NEW ULM - The midseason blues have struck New Ulm wrestling.
Minor tweaks in New Ulm's lineup seemed almost unnoticeable in its 63-6 dual loss to Blue Earth Area on Thursday night.
Despite giving up nine falls at the hands of the Buccaneers (6-5, 1-0 South Central), New Ulm coach John Rieser did not fault his team's effort on its senior night.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm’s Austin Brandes defeated Jordan Stelter of Blue Earth Area at 138 pounds Thursday at NUHS.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
"I thought we fought hard," Rieser said. "I know the score doesn't necessarily indicate that, but I do think the kids - their last home match, there are a lot of seniors out there - I do think they fought hard."
Seniors Jagger Hoffmann (138 pounds) and Braxton Greenwaldt (220) did not suit up for the dual due to varying reasons. Austin Brandes instead bumped down to 138 pounds with Matt Hartley debuting at 145, while Granger Lehman returned to the lineup at 220 with Nate Berg filling Lehman's usual spot at heavyweight.
Brandes secured one of two victories for the Eagles (3-7, 1-2) at 138 pounds by defeating Jordan Stelter in a 5-1 decision.
Even though Rieser planned to have him cut two weeks in advance, Brandes said he noticed a difference in the way he wrestled.
"I felt all right, I felt maybe a little slower than normal," Brandes said. "But I think if I keep making 138, I'll get used to it and it'll just be easier to do."
Brandes escaped from the down position with 0:35 remaining in the third period to take a 3-1 lead, but Stelter started shooting for his legs.
A tense stalemate was called with 0:08 to go, but Brandes secured positioning six seconds later for another takedown to take the 5-1 victory.
Eighth-grader Hunter Ranweiler got the Eagles' other victory - a 4-2 victory against Wyatt Tungland at 120 pounds.
Lehman made his triumphant return from a knee injury that had sidelined him for a good chunk of the season. The regular heavyweight bumped down to 220 pounds to take Greenwaldt's spot.
Lehman led Jarod Armon 7-5 after a wild first period during which he notched a takedown at the 1:03 mark, gave up a reversal and three back points at 0:28 before notching a reversal and three back points of his own with 0:10 to go.
Lehman fell in the second period, however, giving up three back points with 1:28 to go in the period before getting pinned at an official time of 2:55.
"I think that might have affected him a little bit tonight," Rieser said of Lehman's cut down to 220 pounds. "Hopefully we'll get him to control it down at 220 now. Hopefully by the end of the year, he'll turn that match around."
Even though the results did not indicate it, Rieser said his team fought hard. However, he said his wrestlers need to take the next step and get past the close decisions coming out on the losing end.
"We've just got to work on staying in better position, got to stay off our hips and we've just got to keep moving," Brandes said. "We start getting slow and that's when things happen - you get caught in bad positions."
New Ulm will compete at the Central Public Schools Tournament at Norwood-Young America on Saturday.
Blue Earth Area 63, New Ulm 6
106 - Adam Legred (B) dec. Sean Howk, 5-3
113 - Zach Buseman (B) dec. Ryan Wacker, 5-2
120 - Hunter Ranweiler (N) dec. Wyatt Tungland, 4-2
126 - Camden Bowers (B) pinned Taylor Bode, 1:57
132 - Alex Huber (B) pinned Austin Iles, 2:46
138 - Austin Brandes (N) dec. Jordan Stelter, 5-1
145 - Mike Ankeny (B) pinned Matt Hartley, 1:09
152 - Luke Schavey (B) pinned Max Deslauriers, 1:36
160 - Kolt Gorg (B) pinned Riley Shelgren, 5:52
170 - No. 8 David Franta (B) pinned Sam Hoppe, 4:26
182 - Gus Phillips (B) pinned Cole Wilfahrt, 1:24
195 - Jacob Johnson (B) dec. Lorenzo Hernandez, 6-3
220 - Jarod Armon (B) pinned Granger Lehman, 2:55
Hwt - No. 7 Martin Granados (B) pinned Nate Berg, 0:37