By Ryan Divish
It wasn't total domination, but it was close. The Montana State University-Northern wrestling team opened the 2002-2003 campaign with a solid performance, defeating the University of Calgary 29-6 in its first dual match of the season.
Lights head coach David Ray was pleased with his team's performance, but like most coaches, he still found some things that his team needs to work on.
"Overall, I was pleased with our conditioning," Ray said. "There are a couple of kids that showed they need to work a little harder in the weight room."
It was obvious that his first three wrestlers weren't lacking for work in the room. Andy Thompson (125) and Caleb Schaeffer (133) earned first-period pins, while Wes Barrett (141) earned a first-period 10-0 win.
"Those first three dominated their opponents," Ray said. "They kind of set the tone early."
Brent Riggin (149) picked up a 5-2 win in the following match, but it wasn't as dominant as the first few matches.
"Brent got that early lead, but he just kind of tried to hang on instead of putting him away," Ray said.
Northern's next two wrestlers had dominant wins as Dustyn Azure (157) picked up a 10-0 win, and Bobby Mantle (165) defeated his opponent 11-3. Defending national champ Emmett Willson (197) was on his way to a dominant win, picking up an early lead. But, according to Ray, a slight injury made Willson try to just finish the match and not make the injury worse.
Northern's only losses in the match were hard fought. Trevor Floerchinger (174) and Kyle Fisher (184) picked up tough losses.
"They didn't take control of the match," Ray said. "They wrestled their opponents' style, instead of wrestling our style. It wasn't that they quit. They just didn't perform like they're capable (of)."
It isn't something that Ray figures will continue with Floerchinger or Fisher. Both are seasoned wrestlers who figure to be consistent performers for the Lights.
Besides the scoring dual, Ray also got his younger wrestlers to compete in five exhibition matches. It was a good warmup for the team's intrasquad dual meets over the next two weeks. Those meets will help determine the lineup for the season.
"The duals should be very interesting," Ray said. "There should be some good matches."
MSU-Northern defeats University of Calgary 29-6
125 Andy Thompson (MSUN) winner by fall Casey Haddock 1:10
133 Caleb Schaeffer (MSUN) winner by fall Jeremiah Barnert 1:21
141 Wes Barrett (MSUN) defeats Josh Smith 10-0
149 Brent Riggin (MSUN) defeats Damon Booth 5-2
157 Dustyn Azure (MSUN) defeats Brent Calis 10-0
165 Bobby Mantle (MSUN) defeats Tony Baldwin 11-3
174 David Kooperberg (CAL) defeats Trevor Floerchinger 5-2
184 Ryan Andrusky (CAL) defeats Kyle Fisher 2-0
197 Emmett Willson (MSUN) defeats Nico Jacobs 5-0