By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editoremail@example.com
Youth will have to be served another day. The Montana State University-Northern wrestling team got a lesson from its older brethren on Saturday afternoon as the Lights alumni squad defeated the Lights, 27-21, at the MSU-Northern gymnasium.
The alumni won nine matches against the youthful Lights, including Tyson Thivierge's stunning defeat of defending national champion Emmett Willson.
Thivierge, a former national champ himself, picked up a single-leg takedown in overtime to knock off Willson. Thivierge's win broke an 18-18 tie between the two squads.
"I thought Emmett was going to win," said head coach David Ray. "Emmett thought he was going to win. But Tyson is no pushover. None of the alumni were pushovers. We knew there weren't going to be any easy matches for us."
Following Thivierge's win, the alumni got another overtime win from Turk Lords over Mazi Burke to take a 24-18 lead. The alumni added 3-1 win in the final match of the dual from Mike Mazurkiewicz for good measure.
Mazurkiewicz, who was wrestling in his 20th and final alumni match, grabbed an early takedown and picked up a late escape to secure the win.
"This is definitely the last one," Mazurkiewicz said. "I didn't think my body would make it this long."
The whole alumni dual is supposed to be a celebration of the program. However, when the action actually gets under way on the mat, celebration takes a back seat to competition and pride, which was evident from the opening match. The alumni's Dan Eaves scored a late takedown and near fall to come from behind and defeat Brian Fritchman. The alumni followed it up with a 1-0 win from Andy Thompson over Jacob Scoles.
Northern got on the scoreboard in the third match when freshman Jason Harrington picked up a late pin over Carl Valley for six points. Harrington's performance was pleasing to Ray.
"He has a great attitude," Ray said. "He's a gem that I think people missed because he only won one state title. When you turn the clock on, he becomes different person and just goes hard."
Chase Gormley gave Northern a brief lead picking up an 6-1 win over defending alumnus national champ Matt Carter.
"Chase was very aggressive and physical," Ray said. "That was good to see."
The alumni regained the lead with wins from Chris Faber and Mike Lane over Lance Nelson and Stryder Davis. Northern answered with a 1-0 win from Tyson Springer over Rudy James.
Bobby Mantle added another alumni win with a 3-1 decision over Adam Jensen. The alums also got a win from Nate Laslovich over Emory Willson.
The Lights got wins from Kyle Fisher over Mark Lane, Chris Smith over Jesse Schaeffer and Caleb Schaeffer over Matt Campbell.
Despite losing, Ray found plenty to be happy with.
"Our guys were aggressive and overall we looked pretty good," he said. "I thought we looked strong. We have a lot of talented individuals and we just need to keep working hard. This dual is geared for the alumni with the one-minute periods. It's fun for our guys and for the alumni."
Northern will return to action on Friday at 4 p.m. when it hosts University of Calgary in a dual match as part of homecoming weekend.
MSU-Northern alumni def. MSU-Northern 27-21
Dan Eaves, ALUM def. Brian Fritchman, MSUN 8-6; Andy Thompson, ALUM def. Jacob Scoles, MSUN 1-0; Jason Harrington, MSUN pinned Carl Valley, ALUM :26; Chase Gormley, MSUN def. Matt Carter, ALUM 6-1; Chris Faber, ALUM def. Lance Nelson, MSUN 3-0; Mike Lane, ALUM def. Stryder Davis, MSUN 4-2; Tyson Springer, MSUN def. Rudy James, ALUM 1-0; Bobby Mantle, ALUM def. Adam Jensen, MSUN 3-1; Kyle Fisher, MSUN def. Mark Lane, ALUM 1-0; Nate Laslovich, ALUM def. Emory Willson 3-1 (OT); Chris Smith, MSUN def. Jesse Schaeffer, ALUM 3-0; Tyson Thivierge, ALUM def. Emmett Willson, MSUN 4-2 (OT); Turk Lords, ALUM def. Mazi Burke, MSUN 3-1 (OT); Caleb Schaeffer, MSUN def. Matt Campbell, ALUM 4-2; Mike Mazurkiewicz, ALUM def. Joc Muir, MSUN 3-1.