The Missouri River Activities Conference held its postseason wrestling tournament on Thursday night at Le Mars Community. The Bulldogs finished the tournament in second place with 200.5 team points.
The Bulldogs had a lot to be pleased with once things were said and done. Head Coach Shane Hessenius says it just was nice to put together a good performance in a tournament.
Hessenius says that good performance came from a lot of kids wrestling with a lot of toughness.
#5 Ayden Hoag is your MRAC Champion at 220 pounds with this first period pin of East’s Garrett Walling. pic.twitter.com/ETuPxzpN3N
— KLEM Sports (@KLEMSports) January 27, 2023
The Bulldogs placed six wrestlers in their title bouts with only one being crowned conference champion. Ayden Hoag won the title at 220 pounds pinning his opponent in the first period. It’s Hoag’s third conference title after winning it his freshman and sophomore seasons. He says he is three quarters of the way to a personal goal.
Hoag attributes his dominant performance on the mat to a great week of practices.
Coach Hessenius says at this point in the season it is important for his team to wrestle in competitive contests. He says Hoag has been doing that and is performing at a high level.
— KLEM Sports (@KLEMSports) January 26, 2023
The Bulldogs had another wrestler meet an important milestone in the tournament. Conner Peterson’s semifinal win was the 100th of his high school career. Hessenius says it was great to see him reach that milestone considering the road it took for him to become a high school wrestler.
The postseason is quickly approaching for the Bulldogs. Le Mars will wrestle one more tournament on Saturday before they make the long trek to Johnston for their regional dual match with the Dragons on Tuesday. There was a bit of controversy with the selection process in getting the Bulldogs into the postseason. Coach Hessenius says it is unfortunate for Spencer, who got left out, but his team is still treating this as an earned opportunity.
Following regional duals, the Bulldogs will wrestle in the district tournament on Saturday, February 11th at Fort Dodge. Ayden Hoag is a favorite to get back to the Well and make a deep run in Class 3A. He says the key to being successful the rest of the way is to be calm and just wrestle the matches as they come.
Sergeant Bluff-Luton claimed the team title with a total of 279.5 points.