The Hastings Raiders wrestling team opened its season on Saturday by hosting their annual Raider Duals, which featured eight varsity and junior varsity teams in a three round tournament. Participating were Hastings, Coon Rapids, Shakopee, River Falls, Prior Lake, St. Francis, Minnetonka and Albert Lea. The Raiders faced Coon Rapids in the first round and tied 30-30, but Coon Rapids took the dual via the first criteria (matches won). Hastings then beat River Falls (Wis.) 42-32 and Prior Lake 47-21 to win the consolation bracket.
Head coach Josh McLay said that they usually have matches the night before the Raider Duals to help knock off some rust, but that was not the case this time around.
"We usually like to have a match on Friday to shake the rust off, but instead of that being the case we did that in the Coon Rapids dual and they're too good of a team to overcome that," he said. "We saw some of that happen in that dual. I'd love to wrestle them again, I think we can beat them. We did enough to tie but not enough to win the dual on criteria, but I think there were some matches in there we could have won had we had matches the night before."
Hastings bounced back in the second around against River Falls by separating themselves in the middle and upper weights. The results were:
Eighth-grader Josh Route lost by a 10-4 decision at 106 pounds (3-0 River Falls).
Eighth-grader Aiden Erickson won by pin in 5 minutes, 13 seconds, at 113 (6-3 Hastings).
Freshman Blake Reamer lost by tech fall at 120 (8-6 River Falls).
Senior Matt Myers lost by a 11-7 decision at 126 (River Falls 11-6).
Junior John Kendall won by pin at 132 (12-11 Hastings).
Sophomore Nolan Myers lost by a 4-2 decision at 138 (14-12 River Falls).
Senior Paul Kendall won by pin at 145 (18-14 Hastings).
Senior Mac Wilson won by pin in the first period at 152 (24-14 Hastings).
Senior Amar Thomas won by pin in 1:47 at 160 (30-14 Hastings).
Senior Corbin Leflay lost by pin at 170 (30-20 Hastings).
Senior Alex O'Connor received a forfeit at 182 (36-20 Hastings).
Senior Mukhtar Ali lost by pin at 195 (36-26 Hastings).
Senior Godswill Pepple won by pin in 1:52 at 215 (42-26 Hastings).
Sophomore Jacob Wichem lost by pin at 282 (42-32 Hastings).
Hastings continued their momentum from their win over River Falls and took care of business easily against the Prior Lake Lakers 47-21. The Raiders won seven matches and received two forfeits on their way to the victory to win the consolation bracket.
"The kids wrestled really well as a whole and I think we got better as the day wore on," McLay said. "It was nice to beat Prior Lake there, they're a really well-coached team, they've got a good program there every single year, so any time you can beat Prior Lake is a good way to end the day."
"I think that the kids looked pretty talented today, I think we have a lot of upside," he said. "There's some basic things that we need to fix as a group. But I think the team as a whole we were trending in the right direction as the day went on. I tell the kids not to think about the wins and the losses but to focus on getting better every time they step on the mat."
Hastings travels to Tartan on Thursday, Dec. 6, for a triangular with Tartan and North St. Paul. They then go to Park on Saturday, Dec. 8, for a tournament.