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Rugby wrestling makes strides

By Staff | Dec 24, 2012

It may not show up in the team’s dual scores, but the Rugby High School wrestling team has been making strides and has outwrestled a few opponents despite being on the losing end of the score.

Case in point is the Panthers’ 36-27 dual loss to Rolla-St. John-Rolette last week.

The Bulldogs won five of the matches by forfeit, compiling 30 points.

“Our duals have been good,” Rugby head coach Mitch Meyer said. “We lost to Rolla by nine points. We wrestled six and won five. We wrested Ryan and lost by quite a bit, but we won two of the six and we were winning four out of the six. We got caught in a couple things. That’s part of that youth and learning what to do in different situations. You get caught in it once, you’ll never forget it again.”

At 103 pounds, Joey Berg earned a hard-fought 6-4 overtime victory over Xavier Wouri.

Kaden Jaeger (126 pounds), Bennie Mygland (145), Reid Mundahl (152) and Devon Berg (195) all won by pin.

“Bennie and Reid have been chugging along,” Meyer said. “Only sophomores, those two push each other every day and they have to crawl down the stairs to get to the locker room to shower. That’s how hard they work. It’s just a matter of time until they peak and show everyone how good of quality wrestlers they are.”

Against a highly-regarded Bishop Ryan team, Rugby wrestlers won two of the six matches contested, but had opportunities in numerous others.

Jaeger earned a pin victory over Konner Beeter at 120 pounds and Berg won a hotly-contested 8-7 win over Ryan’s Carson Schell.

“They’re working really hard this week,” Meyer said. “We’ve been pushing them to the limit each day and they’re learning. We’ve got a young team and that’s what has to happen. You need those learning experiences to get through that.”

After making some gains, Meyer said the Panthers took a step back in the Carrington Tournament.

“The Carrington Tournament was a tough one for us,” Meyer said. “We really didn’t wrestle up to our potential and the kids realize that. We watched a lot of video over the weekend and the kids are learning from it. We’re up here practicing some of that stuff right now, like fighting off our back, some of us really struggled with that.”

Mundahl won 2 of 3 matches, and Berg continued his stellar season, winning 3 of 4 matches and wrestling well with one exception, according to Meyer.

“We weren’t prepared for the match,” Meyer said. “We went out and wrestled well for about 30 seconds and it was done. Other than that, he’s been beating everybody in the state. He’s been coming up here every day and is working hard. It shows, going from a losing record and a fifth-place at regionals last year to probably being ranked third in the state and an 11-2 record already. This weekend will be a good test for him. There’s going to be some stiff competition, 22 teams at this tournament. It will be a good place to find out where he’s really at and how his head is in these tough matches.”

Despite being winless in the early going, Spencer Koehmstedt has made an impact in the wrestling room with his work ethic.

“Right now he’s 0-8, but he comes up here every day,” Meyer said. “He’s our captain and he works as hard as anyone in the room.”

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