After dominating New London-Spicer and Glencoe-Silver Lake on Thursday, the true test for the Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield wrestling team came Friday with a road dual meet against No. 11 Hutchinson.
The crowd was great for both teams, filling most of the stands on both sides of the gym and cheering reaching deafening levels from both sides.
“This was a great dual,” DC/L head coach Bryan Clemen said. “This is one of those matchups that’s going to keep wrestling going, because you get the fans on both sets of towns coming in and watching a good close dual. We had a handful of really good junior varsity matches, a varsity match that for 90 percent of the match was still in question who was going to win that dual. That’s going to keep people in, and that’s going to keep people excited to see wrestling.”
DC/L took the first two matches by Joedeman twins Andrew and Alex. Andrew’s pin gave the Dragons an early 9-0 lead.
But Hutchinson came back, winning the next two matches by decision to cut the lead to three. But DC/L answered, winning the next four matches. Eddie Simes (132) won by fall and Jude Link (152) won by a 22-7 technical fall to give the team some extra points and a comfortable 27-6 lead.
With Hutchinson having to make up serious ground, it needed pins not decisions. DC/L made them work for every point they got. Hayden Hoernemann only allowed two points in his victory at 170 pounds and Will O’Brien had only given up one point to Hayden VanderVoort going into the overtime period. O’Brien lost by decision to keep the points low.
At 195, Beau Nelson beat Alex Nelson by decision to lock up the win for DC/L.
“I felt that it’s always been close with Hutch in the past,” Sam Marx said. “I thought we finally had a shot at beating them (now) that we had all our team together.”
DC/L and Hutchinson both competed at the Litchfield Invitational earlier this season, with Hutchinson claiming the championship. But DC/L wasn’t at full strength.
Having a full roster at the Hutchinson dual gave the Dragons the edge in the end, according to Clemen. The wrestlers also feel now that they’re healthy, they need to be reckoned with.
“We have all our guys back,” Jerry Simes said. “I feel once we’re all healthy, we’ll wrestle really great as a team.”
Simes and Marx agree that they could be in better condition, but Clemen believes that it’s something more mental that will give this team its edge.
“We talked about it a little bit at the end there,” Clemen said. “For us to get where we want to go, every single guy has to think that the match is going to come down to ‘me.’ The dual meet match is going to come down to ‘me’ and you need to train like that.”
With only five meets remaining before sections, there isn’t much time left for the team to figure out where they want to be.
DC/L’s next match will be a home dual against Mound-Westonka on Friday.
Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield 33, #11 Hutchinson 24 (Jan. 10)
106: Andrew Joedeman (DCL) pinned Max Martin at 2:44 ... 113: Alex Joedeman (DCL) won 6-1 dec. over Treyton Card ... 120: Grant Peirce (H) won 11-4 dec. over Victor Franco (DCL) ... 126: Tristian Lang (H) won 6-1 dec. over Devin Steinhaus ... 132: Eddie Simes (DCL) pinned Michael Farrell at 1:55 ... 138: Jerry Simes (DCL) won 11-3 maj. dec. over Camden Kron ... 145: Sam Marx (DCL) won 12-8 dec. over Payton Jepsen ... 152: Jude Link (DCL) won 22-7 tech. fall over Riley Gill ... 160: Cale Luthens (H) won 12-8 dec. over Noah Halonen ... 170: Hayden Hoernemann (DCL) won 5-2 dec. over Jesse Reiner ... 182: Hayden VanderVoort (H) won 3-1 dec. over Will O’Brien ... 195: Beau Nelson (DCL) won 8-3 dec. over Alex Nelson ... 220: Cody Kurth (H) pinned Jackson Martin at 3:23 ... 285: Tanner Gill (H) pinned Jace Butcher at 2:30