The Royals squad is starting to heat up at the right time. On Friday, the Royals traveled to Robbinsdale Armstrong for duals with St Paul Harding, a sectional opponent, and Armstrong. Neither match was close, as the Royals crushed Harding 51-24 and hung a big loss on the host team, 52-22.
Cole West got things started with a tough 6-5 decision and falls by Brady Moesenthin, Brock Rinehart, Austin Braun, Zane Schaffer and John Gardiner put this one away early.
Against Armstrong, Moesenthin won by a pin and Rinehart won a gritty 9-7 decision. Then things started to go awry for Armstrong, as Braun, Gavin Bradley, MJ Okada, Schaffer and Andrew French all won by fall. Donald Nde won a major decision and Gardiner won by decision to close out the scoring.
The Royals got an opportunity to see opponents they don't normally see when they went back to Armstrong for 3 additional duals. The Royals faced Faribault, Goodhue and Maple Grove on Saturday, taking 2 of 3 duals.
Against a tough Faribault squad, West started things going with a 9-5 decision, Rinehart won a major decision, Braun a decision and Okada a major decision. This build an early 20-12 lead for the Royals. Nde won his 2nd major decision of the day and Gardiner won by fall but the Woodbury grapplers fell short, 37-30.
Alex Mancera came up huge in both of the next two duals. Against Goodhue, West and Moesenthin won by fall, Rinehart by a major decision and Braun by decision. Then the Royals went flat, losing 5 consecutive weights. But a pin by French and a decision by Gardiner left the Royals down 34-28--a pin by Mancera would tie the match. Mancera clearly outworked his opponent and the 2nd period pin tied the match at 34--but the Royals won the match based on tie-breaker criteria.
Against Maple Grove, West and French won by fall and Braun and Okada won by decision. Going into the last match, the Royals were up by a single point, 31-30. Mancera again showed his grit, working out a tough 4-0 decision to seal the 34-30 victory.
Up next for Woodbury is a conference matchup on Thursday, February 4 at Roseville HS. JV will wrestle at 5:30 and varsity at 7:00 in the final matchup before team sections at Woodbury HS on Friday, February 12.