The Mound Westonka White Hawks wrestling squad went 2-2 at the Hibbing Duals, earning a fourth place finish. In the opening round, the White Hawks crushed Virginia 72-0, to place them in winner’s pool. In the first round of pool play, the White Hawks faced last year’s champion, Centennial. The White Hawks were edged 34-31 by the defending champs, but had many chances to win the dual. “We won the matches I thought we would, but we definitely lost the battle of bonus points, which is extremely important in close duals,” said head coach Todd Munsterteiger. State-rated Chisago Lakes was next, and although the White Hawks cashed in on more bonus points, they lost a few key matches and lost another close dual 38-31. In the final dual, the White Hawks faced a surprising Princeton squad, who had run the table and were 3-0 going into the last round. “We knew we let the last few slip away, but we challenged the kids to play spoilers and make it interesting,” added Munsterteiger. The White Hawks responded, knocking off Princeton 39-32, in match that was decided at heavyweight. First-year wrestler Kyle Johnson, a 220 pounder, was bumped to heavyweight in an attempt to win the dual. Johnson was up to the challenge, as he used his strength and athleticism to wear down his larger opponent, eventually earning a third period pin and the win for the squad. “Kyle is a hard worker and a fast learner, and this win is huge for his confidence,” added assistant coach Eric Rodelius. Princeton did earn the championship on criteria, and although the White Hawks and Chisago Lakes were both 2-2, the Wildcats were awarded third-place based on their head to head match-up. White Hawks wrestlers Ben Schmalz, Neil Schmalz, Sam Bennyhoff, Drake Heath and Bryan Tierney were named to the all-tournament team for going undefeated during the two-day tourney.
The JV squad participated in an individual tourney at Hibbing, and also placed fourth overall. Medaling for the White Hawks JV were Brock Munsterteiger, Jack Dioszeghy and Jake Anderly in third place; Kwin Rettterath and Cori Klocek in second place; and champions Ben Schmalz, Noah Sweet and Travis Peterson. Schmalz also competed for the JV AllStars in the varsity competition and went 6-0 overall, while Peterson won the JV Pinning Award for the most pins in the least amount of time. “The guys wrestled well and it was fun bringing the young guys on the road trip,” commented freshmen coach John Wardlow.
The White Hawks wrestlers will be back in action on Thursday, January 9, when they travel to Waconia to take on the Wildcats and St. Peter in a triangular meet. First round action begins at 5:00 p.m.