Albert Lea wrestlers beat 2nd Big Nine opponent

Published 2:34am Friday, December 20, 2013

Consistency throughout its lineup gave the Albert Lea wrestling team its second straight landslide victory in Big Nine Conference play at Faribault on Thursday.

Albert Lea is 2-0 in the conference because of a 65-3 win at Austin on Dec. 5 and Thursday’s 59-15 romp at Faribault.

“The kids went out there and wrestled well again,” said Albert Lea head coach Larry Goodnature. “I liked the fact that we were aggressive. We had more takedowns and more falls.”

The Tigers won 11 of 14 matches with six falls, two major decisions, a decision and two wins by forfeit.

Garrett Aldrich and Gavin Ignaszewski started the Tigers off with a pair of pins, and after a 14-2 major decision by Bryce Hoyt and a 4-2 decision by Beau Johnsrud at 126 pounds, Albert Lea led 19-0.

Faribault won the matches at 132 and 138 pounds, but the Tigers outscored the Falcons 40-6 in the last eight matches to extend their lead.

“We wrestled hard even in the losses,” Goodnature said.

After being Albert Lea’s only undefeated wrestler in three matches at Prior Lake last Saturday, Devin Nelson pinned Bennett Silkey in 1 minute and 27 seconds. Santana Acosta, Tanner Palmer and Will Mendez also won by fall. Aldrich earned the Tigers’ fastest pin in 1 minute and 1 second.

Albert Lea improved to 2-0 in Section 1AA.

The Tigers earned their first section win at Plainview-Elgin-Millville 44-25 on Dec. 13.

Albert Lea will wrestle next at a four-state tournament in Rochester today. Teams from every class in Minnesota will attend along with squads from Iowa, Wisconsin and North Dakota, Goodnature said.

“It’s a big-time tournament in a fairly big venue, and it’s the toughest competition the kids will see all year,” he said. “It’ll give them some good experience.”

The tournament starts at 2 p.m. today and all wrestlers will have two bouts. It continues at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and the finals are at 4:30 p.m. later that day.

View statistics in the Scoreboard: Dec. 19 post.