Six minutes.

For a wrestler, that's all they have in a match before it's over. During those six minutes, the wrestler needs to get the win and soak in every aspect of the state tournament.

It's a hard task, but the wrestlers from East Ridge and Park did exactly that in this year's state wrestling tournament.

On Thursday, the East Ridge team finished in sixth place and recorded many firsts in the program's history.

On Friday and Saturday, the wrestlers thought a little bit more selfishly as they prepared for the individual state tournament. It would take four wins for each wrestler to be named state champion for their weight bracket.

East Ridge

The Raptors started their state tournament as a team on Thursday, and finished the season on a strong note. A way that head coach Matt Everson described as unbelievable and indescribable.

"I couldn't be more proud of the wrestlers and what they were able to do this season," Everson said. "With all the injuries and changes throughout the season, these wrestlers adapted to the change and never let it affect them."

East Ridge started Thursday with a tough draw as the Raptors faced No. 2 seed Stillwater. The Raptors kept the match close in the beginning, but the Ponies came out firing towards the end and earned a 42-17 victory.

The loss put East Ridge in the consolation bracket against Eden Prairie. The Raptors had no problem getting through to the consolation finals with a 59-18 win.

That win was the first win in program history at state and a memorable moment for not only Everson, but the wrestlers as well.

"It's fun to have one last day as a team this season," said Hunter Lyden. "All of us worked hard at practices and duals and it's allowed us to reach this point."

In the consolation finals, East Ridge had a tough dual against Northfield and the the Raiders pulled out to an early lead. They held that lead for the majority of the match, which led to the Raptors losing 40-25 in a tough dual.

For the wrestlers and coaches, it was a fun opportunity to bring every wrestler to state and be able to experience this stage at such a young age for most of these Raptors.

"This was a great way to show many of these wrestlers what it's like at state," said Royce Hogue. "It makes you want to reach this point again next season and we know what it takes to get to this point now."

East Ridge wasn't done though after Thursday. The Raptors were just getting started with seven wrestlers ready for the individual tournament.

In 106-pounds, sophomore Matt Hogue had a memorable weekend with a fifth-place finish. He won his first match, but lost in the quarterfinals to put him in the consolation bracket.

He fought his way through and won the next two matches before losing in the consolation semifinals. Matt Hogue ended his season with a win in the fifth-place match.

In 113-pounds, freshman Johnny LaCore had a quick exit after losing his opening round. He later lost his second match of the day and was eliminated from the tournament.

In 126-pounds, freshman Vito Massa had a similar outcome as he lost his opening round match and lost once again in the consolation to be eliminated.

In 132-pounds, eighth-grader Ryder Rogotzke won his opening round match and faced a tough Apple Valley wrestler in the quarterfinals. He wasn't able to win and went to the consolation bracket.

Rogotzke lost another match in the consolation bracket and it ended his year.

In 138-pounds, freshman Lyden had a nice draw to give him a possibility to reach the semifinals. He did exactly that with two wins in the opening round and the quarterfinals.

He landed in the semifinals against Northfield's Drew Woodley and the match ended in a close 5-2 decision in favor of Woodley. Lyden kept fighting in the consolation bracket and ended up in third place for his weight class.

In 152-pounds, sophomore Roman Rogotzke lost in the opening round to a tough senior Brainerd wrestler and it brought him to the consolation bracket. Rogotzke couldn't pull out the victory against another senior wrestler and his day ended.

In 285-pounds or heavyweight, senior Marco Cavallaro geared up for an interesting couple of days at the state tournament.

"I know this is the last time I'm wrestling at East Ridge and I want to leave everything out there," Cavallaro said. "I'm looking forward to the next couple of days."

Cavallaro left everything out on the mats as he fought through a lot of competition. It started with a pin in the opening round and led to a close 2-1 victory in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, it took extra time and Cavallaro found his way on top once again to reach the finals of his weight class.

In the finals, he faced off against Bryce Benhart from Lakeville North who held a 34-0 record this season. That record stayed perfect though in the finals as Benhart won 7-0 over Cavallaro in the finals.

Cavallaro brought home a second-place finish in the heavyweight class, while also cementing his legacy at East Ridge for the future.

"I hope the younger wrestlers learned from me because I enjoyed every moment of East Ridge wrestling," Cavallaro said. "I'm just looking forward to seeing next year with all of this young talent. We haven't reached our cap because they will continue to get better next season and future seasons."


It was a strong season for the Wolfpack as they ended the season with four wrestlers heading to the state tournament.

For head coach Jim LaBrosse, this weekend was an opportunity to grow as he has many returners from last season heading into this upcoming season next winter.

"It was fun watching these wrestlers show their best on the biggest stage all season," LaBrosse said. "Three out of these four wrestlers will be returning which gives us plenty of growth and development next season."

In 106-pounds, freshman Zach Silvis won his opening round match and lost his quarterfinals match to a tough 1-0 decision.

In the consolation bracket, Silvis lost right away in a 6-3 decision and it ended his freshman season. LaBrosse said he has a lot of potential to reach state again and continue to go deeper into his weight class.

In 145-pounds, junior Solomon Lankow had a tough draw for his state tournament as he started his opening round against the No. 1 seed of the weight class. Lankow lost in a tough match to the undefeated Willmar wrestler. In the consolation bracket, Lankow lost early to end his junior season.

In 170-pounds, senior Edric Waindim also had a similar draw in his weight class bracket. He lost to the undefeated Buffalo wrestler in the opening round and lost again early in the consolation bracket. LaBrosse said he was happy to have Waindim as one of his wrestlers to coach. He showed his leadership on the mat with his practice habits and his demeanor in every match.

In 220-pounds, junior Antonio Davis made a small run in the tournament. He started it with an opening round win, but lost in the quarterfinals to go to the consolation bracket.

He won his first match in the consolations, but couldn't get past the Shakopee wrestler to end his junior season.

"It's always sad to see seniors leave the program especially with their impacts they've made on all the wrestlers," LaBrosse said. "I'm excited to see the growth of this program next season and in future seasons. It'll be a great time getting ready for next year."