K-M finishes second at Christmas Tournament
The Kasson-Mantorville wrestling team tackled their latest challenge to open the 2018-19 season last week as they entered the Minnesota Christmas Tournament. The tournament, which took place in Rochester on December 14 and 15, features some of the top talent in the state and even though the KoMets knew they would be tested, they had high goals going into the tournament.
“I think it’s the day-in and day out aspect that we preach that we’re all in this together,” K-M wrestling head coach Jamie Heidt said of his team’s success in individual tournaments. “We really reinforce the team aspect of our program and make sure
it’s not based on one or two individual guys, we’re looking to get the best out of every guy that’s wrestling out there.”
While the KoMets couldn’t reach their ultimate goal of winning the team title, they did finish as a runner-up to Simley and saw Patrick Kennedy take home his second Santa hat by winning the
170-pound bracket. K-M also had a strong tournament with two second place finishes and six place-winners.
Leading the way for the KoMets was Kennedy, who has gotten off to a sterling start this season. The Iowa commit blasted through the competition in the 170-pound bracket and wrapped up his tournament by dominating Waconia’s Cade Mueller with a 19-4 technical fall. The performance ran his record
this season to 13-0 and has no signs of slowing down.
“Patrick showed how he has progressed in every position of wrestling this weekend,” Heidt said of Kennedy’s performance. “RIght now he’s on the offensive in every position that he’s in. He’s scoring points from his feet. He’s scoring points when he’s on bottom. He’s scoring points on top. It’s really hard to beat a guy that’s chasing a score from every position.
He’s pushing hard to get those bonus points for the team, too. That’s just helping him become a better wrestler.”
The KoMets also got a prime performance from Logan Vaughan and Garsen Schorr, who each finished second in their respective brackets. Vaughan was strong throughout the tournament in the 113-pound bracket and was only slowed down in the finals by Paxton Creese of Shakopee, who picked up the 17-4 major decision for Vaughan’s first loss of the year.
Meanwhile, Schorr has been tough to handle in the 220-pound bracket and had a thrilling matchup with Andrew Reigstad of Willmar in the championship. With Reigstad holding a lead throughout the early part of the match, Schorr made his move and scored a takedown to put Reigstad on his back. Unfortunately, the fellow senior would escape the predicament and take the tournament title with a 4-2 decision.
"Both those guys were in tough matches and they were winning those matches," said Heidt of Schorr and Vaughan. “They were maybe even getting themselves in situations where they had to come from behind or get a score to win. These are tough tournaments and to get second place at a tournament like this, I expect it to be a stepping stone that helps catapult them after the Christmas break.”
Fellow place-winners for the KoMets included Bennett Berge (third place at 160 pounds), Dalton Andrist (fourth-place at 182 pounds) and Robby Horsman (fifth place at 120 pounds). Although the KoMets couldn’t take home the team title, they held the lead for a majority of the tournament and took another step forward as they head into the winter break.
“I feel real good about where we are at right now,” Heidt said of his team. “Just looking across the board at our guys and how they wrestled, a lot of what we did in the early weeks of practice is showing and I think our guys are wrestling real well. We beat a lot of good quality opponents and scored a lot of points.
Mentally, we’re on the right page and it showed up the way they fought until the end in every match.”
In addition to the impressive performance at the Christmas tournament, the KoMets also continued their HVL dominance, ripping through a triangular in Lake City on December 11. With a 65-7 victory over Cannon Falls and a 55-6 win over Lake City, K-M improved it’s dual record and overall record to a perfect 3-0 in the early part of the season.
The KoMets will have one final tune-up before the winter break as they’ll host Pine Island in a HVL contest on December 20. K-M will return from the break with another big individual contest as they’ll take part in the Cheesehead Invitational in Kaukauna, Wisc. on January 4 and 5.