KoMets look ready for potential Simley showdown
The Kasson-Mantorville wrestling team has always operated under the mantra of taking things one dual or match at a time. The approach has made sure the KoMets leave no stone unturned as they navigate through a Hiawatha Valley League that has been traditionally tough and consecutive Class AA state championships.
This year, the KoMets will have a new challenge as they look to earn their third straight crown as they’ll see an opponent earlier than normal. With the addition of wrestling powerhouse Simley in to Section 1AA, the rivalry between the two schools will add a new wrinkle to the Rochester tournament and create a dual that could be considered a de facto state championship in February.
Despite the potential for a mega-dual looming, K-M head coach Jamie Heidt has still stuck to his guns to tell his team to take things one match at a time.
“We have this whole week and then we’re competing before that dual,” Heidt said. “It’s just really focusing on what we are in control of. This week is about team wrestling and making sure that we are ready to go at all 14 weights.”
In their final tuneup for the section tournament, the KoMets looked ready to go no matter who they face in the section tournament. Going up against #11A Kenyon-Wanamingo, the #1AA KoMets got off to a great start with Logan Vaughan picking up a 18-3 technical fall over Owen Scheffler at 106 pounds.
That set the stage for the match of the night between Jared Johnson and Jaron Matson. With Matson a two-time state champion at the Class A level and Johnson currently ranked 2nd in The Guillotine’s 113-pound Class AA rankings, it was a match that was worth the price of admission.
Matson would control this match for a majority of the contest as he built a 5-2 lead over Johnson with 20 seconds to go. Johnson would make his move by taking Matson to the mat with a headlock and picking up a near fall to complete the comeback and earn a 7-5 victory that not only built confidence for the three-time state place winner, butthe rest of the team as well.
“He got the win and it was more about the way that he won,” Heidt said about Johnson. “Sometimes, things don’t go as you want them to go, but you have to find a way to get your hand raised. It’s something that also gives our other guys confidence because they see that it’s never over in any given match.”
From there, K-M hit the acceleratetor making sure the dual was over before it even started. Robby Horsman, Matthew Harfmann Tanner Paulson and Bennett Berge would all pick up victories in succession to build a 26-0 lead and Dalton Andrist, Ethan Shea, Patrick Kennedy and Jim Paulson would all pickup pinfall victories to build a 50-11 lead that would finish as a 50-23 victory.
The win over the Knights would clinch the ninth straight HVL championship for the KoMets and give them even more momentum as they head into the Section 1AA tournament, which will begin with a dual against Cannon Falls or St. Thomas Academy in Home Federal Arena on Thursday evening.
“It’s going to be a fight,” Heidt said. “Every point is going to count. We’re really just focusing all week on just sharpening up, making sure we’re feeling good and making sure that everyone is ready to go.”