Sports

Rogers takes control of South

By DUSTIN NICKERSON

News Intern

The Rogers wrestling team is the best in the South Puget Sound League South — at least for now.

With their 40-29 win over the previously undefeated Decatur Gators Wednesday night in Puyallup, the Rams took over sole possession of first place, and hoisted themselves as the frontrunners in the chase for the South Division title.

“They’re pretty stacked throughout their lineup,” said Decatur senior Kyle Bressler. “There were no for sure weaknesses we could take advantage of.”

Despite that, the dual meet came down to the final match of the night, which happened to be the 103-pounders. Rogers led 34-29, meaning Decatur’s Scott McKnight’s only hope for a Gator win was if he could score six team points with a pin of Rogers’ Kraig Wilson. However, the severely underweight McKnight, who was also battling a shoulder injury, had to forfeit the match in the second round, sealing the Rogers win.

Overall, the Gators weren’t too happy with their performance.

“We didn’t come to wrestle tonight,” said assistant coach Roger Wingert.

“Tonight, they were just tougher than us,” said 125-pound senior Travis Hoeft.

But the Gators aren’t looking to blame anyone other than themselves.

“The reason we lost is because we made mistakes — period,” said coach Mike Bressler. “We can do two things right now. We can go home and hang our heads or we can get together and get better and beat these guys later on. This team can get knocked out, so we just have to keep winning.”

Wednesday’s dual started out with a pair of Rogers major decisions at 112 and 119 to put the Rams up 8-0 before the Gators tallied their first points, which came on a third-round pin from Hoeft.

“I was just doing what I knew I had to do for the team at that point,” said Hoeft.

The pin made the team score 8-6, and brought Decatur right back into the match. Decatur senior captain Dustin English (130) lost a hard-fought match against Tom Simmons, 2-0, giving three more points to the Rams. But Myles Peckman (135) won by major decision, 14-3, to make the score 11-10 Rogers. Decatur then suffered through a little dry spell in the middle weights. The Gators got only two wins in their next five matches — a 10-5 decision from Leabua Younger at 145 and a Michael Davidson major decision at 160 pounds — to widen the team score to 28-17.

Senior captain and defending state champion Kyle Bressler got the Gators rolling again with a pin of Rogers’ Thomas Haulman and junior Taylor McCluskey followed with a pin of Jason Hoyt with 53 seconds left in the second round.

The Bressler and McCluskey six-point wins gave the Gators their first lead of the night at 29-28. But the Gators lost the next two matches to finalize the Rogers victory.

“We had some matches we thought we should win tonight, but things just didn’t go our way,” said Kyle Bressler.

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