KoMets finish second at Cheesehead
Last weekend was another big test for the Kasson- Mantorville wrestling team as it headed to Kaukauna, Wisc. To take part in the Cheesehead Invitational. Just like the Minnesota Christmas Tournament, the Cheesehead not only featured some of the top competition from the state of Wisconsin, but also featured teams from Minnesota and Illinois.
A field like that can be difficult for anyone to navigate, but the KoMets were able to put together a strong performance anyway. K-M would have eight wrestlers place in the tournament and after flirting with the top spot for a majority of the two days, they would wind up finishing behind national powerhouse Mt. Carmel (Ill.) for a second place team finish.
“I think we wrestled real well [this weekend],” K-M wrestling coach Jamie Heidt said. “That’s an incredibly tough tournament and guys competed hard. We prepared well, scored a lot of points and it was the most points we’ve ever put up at that tournament. There are some things we need to work on, but for where we are at this season, I’m feeling pretty positive.”
It’s not surprising that the KoMets were led by 170-pounder Patrick Kennedy in this tournament as he ran his record to a perfect 21-0 by dominating his bracket in Kaukauna. The standout junior was untouchable during his tournament run earning pins in three of his six matches and three technical falls including a 17-2 technical fall in the championship over Nequa Valley’s (Ill.) Jacob Boumans.
“When you’re wrestling in every position and you’re wrestling hard, these types of things will happen,” Heidt said of Kennedy. “He’s had back-to-back dominating performances here and at the Minnesota Christmas Tournament and for a guy at his level, consistency is huge. I know his expectation is that when he steps on the mat, he expects to dominate. When you think that way every single match, this is the performance that you get.”
Another KoMet who had a standout performance was 220-pounder Garsen Schorr. The senior is in the middle of a breakout season as he improved to 16-3 on the year including going 3-0 in his pool on Friday evening. Schorr would continue that momentum by picking up falls over Pewaukee’s (Wisc.) Josh Keskinen and Freedom’s (Wisc.) Grant Williamson.
Schorr’s run would fall short of the title by falling in a 3-2 decision to Josh Anderson of Edwardsville in the championship, but Schorr is quickly making a name for himself in his senior season. “Garsen has been refining his wrestling and for him it’s been about refining his wrestling and getting into his leg attacks,” Heidt said. “He’s gotten better in the top position and been able to turn guys and he got some big falls that helped us get points in the tournament. Those are big bonus points whether you’re in a dual or a tournament and not only is he winning matches, but he’s scoring bonus points and that’s a big difference maker. That sort of thing makes me feel very positive about the next five weeks with him.”
The KoMets would have an overall tremendous weekend in Kaukauna with several other wrestlers enjoying career-best finishes at the event. Logan Vaughan finished third in the 113 pound bracket while Bennett Berge (160 pounds) and Dalton Andrist (182 pounds) would each finish fourth in their respective brackets.
Also placing for the KoMets was 195-pounder Grant Parrish (5th place) and heavyweight Anthony Moe- Tucker (8th place).
With the Cheesehead Invitational in the rear view mirror, the KoMets will now shift gears into their dual season. While they’ve already several duals in HVL competition to begin the year, this is usually the time of year where the team hits their stride and comes together which helps them when it’s time to defend their three straight state titles.
“We set it up this way and turn over this week as more of a change,” Heidt said of the schedule. “Change is good and we’ve wrestled in some tough individual tournaments and made some progress here and that will help us down the stretch here. Now we get into a more controlled environment and you get a little more energy behind you. It’s a fun environment and a good change and I know that our coaches and athletes are excited for it.”
K-M will begin its dual stretch on Thursday night when they host Wisconsin power Gale-Ettrick-Tremp at Home Federal Arena. After that, they’ll have two straight HVL powers as they travel to Kenyon-Wanamingo on January 17 and Zumbrota Mazeppa on January 24.