BEA downs Saints, No. 8-rated Medford
Lately, senior wrestler Taylor Andrews has won more matches than he’s lost.
So far this season, the Buc 215-pounder has compiled a 13-2 record.
It hasn’t always been that way.
After his sophomore year, Andrews’ career record was 18-50. Last year, he posted 28 wins and 15 losses.
Thursday night, Andrews earned a 7-3 decision and helped his team remain unbeaten (11-0) with a 37-24 conference win over rival St. James in Blue Earth.
“I wanted to wrestle smart, start out with a takedown and stay within my match,” says Andrews. “All I thought about was getting a win for the team.”
The Bucs trailed 24-21 going into the final four matches.
An 11-5 decision by 171-pounder Daniel Eck-hardt tied the score and Cody Eckhardt’s 9-1 major decision at 189 pounds gave the Bucs a 28-24 lead.
Andrews’ win at 215 secured victory for BEA, and Josh Johnson’s pin at heavyweight made the final score, 37-24.
Head coach Randy Wirtjes called the win “a great team effort.”
Wirtjes says it wasn’t too tough motivating his team for the Saints.
“Our guys always work hard and never complain, and that’s what they did tonight,” he says. “St. James is always tough and has a good team. Anytime you win in the South Central Conference it’s huge.”
The Bucs will have a busy schedule on the road.
After the Estherville Duals on Saturday, Jan. 16, they take go to Maple River on Tuesday; Jackson County Central on Thursday; and New Ulm on Friday.
BEA 37, St. James 24
103: Travis Hagedorn (BEA) pinned Cody Hansen, :37.
112: Issac Carreon (St. James) dec. Jesse Alleven, 10-4.
119: Jake Wirtjes (BEA) dec. Richard Soto, 6-3.
125: Angel Soto (St. James) pinned David Franta, 2:34.
130: D.J. Gronewald (BEA) pinned Zach Romsdahl, 2:40.
135: Joe Franta (BEA) dec. Matt Tucholke, 14-7.
140: Ethan Hildebrandt (St. James) pinned Mitch Heronimus, 1:52.
145: Brady Stauffer (St. James) pinned Chris Ramos, 1:31.
152: Carter Hanson (BEA) dec. Giovanni Alvarado, 7-5.
160: Chris Whitehead (ST. James) dec. Abi Vasquez, 11-5.
171: Daniel Eckhardt (BEA) dec. Matt Dahl, 11-5.
189: Cody Eckhardt (BEA) dec. Dale McMullen, 9-1.
215: Taylor Andrews (BEA) dec. Dylan Wright, 7-3.
285: Josh Johnson (BEA) pinned Shawn Karau, 4:45.Bucs win two
The Blue Earth Area wrestling team needed a pair of come-from-behind wins to maintain its perfect dual meet record.
And, their chances against the Class A No. 8-ranked Medford didn’t look too good Saturday, Jan. 9, in Blue Earth.
The Bucs (10-0) trailed the Tigers 31-18 going into the 171-pound match.
A Chris Ramos pin at 145 pounds had trimmed an 11-point lead to five.
Ramos will filling in for the Bucs regular 145-pounder, Matt Dulas.
“Chris gets the game ball. That was a huge win for us. That’s one thing about that kid, he doesn’t quit,” says Head Coach Randy Wirtjes. “That turned the tide for us.”
The Tigers were able to put together two major decisions to build a 13-point lead.
That’s when the Bucs mounted their rally.
It took 171-pounder Daniel Eckhardt 1:42 to put his opponent’s shoulders to the mat and cut Medford’s lead to 31-24.
Cody Eckhardt had a thrilling comeback win at 189 pounds.
The Buc senior trailed 4-1 after the first period and Reid Balzer was able to build his lead to 8-5 with about 37 seconds left in the match.
With less than 20 seconds, Eckhardt scored a takedown and put Balzer to his back and picked up three near-fall points for a 10-8 win.
At 215, senior Taylor Andrews pinned Devon Koch in 4:57 to put BEA ahead 33-31.
Medford forfeited at heavyweight to make their final score 39-31, in favor of BEA.
“It was a nice team effort and win for us. They’re a solid team with six ranked wrestlers. You have to get bonus points when you can,” says Wirtjes. “The win should help us with section seedings.”
Medford, along with Jackson County Central, is considered a co-favorite in the Section 2A team competition.
JCC is currently ranked No. 6 in the latest poll.
Against St. Peter, the Bucs came out sluggish and spotted the Saints an 11-point lead, 24-13, following the 145-pound match.
Freshman Carter Hanson started the Buc comeback with a fall in 3:05 at 152 pounds.
Abi Vasquez added a 10-0 major decision at 160, and 171-pounder Daniel Eck-hardt gave the Bucs a 28-24 lead with a tech fall.
Cody Eckhardt kept BEA rolling with a pin in 2:58 at 189, and Andrews put his 215-pound opponent’s shoulders to the mat in 4:52.
Josh Johnson picked up a forfeit win at heavyweight to make the final score 46-24.
BEA 39, Medford 31
103: Travis Hagedorn (BEA) pinned Wes Ohnstad, 2:21.
112: Tyler Keller (Medford) dec. Jesse Alleven, 5-3.
119: Zach Keller (Medford) pinned Jake Wirtjes, 4:18.
125: D.J. Gronewald (BEA) pinned Tate Colwell, 1:39.
130: Brad Maas (Medford) tech. fall David Franta, 20-5.
135: Curt Maas (Medford) pinned Mitch Heronimus, :57.
140: Zach Kanzenbach (Medford) dec. Joe Franta, 7-4.
145: Chris Ramos (BEA) pinned Derek Butterfield, 3:02.
152: Cole Kavitz (Medford) maj. dec. Carter Hanson, 14-5.
160: Brad Keller (Medford) maj. dec. Abi Vasquez, 12-3.
171: Daniel Eckhardt (BEA) pinned David Denul, 1:42.
189: Cody Eckhardt (BEA) dec. Reid Balzer, 10-8.
215: Taylor Andrews (BEA) pinned Devon Koch, 4:57.
275: Josh Johnson (BEA) forfeit.
BEA 46, St. Peter 24
103: Hunter Retzlaff (St. Peter) dec. Travis Hagedorn, 6-3.
112: Collin Thompson (St. Peter) dec. Jesse Alleven, 8-4.
119: Jake Wirtjes (BEA) tech fall Steven Pettis, 15-0.
125: Nick Rydell (St. Peter) pinned David Franta, 5:50.
130: D.J. Gronewald (BEA) dec. Dakota Haslip, 9-3.
135: Andy Bushnell (St. Peter) pinned Mitch Heronimus, 1:23.
140: Joe Franta (BEA) tech fall Ashten Bartlett, 19-4.
145: Brian Zabel (St. Peter) pinned Chris Ramos, :49.
152: Carter Hanson (BEA) pinned Bennet Baker, 3:05.
160: Abi Vasquez (BEA) maj. dec. Nick Kempenish, 10-0.
171: Daniel Eckhardt (BEA) tech fall Tyler Pettman, :51.
189: Cody Eckhardt (BEA) pinned Jared Shandy, 2:58.
215: Taylor Andrews (BEA) pinned Dylan Connor, 4:52.
275: Josh Johnson (BEA) forfeit.