The Woodbury wrestling team had excitement heading into Saturday morning because the Royals opened up their season with an invitational at Osseo High School.
It was a strong outing for the Royals to open up the season with many finishes in the top five at each weight class. Here's a recap from the day's event with each weight class.
Eighth-grader Alex Braun had a strong day as he finished in first place with three wins on Saturday. He started the day with a pin against Rogers' Navarro Kornwolf.
Then, Braun pinned his next opponent, Blaine's Nathan Delaria, in about three and a half minutes. Finally, he won the championship match 8-2 over Wayzata's Elijah Wald.
Braun is ranked third in his weight class, according to The Guillotine, and could bump up to the top two next week with his performance on Saturday.
Seventh-grader Brad Little made his way to the championship match, but lost to earn second place and had a big day to open his high school wrestling career.
Little had a bye in his first round, which put him in the semifinals against Osseo's Connor Spanier. The Royal was able to pin Spanier in three minutes and 42 seconds and reach the championship match.
In the finals, Little faced off against Rogers' Max Ricks and lost in a pin to take second place in the weight class. A strong outing for the seventh grader as he prepares for his first season of high school varsity wrestling.
Sophomore Gavin Wilson had a tough day with two straight losses to end his day early in the invitational. Wilson lost to Osseo's John Lundstrom in the opening round with a pin and then lost to Matt Benson in another pin.
Junior Will Bents had four matches on Saturday and won three of them to take third place in his weight class.
Bents started the day with a 4-3 win over Rogers' Ryan Lund in the opening round. In the semifinals, he lost in a pin to Wayzata's Adam Cherne to drop into the third-place bracket.
Bents faced off against Edison's Eddy Ndayikengurukiye in the semifinals of the consolation bracket and won in a pin about a minute and a half into the match. In the third-place match, he was able to win 6-1 over Lund again and earn third place.
Junior Cade Johnson was ranked high in Saturday's weight class and earned a bye in the opening round. Then, Johnson showed his skills in the semifinal match against Mounds View's Ben Wynia in a pin about a minute into the match.
Johnson reached the championship match and fell to Wayzata's Cael Swensen in a pin about a minute into the match to earn second place in his weight class.
The Royals had two wrestlers in this weight class with junior Sebastian Zamorano and sophomore Nick Howe competing for the first place spot.
The two of them had to face off in the quarterfinals to open up the day and Zamorano won 13-11 to advance to the semifinals. Howe went into the consolation bracket and defeated Osseo's Caidon Williams due to an injury.
Howe lost to Roger's Wil Yasseri in a pin and lost to Mounds View's Brady Donnohue in a major decision to earn sixth place in the weight class. Zamorano lost to Patrick Henry's Jan Hernandez-Soto in semifinals by a 12-5 decision to drop into the consolation bracket.
Zamorano came back to win 2-1 against Donnohue to reach the third-place match against Yasseri. He was defeated by a pin about two minutes into the match and earned fourth place in the weight class.
Woodbury had two wrestlers in this weight class as well with seniors Dave Hawley and Omar Abdelal. Abdelal had a bye in the opening round and Hawley defeated Blaine's T.J. Meitz by a pin about two and a half minutes into the match.
The two were in separate semifinal matches, but Abdelal defeated Patrick Henry's Pha Her in a pin about 30 seconds into the match to advance to the championship match. Hawley fell in his semifinal match to Mounds View's Mannix Morgan by a pin about three and a half minutes into the match.
Hawley dropped to the consolation bracket and defeated Her in the third-place match by a pin about three minutes into the match and he earned third place. Abdelal lost in the championship match to Morgan by a pin about three minutes into the match to earn second place in the weight class.
Senior Brock Rinehart is ranked third in the 160-pound weight class, according to The Guillotine, but he went up a couple weight classes on Saturday.
Rinehart had no problem with the change though as he earned first place with some strong performances. In his opening round match, Rinehart defeated Blaine's Andrew Huss by a pin about a minute in.
Then, he won in a major decision against Southwest's Nick Flaskamp to earn a spot in the championship match. In the final match, Rinehart faced off against Wayzata's Cayden Homme and won 7-5 to earn the first-place spot.
Senior Tre Hockenberger earned a bye in the opening round to reach the semifinals. In the semifinals, he faced off against Southwest's Elijah Judovsky and lost in a major decision to head to the consolation bracket.
Hockenberger defeated Mounds View's Luke Eggert with a pin about a minute and a half into the match to reach the third-place match. He ended his day in a loss against Rogers' Evan Braesch in a pin to earn fourth place in the weight class.
Senior Mason Barrows and sophomore Thomas Moesenthin tag teamed this weight class for Woodbury and both finished in the top three on Saturday.
Barrows had a bye in the opening round and defeated Blaine's Carter Ho with a pin about five minutes into the match. That win brought him into the championship match and he lost to Osseo's Jagger Schack in a 7-1 decision to earn second place in the weight class.
On the other hand, Moesenthin lost his opening round match against Ho in an 8-4 decision to head to the consolation bracket. After that loss, he never lost again.
He had a bye and then defeated Mounds View's AJ Hunt in a 9-4 decision. Finally, Moesenthin defeated Blaine's Mekhi Hexum in a pin to win third place in the weight class.
Senior Ethan Chaney rounded out the day with a strong performance in his weight class for the Royals. He started the day with a 4-2 win over Wayzata's Austin Franchino in the opening round.
In the semifinal match, Chaney lost by a pin to Osseo's Isaac Omland and fell to the consolation bracket. He lost in a 3-2 decision to Osseo's Trey Williams, but came back to win in a 5-1 decision against Wayzata's Austin Franchino to earn fifth place in his weight class.