NEW ULM - Sibley East wrestlers have been a rare sight in the New Ulm High School gymnasium in recent years, meaning that wrestlers on both teams had the chance to take on some fresh competition when the Eagles hosted the Wolverines for a non-conference dual meet on Friday.
The two teams almost split the first 11 matches right up the middle, but Sibley East's dominance at the heavier weights allowed the Wolverines to earn a 48-22 victory.
"I thought we battled hard tonight," New Ulm head coach John Rieser said. "There were some pretty competitive matches down below and in the middle. I knew it was going to get tough going once we got to the upper weights. I told our kids that ahead of time, just to battle hard and keep fighting for those six minutes."
Tanner Pasvogel started things off for Sibley East by pinning Ryan Wacker in 5:14 at 106 pounds, the first of seven pins for the Wolverines on the night.
"Overall, the 106 one was one we thought was going to be an important one for us to start out strong," Sibley East head coach Chad Johnson said. "We ended up getting a pin there, and that turned out to be a good starter for us."
New Ulm seventh grader Tanner Stark immediately tied the score at 6-6 when he pinned Logan Tesch in just 1:18 at 113, with the back-and-forth pattern continuing until the Wolverines earned consecutive victories at 132, 138 and 145.
The match at 138 between New Ulm's Jagger Hoffmann and Sibley East's Austin Brockhoff was tied after each of the first two periods, but Brockhoff broke through with a takedown in the final 20 seconds to edge ahead for a 6-5 decision.
"Jagger Hoffmann, he was right there, probably should have won the match," Rieser said. "He made a mistake right there at the end, but I was real impressed, he got two takedowns on a real tough kid."
Sam Hoppe earned a 6-3 decision for the Eagles at 152 against Jake Wentzlaff and teammate Riley Shelgren impressed with a pin of Sibley East's Andrew Schauer in 57 seconds at 160, but the Wolverines won four of the final five matches. Cole Wilfahrt earned the Eagles' final victory with a 12-1 major decision at 182.
Sibley East was anchored by a quartet of seniors in the heavier weights. No. 3 ranked Aaron Bates earned a pin in 45 seconds at 170, Miah DuFrane earned a 7-3 decision against a scrappy Lorenzo Hernandez at 195, No. 1 ranked Nathan Rose won via fall in 58 seconds at 220 and Clay Mogard ended the evening with a pin in 2:35 at heavyweight.
"We knew they were going to be a tough team, they're 'Lean and Mean' in the polls," Rieser said. "I tell our kids when we wrestle good teams like this, 'You've got to watch what they do.' That's where we want to get to in the future, is being able to compete with these quality teams."
Johnson was excited to be able to bring his team back to New Ulm for the first time in quite a while.
"This is just a nice event," Johnson said. "New Ulm's a close distance that we just don't get to see them much, it's been a few years since we've been able to have a dual with them, and I hope we can keep it going."
Sibley East will host a triangular against St. James and Norwood-Young America on Tuesday.
The Wolverines have been battling injury problems all season, failing to field a full-strength varsity line-up at any competition this season, so Johnson's main hope as the season hits the stretch run is to get his team healthy for the end of the year.
"That's the time of the year, that's the sport of wrestling, and you've got to battle through those," Johnson said. "We're hoping we get to be full strength and get stronger towards the end. I think wrestling-wise we're getting stronger, but we're just hoping team-wise we get everybody in there."
New Ulm will wrestle Tuesday in a triangular against River Valley and St. Clair/Mankato Loyola in Springfield. The Eagles will then head to Blue Earth for a dual meet against the Bucs on Friday.
Sibley East 48, New Ulm 22
106 - Tanner Pasvogel (SE) pinned Ryan Wacker 5:14; 113 - Tanner Stark (NU) pinned Logan Tesch 1:18; 120 - Mitch Heibel (SE) pinned Elijah Northquest 1:54; 126 - Austin Iles (NU) dec. Mason Voight 7-6; 132 - Jason Meyer (SE) pinned Max Deslauriers 3:49; 138 - Austin Brockhoff (SE) dec. Jagger Hoffmann 6-5; 145 - Hunter Retzlaff (SE) pinned Austin Brandes 5:10; 152 - Sam Hoppe (NU) dec. Jake Wentzlaff 6-3; 160 - Riley Shelgren (NU) pinned Andrew Schauer 0:57; 170 - Aaron Bates (SE) pinned Nathan Janke 0:45; 182 - Cole Wilfahrt (NU) major dec. Cody Voight 12-1; 195 - Miah DuFrane (SE) dec. Lorenzo Hernandez 7-3; 220 - Nathan Rose (SE) pinned Braxton Greenwaldt 0:58; 285 - Clay Mogard (SE) pinned Andy Bregel 2:35.