Three pins and three forfeits helped the Park Rapids wrestling team snap an eight-match losing streak by splitting a pair of duals at the Detroit Lakes triangular on Tuesday, Feb. 11.
The Panthers edged Barnesville 36-34 in the first match before falling to Detroit Lakes 66-16 in the second match.
Against Barnesville, the Panthers jumped out to an 18-0 lead behind pins by Robby Sherk at 106 pounds and Wrigley Clark at 113 and a forfeit win by Eli Burton at 120. Sherk, who was rated No. 9 in the latest state Class A poll at 106, needed only 23 seconds to record his pin while Clark recorded his pin in 30 seconds.
Lucas Kritzeck’s pin in 1:20 at 145 and Zach Paurus’ forfeit win at 152 gave Park Rapids a 30-16 advantage. After Barnesville cut the gap to 30-28, Dandre Johnson’s forfeit win at 220 sealed the win as Barnesville fell to 1-15 in dual meets.
Against Detroit Lakes, the Panthers built an early 16-0 lead behind Clark’s 11-0 major decision at 106, Sherk’s pin at 113 and Burton’s pin at 120. Clark used a first-period takedown, a nearfall in the second period, and a reversal and two nearfalls in the third period for his major decision. After Sherk used a quick takedown to set up his pin in 1:16, Burton rallied from a 7-0 deficit as a third-period nearfall led to his pin in 5:20.
The Lakers, who were rated No. 11 in the latest state Class AA poll, won the final 11 matches with nine forfeits and two pins. All three of Detroit Lakes’ wrestlers rated in the state Class AA poll won their matches. Cade Jackson (No. 8 at 145) and Andreas Barnett (No. 5 at 285) received forfeits while Brody Ullyott (No. 3 at 152) recorded a pin as the Lakers improved to 16-2 on the season. Detroit Lakes defeated Barnesville 69-6 in the first match.
“We are using this season as a learning time. Our kids are getting better, working hard and getting the experience they need to help them down the road,” said Park Rapids head coach Matt Clark, whose team is now 4-10 in dual meets after the split. “This is a season that we just have to roll with the punches and be grateful with the opportunities we have. Having a few more kids on the team would make a ton of difference. We have lost several duals because we just needed one or two more kids. We just do the best we can with what we’ve got.”