Ambeg, Bonsack get it done by themselves

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 2, 2007

By Jeff Budlong, Sports editor

ST. PAUL &045; United South Central has studs too.

A year after not placing any individuals at the state wrestling tournament, the Rebels assured themselves of two on the podium this year as Seth Amberg and Jake Bonsack won their quarterfinal matches Thursday night at the Xcel Energy Center.

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&8220;This is a nice win for both these guys and it is a credit to the other guys in our room who work with them everyday,&8221; USC head coach Eric Wegner said. &8220;I guess this proves that we can develop some studs in our room. Last year, we didn&8217;t have any individual place but these two guys have worked very hard.&8221;

The Rebels have qualified for the state dual team tournament each of the past two seasons, but Wegner is hoping that that success is starting to translate to the individual level.

No. 5 Amberg took care of Chatfield&8217;s Jacob Narveson in the quarterfinals at 125 pounds 5-3, while 10th-ranked Bonsack was a 9-3 winner at 140 over Aitkin&8217;s fifth-ranked Justin Chouanard 9-3.

The victories assure both wrestlers will be standing on the podium when the tournament wraps up the question now is how high will they make it?

&8220;Me and Seth wanted to come out here and boost up the team a little bit, and this gives the little kids something to look up to,&8221; Bonsack said of the two wins. &8220;This is just unreal.&8221;

Amberg earned a first period takedown against Narveson and rode him out in the second to take a 2-0 lead into the third period. However, Narveson would USC slap a cradle on him and quickly go up 3-2.

&8220;I haven&8217;t been that great on the bottom and when he did that I thought not again, I can&8217;t have this happen again by losing being on the bottom,&8221; Amberg said. &8220;I knew once I broke it and got back to neutral position I had to do something.&8221;

That something was a late takedown to earn the win.

&8220;I got that side headlock for the takedown and then sat there and waited,&8221; he said. &8220;That wait took forever. It felt like a lifetime.&8221;

Bonsack came out and set the tone early with three takedowns in the first two periods to go up 6-3 heading into the third where he tacked on a few more points for good measure.

&8220;Jake just kept working it and he fought a tough kid in that match,&8221; Wegner said.

&8220;I am proud of what he has done because we have worked hard, but we have a lot of hard workers on our team,&8221; Amberg said of his teammate&8217;s victory.

Amberg defeated Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City&8217;s Billy Wheeler in the first round to advance during the early afternoon action Thursday. Bonsack had to hold on to a one-point lead late in his first match downing Norwood Young America&8217;s Tony Swanson, 7-6.

The Rebels other three individual qualifiers all lost their first round matches and will have to be part of the wrestlebacks which begin this morning.

Sam Stevermer lost 5-2 at 152, Mike Linder came up just short at 215 falling by a 3-1 score while heavyweight Cassidy Carlson was pinned in 2:37.

The Rebels are back in action in the team competition when they battle Freeze at 6:30 p.m. tonight. Individual semifinal matches start at 5:30 p.m.