What a great experience for our team!!! The Clash committee does a great job putting on a world class event and making everyone involved feel like it is something special.
We had talked with other coaches who have been at The Clash in the past, of what we should expect and what The Clash is like. The 2 comments that stuck in my head were, “It is a grind,” and “You will find out the character of your team.” Well…..they were right, six rounds of dual meets against top competition from across the nation is a huge grind, both physically and mentally. But, I love the character of our team. They battled every round and when we had a little set back in Round 5, they re-grouped and wrestled the best dual of tournament in Round 6! That takes heart, pride, determination and perseverance!! I am fired up for the rest of the season to see where we end up.
We had the great opportunity to be able to wrestle 6 teams all from 5 states and none of them being from Minnesota. It is fun to see how we stack up against top teams from other states.
First round we wrestled Dakota, Illinois. They are the #1 ranked team in Class 1A, #49 in the Nation, have 3 wrestlers ranked #1 and 4 others ranked in the top 10. Dakota also has won the Class 1A State Dual Title the last 3 years. As a coach, you never know how a team is going to respond the first time at a big event like The Clash, but our wrestlers were ready. The dual started at 182, so we had the luxury starting off with our version of killers row, Venz, Hawkins and Frost. Taylor started us off with a fall and they forfeited to Mason at 195 and we never looked back, winning 45-27. Frost won 3-0 at 220, Trayton won by fall in :15 seconds at 106, Gliva won by a :19 second fall at 120, Skyler Raymond pinned the #6 ranked wrestler in the first period at 126, Jamin won by fall at 138 and Eric Heusbourg won by fall at 160.
Second round we faced Tuttle, Oklahoma who is the top ranked team in Class 4A (Oklahoma has 6 classes), ranked #13 in the nation and return 5 State Champs and 5 State Runner Ups. They also have 7 straight State Team titles and 6 straight State Dual titles. Taylor Venz won by fall at 182, Mason Hawkins won by fall at 195 and Victor Gliva beat Noah McQuigg who is a 2 Time State Champ and was undefeated, 5-3 at 120. Tuttle beat us 45-18.
Third round was Park Hill, Missouri. They are the 2nd ranked team in 4A (big class), ranked #41 in the nation and have won three straight State Team Titles. Mason started the dual off with a 3-2 decision at 220, Frost won 5-0 at 285, Gliva beat the #8 ranked wrestler by a 10-0 major decision at 120, LeDuc won by fall in the first period at 138, Avery Filipek won by FF at 160 and Venz finished the dual off with fall at 195. Park Hill came out on top 39-22.
With a 1-2 record on Day 1 we placed 4th in our bracket.
On Day 2 we were bracketed with Roseburg, Oregon (#1 in 6A and won 7 of last 9 State Championships), Wasatch, Utah (#1 in 4A and are 19x State Champs) and Glenbard North, Illinois (#9 in 5A and have placed in the top 8 of State 19 times).
Round 1 was Roseburg, Oregon. The dual started at 285, where John Johnson won by FF, Tony Jacobson won by DQ at 113, Gliva won by fall in :32 seconds at 120, LeDuc pinned the #8 ranked wrestler at 138, Eric Heusbourg won 11-5 at 160, Venz won by fall at 182 and Hawkins won 3-2 at 195. The final was Tigers 36 Roseburg 26.
Round 2 we faced Wasatch, Utah. The dual started at 106, where Trayton Anderson won by a :28 second fall. Gliva then beat a #1 ranked wrestler 3-0 at 120, Skyler Raymond beat a #4 ranked wrestler 12-9 at 126, LeDuc won by a 16-1 Tech Fall over a #3 ranked wrestler at 138, Taylor Venz won by fall over a #4 ranked wrestler at 182, Mason Hawkins won by a 13-3 major decision over a #5 ranked wrestler at 195 and Trevor Frost won by fall over a #5 ranked wrestler at 220. We split matches 7-7, but came up on the short end of a 36-33 score. The difference was we got pinned in 5 of our 7 matches, which was disappointing.
Round 3 we faced Glenbard North, Illinois, who had beaten Wasatch in the first round of Day 2. After getting pinned 5 times and not wrestling like we were capable of in round 5, our boys picked it up for the final round. The dual started at 113 where Tony Jacobson lost a tough fought 9-8 decision. Gliva then won by a 12-2 major decision over a #8 ranked wrestler at 120. At 138, Jamin LeDuc won by a 9-0 major decision, Kyle Heusbourg won by a 9-1 major decision at 170, Taylor Venz by fall at 182, Mason Hawkins won 5-2 at 195 and Trevor Frost won by a fall at 220. The dual came down to the last match of the dual at 106. We had a 27-26 lead. 9th Grader Trayton Anderson came up big with a 13-8 decision over a senior from Glenbard to win the dual 20-26.
We finished with a 2-1 record on Day 2, which put us in a three way tie with Glenbard and Wasatch. The tie breaker was total team points scored, where we were edged out by Wasatch 64-63, to take 2nd Place in the 4th Place Bracket or 14th out of 32.
We had 3 undefeated wrestlers: Victor Gliva was 6-0, beating two #1 ranked wrestlers and two #8 ranked wrestler, Mason Hawkins was 6-0 beating one ranked wrestler and Taylor Venz was 6-0 with 6 Falls one being over a #4 ranked wrestler.
Jamin LeDuc finished 5-1, with his only loss coming on a 4-3 decision to the #1 ranked wrestler from Oklahoma. He also beat 2 state ranked wrestlers.
I could not be happier with our team and program. The Clash recruiter complimented our team and also raved about how big and loud our crowd was! WE love the support and always travel well! It is always great to see all of our fans there supporting us!
To think…..6 years ago we could not win a dual and now we are competitive not just in the State, but Nationally says a lot about the commitment and dedication of our wrestlers and their families. I could not be prouder to be part of this program!!!
It doesn’t get any easier this week, we travel to the Rick Lee Duals in Bemidji for 6 more duals. We also take the JV and MS wrestlers. This year we are taking 64 wrestlers, it is one of our favorite trips. More info to come.