Craig wrestlers capture KC Cup
Janesville Craig and Janesville Parker wrestlers renewed their intense rivalry Thursday night with the Kaster-Cramer Cup on the line, and the Cougars made sure the first-year trophy stayed in house.
The host Cougars rallied from a 16-0 deficit by dominating the upper weights and cruised to a 43-31 Big Eight Conference win. Craig improved to 8-1 in Big Eight duals and earned a share of the conference title. Parker finished 5-4.
Starting with junior Julio Sanchez at 132 pounds, the Vikings rattled off three straight wins to open up a 16-0 lead. Craig took control starting at 152 and won seven of the next eight matches as a 16-0 deficit grew into a 37-22 lead.
"Pins and forfeits can get you back in a match in a hurry, and for us, that's what happened tonight," Craig coach Mark Mullen said. "Parker came out strong and gave a great effort all night, but we had some kids step up.
"It was a typical Craig/Parker match with some great individual performances, but our depth was the difference."
Craig had four pins, but it was Zak Kurtz's win by forfeit at 195 that put the Cougars ahead for good at 24-22. Drew Grassi followed with a 12-5 win at 220 to push the lead to
27-22, and Dakota Pearson's first-period pin gave the Cougars a 33-22 lead.
Parker got pins from Mitchel Henneman at 126, Jovanni Sanchez at 138, Mat Pakes at 145 and Reynaldo Bautista at 182, but had to forfeit at two weight classes,
which cost the Vikings 12 points.
"We've got a young lineup, but our kids showed some heart tonight," Parker first-year coach Andy Tubbs said. "But I have to give credit to Craig. They had the desire to win it tonight.
"Playing for the (KC) Cup was something we talked about during practice, and with what those two guys meant for wrestling in this city, I think it's a great idea. We just came up short."
Craig pushed the lead to 37-22 at 106 pounds. Cougar freshman Arik Furseth won by major decision, 14-5, despite trailing after one period.
Parker freshman Dylan Seiner stopped Craig's run of 19 straight points with a 13-11 win at 113, but the Cougars' Anthony Skrede won with a first-period pin to push the lead to 43-25. Parker's Mitch Henneman won by pin in the last match of the evening for the final margin.
Zach Mulrooney (160) and Nate Mather (170) also won by pin for Craig.
"I can't say enough about what coach Kaster and coach Cramer have done for the city's two wrestling programs," Mullen said. "So to win the KC Cup in its first year is pretty special for our guys. They know now that they're going to be a part of history."
CRAIG 43, PARKER 31
106—Arik Furseth (JC) major dec. Gage Burdick, 14-5; 113—Dylan Siener (JP) dec. Chris Reynolds, 13-11; 120—Anthony Skrede (JC) pinned Tyler Thornton, :28; 126—Mitchel Henneman (JP) pinned Ryan Ruble, 3:55; 132—Julio Sanchez (JP) major dec. Kyle LeCaptain, 12-3; 138—Jovanni Sanchez (JP) pinned Asley Felix, 3:33; 145—Matt Pakes (JP) pinned Alex Zimmerman, 5:10.
152—Jonah Wilson (JC) won by forfeit; 160—Zack Mulrooney (JC) pinned Matthew Higginbotham, 3:00; 170—Nate Mather (JC) pinned Brandon Fryda, :59; 182—Reynaldo Bautista (JP) pinned Tyler Chilson, 1:07; 195—Zak Kurtz (JC) won by forfeit; 220—Drew Grassi (JC) dec. Scott VanDerHagen, 12-5; 285—Dakota Pearson (JC) pinned Tyler Jelinek, :30.