June 15, 2024

WCA/A/B-E Knights move to 13-3 after edging MAHACA

Junior Will Rustan celebrates a pin at heavyweight, and a dual victory for WCA/A/B-E over MAHACA Thursday, Jan. 19, in Barret. Rustan needed to win to give the Knights the victory and he did one better by pinning Tiger heavyweight Carter Gibson. Photo by Tammie Olson Photography

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Brooke Kern
Grant County Herald

Breaking the school record for pins was just the first goal on the long list for Anthony Sykora during his senior wrestling season for West Central Area / Ashby / Brandon-Evansville.

Sykora recorded his 108th career pin in a fall over Minnewaska’s Xander Johnson Tuesday, Jan. 17 then added pin No. 109 Friday against MAHACA’s Connor Olson. Long previously held the pin record, which stood for over a decade as Long graduated in 2009.

“There’s one more record I’d like to break,” Sykora said, referring to Long’s career wins record that sits at 204.

After last week’s two dual wins for the Knights and two wins for Sykora, he has 203 wins with only one loss on the season.

“I’m assuming I’ll break (204),” Sykora said, needing only one more win to do so. “My teammates and coaches have helped me tremendously and I’m very thankful for them.”

His goals aren’t only individual. As a captain of the Knights wrestling team this season, he wants to lead them back to the state tournament where the Knights took third in 2022.

“I wanna lead my team to a state title and add the cherry on top by winning one myself, becoming the first two-time state champ in school history” said Sykora, who is ranked No. 1 in Class A at 182 pounds.

The Knights are ranked 11th in Class A with other ranked wrestlers at 113 (No. 9 at Owen Gruchow), 145 (No. 4 Hunter Gruchow), 152 (No. 8 Solomon Wales) and 285 (No. 9 Justin Blascyk).

With a little less than a month left in the regular season, Sykora is looking ahead to the West Central Conference meet where he could meet up with some tough competition.

“Conferences are coming up in a couple weeks. There’s three-ish kids ranked, including me, in the bracket so I’ll get some good (matches) there,” said Sykora.

Along with Sykora, the 182-pound rankings include Kimball’s Hank Meyer, who sits in ninth in Class A. Benson’s Preston McGree is ranked eighth at 170 pounds in Class A. Benson’s Thomas Dineen, who hasn’t wrestled under 195 all season, remains atop the 195-pound rankings in Class A.

Sykora remains confident, noting that his lone loss of the season to Tri-City United’s Caden O’Malley would be his hardest match of the season. O’Malley is ranked No. 1 in Class AA at 182 pounds.

“That kid will be my hardest of the season,” Sykora said.

The Knights travel to BOLD for a triangular against the Warriors and Minneota Tuesday, Jan. 24. They close out the week at the Detroit Lakes triangular against the Lakers and Crookston.


WCA/A/B-E 47

Minnewaska 24

The Knights won the final six matches against Minnewaska to win the dual 47-24 Tuesday, Jan. 17, at Minnewaska Area High School in Glenwood.

Evan Dingwall (113), Adam Lohse (132), Hunter Gruchow (160), Sykora (182) all pinned their respective opponents. Jeremy Blascyk at 170 and Will Rustan at 220 both took major decisions over their Laker opponents.

106: Miles Wildman (MIAR) over Owen Gruchow (WCAA) (Dec 16-12) 113: Evan Dingwall (WCAA) over Austin Schuler (MIAR) (Fall 1:07) 120: Chase Smith (MIAR) over Tucker McGee (WCAA) (Fall 0:31) 126: Isaiah Rosario (MIAR) over Lucea Wales (WCAA) (Fall 1:26) 132: Adam Lohse (WCAA) over Garrett Jungclaws (MIAR) (Fall 1:03) 138: Sam Olson (WCAA) over (MIAR) (For.) 145: Nick Ankeny (MIAR) over Solomon Wales (WCAA) (Dec 5-2) 152: Braylen Scharmer (MIAR) over Kolby Peters (WCAA) (Fall 3:16) 160: Hunter Gruchow (WCAA) over Nathan Dell (MIAR) (Fall 4:38) 170: Jeremy Blascyk (WCAA) over Cole Kittleson (MIAR) (MD 13-5) 182: Anthony Sykora (WCAA) over Xander Johnson (MIAR) (Fall 3:26) 195: Beau Robinson (WCAA) over Chase Boelke (MIAR) (Dec 5-2) 220: Will Rustan (WCAA) over Noah Jensen (MIAR) (MD 10-0) 285: Justin Blascyk (WCAA) over (MIAR) (For.)

WCA/A/B-E 36

MAHACA 31

Heavyweight Will Rustan pinned heavyweight Carter Gibson of MAHACA, which gave the Knights the 36-31 edge over Morris Area / Hancock / Chokio – Alberta Friday, Jan. 20, at West Central Area Schools in Barrett.

The Knights opened the dual 12-0 after back-to-back forfeit wins from Owen Gruchow and Evan Dingwall.

MAHACA evened up the match with back-to-back pins by Grayson Gibson at 120 and Tyce Anderson at 126.

Adam Lohse at 132 and Solomon Wales at 138 both took decision wins to give the Knights an 18-13 lead. Davin Rose of MAHACA used a 37-second pinfall victory at 145 to keep the Tigers in the dual, tying it at 18-18.

After Hunter Gruchow took a forfeit win at 152, Jeremy Blascyk fell by 15-14 decision to Caden Rose at 160 pounds. Rose is ranked No. 8 in Class AA at 145 pounds. Unranked Blascyk had the state-ranked wrestler on his back twice, for five points in nearfall points, in the third period, but couldn’t secure the pin.

MAHACA’s Ryker Erickson took a decision over Gavin Flint at 170 pounds, giving the Tigers a 24-18 lead, but Sykora pinned Connor Olson, in 59 seconds, at 182 pounds to again tie the dual at 24-24 with three weights to go.

MAHACA’s Hunter Gibson took a 4-3 decision over Beau Robinson at 195 and Brock Marty took a 12-0 major decision over Blake Flint at 220 for a 31-30 lead. Rustan pinned C. Gibson in 2:46 for the Knights win.

106: Owen Gruchow (WCAA) over (MAHA) (For.) 113: Evan Dingwall (WCAA) over (MAHA) (For.) 120: Grayson Gibson (MAHA) over Tucker McGee (WCAA) (Fall 3:02) 126: Tyce Anderson (MAHA) over Logan Schmall (WCAA) (Fall 1:40) 132: Adam Lohse (WCAA) over Alex Sperr (MAHA) (Dec 9-3) 138: Solomon Wales (WCAA) over Andrew Marty (MAHA) (Dec 6-2) 145: Davin Rose (MAHA) over Kolby Peters (WCAA) (Fall 0:37) 152: Hunter Gruchow (WCAA) over (MAHA) (For.) 160: Caden Rose (MAHA) over Jeremy Blascyk (WCAA) (Dec 15-14) 170: Ryker Erickson (MAHA) over Gavin Flint (WCAA) (Dec 8-5) 182: Anthony Sykora (WCAA) over Connor Olson (MAHA) (Fall 0:59) 195: Hunter Gibson (MAHA) over Beau Robinson (WCAA) (Dec 4-3) 220: Brock Marty (MAHA) over Blake Flint (WCAA) (MD 12-0) 285: Will Rustan (WCAA) over Carter Gibson (MAHA) (Fall 2:46)

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