The Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus Road Crew wrestling team set a program record with 25 wins this season after sweeping four of their matches at the Sauk Centre-Melrose Invitational Friday, Jan. 31, in Melrose.
The Road Crew improved to 25-6 in dual meets as they defeated Pierz 57-18, Fergus Falls 61-17, Roseau 78-4 and Sauk Centre-Melrose 59-12. The previous record for most wins in a season was 20 victories - reached in 2011-12 and 2013-14.
“This team is gaining valuable experience and more importantly confidence,” said coach Travis Hoffarth, whose team has won seven straight dual meets. “We are a good team with a lot of exciting things happening in our program, and yet there is work to be done.”
Evan Koering went 4-0 and picked up his 75th career win for the Road Crew while teammates Owen Carlson, Caleb Ruhl, Karsen Kinyon, Connor Tulenchik and Josh Pettit also finished 4-0.
“Our kids are down to their section tournament weights, so that is leading to more success for a lot of individuals,” Hoffarth said. “Owen (Carlson) has won 20 straight matches, Connor (Tulenchik) has won 29 of his last 30 and is 39-3, Josh Pettit has won 11 in a row and is 31-9, and Caleb (Ruhl) and Evan (Koering) went 7-0 last week.”
The Road Crew was scheduled to finish the regular season against United North Central Tuesday, Feb. 4. The Road Crew will then host a first-round match Tuesday, Feb. 11, at Pine River-Backus.
“We will find ourselves as the No. 2 seed in our half of the section, and the fourth seed overall in the section,” Hoffarth said. “A win will give us a trip to the Section 8AA Final Four Friday, Feb. 14, in Perham.”
Road Crew notes:
The seventh to ninth grade Road Crew wrestlers finished second in the 23-team Paul Bunyan Junior High tournament Saturday, Feb. 1. Five Road Crew wrestlers make it to the finals - Chance Abraham and Trey Tuchtenhagen were champions and Earl Stockman, Caleb Swenson and Brady Ruhl finished second. Other place winners were Sean Kilpatrick third; James Cummings and Max Trumpold fourth; Tayten Mick and Quinten Ellsworth fifth; and Garrett Carlson eighth.
Corbin Knapp, a Road Crew freshman, was runner-up at the Minnesota Ninth Grade Wrestling League Region 8 championship last weekend. That finished earned him a trip to the state ninth grade tournament in Champlain Park. Corbin opened with a pin, won 8-0 in the quarterfinals, and 6-1 in the semifinals before losing 8-5 in the finals.
Road Crew results
106: Owen Carlson 4-0
113: Caleb Ruhl 4-0
120: Grant Thompson 3-1
126: Korey Kinyon 3-1
132: Karsen Kinyon 4-0
138: Evan Koering 4-0
145: Finnegan O’Dell 2-1, Connor Tulenchik 1-0
152: Connor Tulenchik 3-0, Finnegan O’Dell 1-0
160: Trey Tuchtenhagen 0-1, Austin Staricha 2-1
170: Keenan Dahl 1-2, Trey Tuchtenhagen 1-0
182: Keenan Dahl 1-0
195: Corbin Knapp 3-1
220: Josh Pettit 3-0, Riley Peters 1-0
285: Logan Carlson 3-0, Josh Pettit 1-0
Road Crew 3-0 at Grand Rapids
On Thursday, Jan. 30, Owen Carlson, Caleb Ruhl, Tulenchik, Keenan Dahl, Corbin Knapp and Pettit all finished 3-0 for the Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus in a sweep of three matches at the Grand Rapids Triangular.
The Road Crew defeated Proctor 61-10, Milaca 62-10 and Grand Rapids 51-20.
“We came out really aggressive against Grand Rapids and got three quick pins to build a lead of 18-0,” Hoffarth said. “That set the tone for the rest of the night and it carried over into Friday night at Melrose.”
Road Crew results:
106: Owen Carlson 3-0
113: Caleb Ruhl 3-0
120: Grant Thompson 2-1
126: Korey Kinyon 1-2
132: Karsen Kinyon 2-1
138: Chance Abraham 1-0 1p/ Evan Koering 2-0
145: Connor Tulenchik 3-0
152: Finnegan O’Dell 1-1/ Austin Staricha 1-0
160: Austin Staricha 1-1/ Finnegan O’Dell 0-1
170: Trey Tuchtenhagen 2-1
182: Keenan Dahl 3-0
195: Corbin Knapp 3-0
220: Riley Peters 1-0/ Josh Pettit 2-0
285: Josh Pettit 1-0/ Logan Carlson 0-2