by Brenda Erdahl, Sports Editor-
The Annandale-Maple Lake Lightning wrestling team went 2-1 last week after dropping a close dual to Becker, then beating Central Minnesota Conference foes Glencoe-Silver Lake-Lester Prairie and Dassel-Cokato. The Lightning traveled to Dassel-Cokato for the D-C duals on Thursday, Dec. 21. The wrestlers went 2-0 in conference action, and 1-1 against section teams that day. Though the Lightning found themselves down 15-0 after the first four weights against G-SL, they performed much better than some of the duals in the past, coach Ben Youngs said. Even though they went 0-4 in those matches, they only gave up decisions in three of them, which is something they have been working on, Youngs said. At 120, Zach Schmidt wrestled tough against one of GSL’s best kids, and Trevor Wilson used a big move at 126 pounds to nearly beat one of GSL’s up-and-coming wrestlers. The Lightning then won the rest of the matches, including seven pins to claim the team win. First-year wrestler Josh Lanctot was once again put in the position of deciding the dual when the Lightning met Becker, and this time it was against an undefeated and experienced wrestler. “Though the match went to Becker, Lanctot did a good job going out to battle,” Youngs said. The Lightning struggled to limit bonus points against the Bulldogs and after the first four matches were down 23-0. Despite winning seven of the next nine matches, the Lightning couldn’t overcome the deficit. “Absolutely, without question, the limiting of bonus points in the bottom weights will be a key to this team’s success,” Youngs said. One of the biggest matches of the season every year is with Dassel-Cokato, and this year was no different. Not only is D-C in ANML’s conference and section, the Chargers are the Lightning’s biggest rival for the “Battle for the Bolt” trophy. The Lightning responded to the big rivalry with a big win. “Going into the dual, there were some matchups that went our way that I felt could have gone either way, so this had the potential of being a close dual,” Youngs said. The match started well with Carson Cooper only losing by major decision to Marx, a D-C wrestler that has been on a role. “Cooper fought hard and did not give up the big points,” Youngs said.