight consecutive victory against no losses since the holiday break.
Senior Race Brant used a major decision and a pin to reach the finals at 152, but finished second after dropping a major decision to second-ranked Zachary Axmear of English Valleys.
Josh Saak was third for the Hawks at 138 with a 3-1 mark that included a pin and two wins via decision, with Hunter Pierce finishing 1-1 with a decision to place third at 106.
Cole Carman had a technical fall and pin to finish 2-2 and stand fourth at 132, with Ryley Saxton fourth at 120, Jordan Pierce fifth at 145 with a pair of pins and Aaron Sperling fifth at 170 with one pin while Thomas Govig scored a team point for sixth at 195.
W-G will visit Solon for a triangular Thursday before competing in the Perry Invitational Saturday.