The Farmington Tigers wrestling team competed in two separate duals tournaments last weekend as preparation for the upcoming Minnesota Christmas Tournament. Last Friday, Dec. 8, they traveled to Shakopee where they wrestled 3A sixth ranked Shakopee and Minnetonka, who was a state entrant last year. Then on Saturday, Dec. 9, they went to Prior Lake where they wrestled three highly ranked schools in St. Michael-Albertville (third in 3A), Simley (second in 2A) and Waconia (eighth in 2A).
Shakopee and Minnetonka
Farmington went 1-1 against Shakopee and Minnetonka. The Tigers fell to Shakopee 55-18, though they did have a couple important matches go their way. Junior Trayton Anderson, who is ranked second in class 3A at 126 pounds, beat senior Max Crowe of Shakopee (ranked no. 1 at 113 pounds in 3A) by a 6-4 decision. Also winning for the Tigers was sophomore Luke Peterson at 132 pounds by fall in three minutes and 33 seconds (3:33); freshman Austin Hamel won 5-3 at 138 pounds and fellow freshman Chase Vought won by fall in 5:22 and 145 pounds.
Co-head coach Henry Gerten said that the Tigers will be relying heavily upon freshman and sophomores this season as they field a very young team that has just two seniors and six juniors on its 40-man roster.
The Tigers bounced back with a 51-21 win over the Minnetonka Skippers. Farmington got wins from not only Anderson, Peterson, Hamel and Vought again, but also from:
Freshman Gavin Anderson at 106 pounds by fall in 1:15; junior Martin Stewart by tech fall (21-5) at 120 pounds; freshman Zac Janz 3-2 at 160 pounds; sophomore Luke Weierke by major decision 12-4 at 170 pounds; sophomore MacAron Kukowski by fall in 1:04 at 195 pounds; and senior Nick Hawkins by forfeit at 220 pounds.
"As a staff, we were very proud of how our guys battled and came out with the victory," Gerten said. It was Farmington's first dual win of the season.
Prior Lake duals
The Tigers struggled against such stiff competition in Prior Lake. They dropped all three duals but had several highlight matches along the way. In the first dual against St. Michael-Albertville, Stewart won by decision 4-2 and Trayton Anderson won by fall in 2:37 to make it a competitive first couple of matches.
Peterson lost a very tight match 5-2 to Patrick McKee, who is the top-ranked wrestler at 126 pounds in class 3A, as well as being ranked sixth in the nation at that weight.
""It was an awesome match and great for Luke's confidence to battle the way he did," Gerten explained.
Farmington then ran into a Simley team that is viewed as a favorite to win the class 2A state title later this winter. The Tigers fell 63-6, their lone points coming from Gavin Anderson who won the first match of the dual at 106 pounds with a pin in 1:18.
The dual against Waconia followed much the same theme as Farmington lost 67-4. Their lone victory came on a major decision win by Trayton Anderson.
"I believe we battled and never got down as these experienced teams faced us," Gerten said. "The Farmington duals (against those highly-ranked teams) lasted the longest of all the duals throughout the day and that tells us that our boys were battling and showing grit. We will take this as a learning experience and get back to work as we have the Minnesota Christmas Tournament coming up next week."
The Minnesota Christmas Tournament is a highly-competitive individual tournament held every year in Rochester. It is a two-day event that features 40 of the best wrestling teams from Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Illinois. Last year Kasson-Mantorville won the event with 225 team points and Farmington took 25th with 51.5 points.