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Knights Trounce Trojans and Roll Over Raiders

By Kevin Fick, 01/09/22, 10:45PM CST


The Knight wrestlers were on the road this week as Thursday, January 6th they traveled to Parkers Prairie for a triangular. The opposition included a pair of familiar opponents The first being a former Section 6A member who moved to Section 8A this season in the Barnesville Trojans. The second was a section and conference match-up with the Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie Raiders.


It was not long ago that Barnesville wrestling was a power house in this region of the state. The Trojans usually field a few impressive individuals but have struggled since the early 2010’s to hold any relevance in the team aspect of the sport. Zac Anderson is one of the wrestlers from those strong teams a decade ago and is now in his first season as head coach of his Alma-mater. Time will tell if he can replicate a former Trojan tradition.

As it would be, Anderson and his Trojans will have to wait a bit longer to to reclaim their glory days as Brandon Gruchow and his Knight grapplers stood in their way last Thursday. Bringing with them a 10-0 record the Knights took care of the 0-2 Barnesville unit with relative ease. The final score was a lopsided victory for WCAABE by way of 66-6.

Solomon Wales vs Reese Thompson (BHVPP). PHOTO by TAMMIE OLSON PHOTOGRAPHY


Jeremy Blascyk Gains Control Using an Ankle. PHOTO by TAMMIE OLSON PHOTOGRAPHY

The final dual of the evening pitted the Knights and the hometown Raiders from BHVPP. All duals are important but when there are inter section and conference implications the stakes tend to be higher. Perhaps add in the fact that the Raiders have represented the section at the state tournament the prior two seasons, are the defending runner up in class A wrestling, and were the team that bumped the Knights out of last season's playoffs with a final match victory to steal away a heart-breaking win...this dual meant plenty to Knight nation. 

This year finds the Raiders in a bit more vulnerable situation than last, prior to the dual BHVPP posted a 4-7 record and sat in 5th place in the section standings. Their plight did not improve as the Knights carved their way through the Raider lineup like a hot knife going through butter. WCAABE bullied their way to a 63-9 beat down but….the next meeting, should there be another in the playoffs, might not end up so lopsided. BHVPP is still a dangerous team, they have serious scoring ability and a lot of playoff experience on their side. As of the match, two of their scoring horses were riding the pine due to injuries. The Raiders were forced to throw out a trio of forfeits which gave the Knights 18 free points. With saying that the Knights wrestled quite well when matched up and took advantage of nearly all of the swing matches that are thought on paper to go either direction. Those matches are potential to change in the next meeting but as of now the Knights are in the driver seat in the section and conference. Their 12-0 dual record has them in first place in the section with Border West being second sitting at 3-1, and in conference play the Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville Wolves are behind them at 7-1.


Coach Gruchow commented on the evening: ”The guys stepped on the mat ready for battle and were extra ready for the BHVPP team as the memory of last year’s section finals match was fresh on their minds.” He added: ”I would like to compliment Zac Anderson, the head Barnesville coach as he is piecing together a nice team and I really appreciated his energy while coaching. He is a young guy eager to make a great team.”

Wrestler of the Week’ honors goes to Jeremy Blascyk. Jeremy is a first year varsity wrestler for the Knights. Jeremy has put in the off-season work this year and earned the ability to come off the bench when needed. When asked, Jeremy has delivered for the Knights. He has wrestled at 170 lbs and recently dropped his weight in order to fill the 160 lb position as was needed. Jeremy did not just drop his weight when asked but came out with a varsity level win in his Barnesville match. He has grown as a wrestler with every match. Congratulations Jeremy, your work has not gone unrecognized.

Important achievements and milestones include Justin Blascyk earning his 50th career win on Thursday. Anthony Sykora got his 75th pin and Hunter Gruchow moved into his 50th career win at Rumble on the Red a week ago. Fasted pin of the week goes to Solomon Wales. Sully dispatched his Barnesville opponent in :39 seconds.

The Knights go back on the road this week as they head Thursday to Minneota to face off with the #9 ranked 6-2 Vikings and the 3-3 Red Rock Central Falcons.


#5 WCAABE 66, Barnesville (BARN) 6
106: Owen Gruchow (WCAABE) over Wesley Rotz per fall 0:45.

113: Asher O`Brien (BARN) over Sam Olson per decision 12-7.

120: Carter Lohse (WCAABE) won per forfeit.

126: Adam Lohse (WCAABE) over Quincy Morey per fall 1:07.

132: Ayden Hauck (BARN) over #8 Hunter Gruchow per decision 10-9.

138: Solomon Wales (WCAABE) over Hunter Blilie per fall 0:39.

145: #9 Reubens Swanson (WCAABE) over William Rotz per fall 2:22.

152: Ashton Danner (WCAABE) over Dawson Gregg per decision 11-6.

160: Jeremy Blascyk (WCAABE) over Cameron Halverson per decision 8-4.

170: #2 Anthony Sykora (WCAABE) won per forfeit.

182: Beau Robinson (WCAABE) won per forfeit.

195: Will Rustan (WCAABE) won per forfeit.

220: #2 Colton Lindquist (WCAABE) over Jordan Kroll per fall 4:31.

285: #9 Justin Blascyk (WCAABE) over Tim Wells per fall 1:07.

#5 WCAABE 63, #19 Bertha-Hewitt- Verndale -Parkers Prairie (BHVP) 9
106: Owen Gruchow (WCAABE) over Justin Olson per fall 3:09.

113: Preston Captain (BHVP) over Sam Olson per overtime decision 8-6.

120: #9 Bennet Arceneau (BHVP) over Carter Lohse per fall 5:02.

126: Adam Lohse (WCAABE) over Evan Jares per fall 5:12.

132: #8 Hunter Gruchow (WCAABE) over David Revering per decision 8-2.

138: Solomon Wales (WCAABE) over Reese Thompson per decision 7-6.

145: #9 Reubens Swanson (WCAABE) over Holden Truax per fall 3:17.

152: Ashton Danner (WCAABE) over Blake Sumstad per decision 6-3.

160: Jeremy Blascyk (WCAABE) won per forfeit.

170: #2 Anthony Sykora (WCAABE) won per forfeit.

182: Beau Robinson (WCAABE) over Justin Koehn per fall 1:14.

195: Will Rustan (WCAABE) won per forfeit.

220: #2 Colton Lindquist (WCAABE) over Braden Shamp per fall 1:12.

285: #9 Justin Blascyk (WCAABE) over Collin Moeller per fall 0:51.