Demons make quick work of Highland and Louisa-Muscatine
RIVERSIDE — The Washington wrestling team opened its season on Thursday night by blowing out Louisa-Muscatine and Highland in a double dual at Highland High School. The Demons defeated the Falcons 63-18 and topped the Huskies 62-15.
“We went out and I was a little bit concerned about how good of shape we were going to be in, and I think we were in a little better shape than I thought we were going to be in,” Washington head coach Brent Van Weelden said. “Even the guys who got beat competed, and that’s what we’re looking for.”
Not too many Washington wresters got beat on Thursday night. The Demons only lost six matches on the night — three to each team they wrestled.
Washington opened its dual against Louisa-Muscatine by winning its first four matches. Senior 138-pounder Mitchell Hora pinned his opponent in just 55 seconds to open the dual, and then senior 145-pounder Matt Grote recorded a fall in 29 seconds. Sophomore Alex Gonzalez, who wrestled just three varsity matches last season, pinned his opponent at 152 pounds, and then junior 160-pounder Austin Latcham won a 9-5 decision to put the Demons ahead 21-0.
Sophomore 182-pounder Brad Skubal, junior 113-pounder Fletcher Green and junior 126-pounder Tristan Pohren also pinned their opponents in the dual.
Grote won a 2-1 decision to start Washington’s dual with Highland, and then Gonzalez picked up his second win of the night when he pinned Highland’s Josh Kasparek in the third period.
“For Alex Gonzalez it was really his first time in the varsity lineup,” Van Weelden said. “He went out and went 2-0, and that was big for him. Against Highland he got into a scramble situation where he was a little bit out of control, but he was able to compose himself and get the pin. To see him go out and get two wins in his first meet in the varsity lineup, that was good to see.”
Pohren won by technical fall, 15-0 for his second victory of the night.
“Tristan wrestled as good or better than anyone last night,” Van Weelden said. “He’s been working really hard to get better on his feet. He got taken down once, but scrambled and got on top.”
Hora won a pair of matches by fall on the night, pinning Highland’s Tyler Frank in 1:53.
“Mitchell, being a senior leader on the team, went out and did what we expect him to do,” Van Weelden said.
Van Weelden was pleased his promising squad could start out 2-0.
“Obviously it’s nice to start out 2-0,” he said. “We won 21 duals last year, and these guys want to win more than that. You can’t start any better than that.”