By Rob Everingham
It was a showdown as the Lights split their team down the middle for a Maroon/Gold Dual. The Gold team came away with a 31-3 win Thursday at MSU-Northern.
The Lights wrestled an inter-squad match because of a forfeit from Northwest College, who canceled the meet due to illness and injury on their team.
For the Gold at 125 pounds was Abel Valdez. Valdez picked up a technical fall over Brett Favorite, 19-4.
At 133 pounds, Jason Fratzke took on Josh Johnson and again it was the Gold victorious. Fratzke won the match in a 14-3 decision.
It was freshman versus senior at 141 pounds, as Jessie Schaeffer picked up a veteran 10-6 decision over Kyle Nay.
Brendan Burns squared off against Tamien Labuff. Burns picked up the only fall of the match as he pinned Labuff at the 4:25 mark of the match.
The one and only win for the Maroon team came from Havre High alum Kyle Fisher. At 165 pounds, Fisher won a 4-2 overtime decision over Chris Hayes.
At 174 pounds. Nate Laslovich took on Mark Lane. It was Lane winning a 7-3 decision over Laslovich. Both wrestlers were seniors and finished their home career.
There was a combination of the 184 pound and 197 pound weight classes as Dane Jacobsen dueled with Tyson Thivierge. The decision went to Thivierge as he won, 4-2.
Northern heavyweight Damion Martindale took on Turk Lords. Two-time defending national champion Lords won a 10-1 decision over Martindale.
Lights head coach David Ray said it was too bad they could not have wrestled a different team. Ray said it was hard for the fans to get into the dual with only Northern wrestlers involved.
Ray said it was nice to see all the fans come out and support the seniors and team in their final home dual of the year.
Even though they were wrestling their teammates, Ray said, all the athletes worked hard and looked good.
Ray also said he was pleased to see how well the freshman wrestled and said it was nice to know he has the replacements if he needs them.
The Lights wrestle against Dickinson State University in a dual on Feb. 5, then they will go to the Great Plains Regionals on Feb. 20.
Ray said he has the 12 wrestlers picked out that will go to the divisional tournament, and they are Valdez, Fratzke, Schaeffer, Cronk, Burns, Hayes, Lane, Thivierge, Lords, Labuff, Jacobson and Martindale.
This was the last home dual for Schaeffer, Cronk, Laslovich, Lane, and Martindale. Ray said he is very excited about finishing this year and looking toward next year with all the talent he has coming up.
The Lights also lost Sean Salmon at 184 pounds. Ray said Salmon left the team for personal reasons.
125 Abel Valdez, gld, won by tech. fall over Brett Favorite, 19-4; 133 Jason Fratzke, gld, dec. over Josh Johnson, 14-3; 141 Jessie Schaeffer, gld, dec. over Kyle Nay, 10-6; 149 Lyle Cronk, gld, dec. over Kurt Lorenz, 12-5; 157 Brendan Burns, gld, pinned Tamien Labuff, 4:25; 165 Kyle Fisher, mar, dec. over Chris Hayes, 4-2 (ot); 174 Mark Lane, gld, dec. over Nate Laslovich, 7-3; 184/197 Tyson Thivierge, gld, dec. over Dane Jacobsen, 4-2; Hwt Turk Lords, gld, dec. over Damion Martindale, 10-1.