Prepare For District Championship
The No. 4 ranked Northwest College wrestling team lost to No. 6 Western Wyoming Community College during Friday’s 20th Annual Apodaca Dual Showdown.
“... Overall, I thought our guys competed hard. I was proud of them for the way they wrestled,” head coach Jim Zeigler said of the 27-14 loss. “Obviously we’re disappointed we didn’t win the match, but I was proud of them for wrestling hard.”
Though the Mustangs won by 13 points, 12 of those points were by way of the Trappers forfeiting two weight classes.
“Giving up 12 points is obviously difficult,” Zeigler said.
The coach also tipped his hat to Western Wyoming.
“They’ve got a really good team and they were a better team than us,” he said. “They didn’t wrestle harder or compete harder than we did, but they are a better team than we are right now. They’re just more talented.”
The dual started at the 285 pound weight class with a match between Trapper Lisiate Anau — who’s ranked second in the nation — and Shane French of Western.
Anau won by an 11-2 major decision.
The next match was between No. 2-ranked Nodir Safarov and Andrew Astle, with Safarov winning a 17-6 major decision.
Zeigler said that he thought both Anau and Safarov wrestled solid.
At 133 pounds, NWC’s Taylor Jeffries, fifth in the nation, grappled with Ricky Navarrete.
“I felt that that was [a] match that we could have won,” said Zeigler.
Neither wrestler scored a point in the first period. Jeffries led 4-2 in the second period, but in the third, Navarrete came back to win the bout 5-4 for the Mustangs’ first victory of the dual.
“I think he did a good job, he worked hard. It ... still just leaves that taste in your mouth and he wasn’t happy,” Zeigler said of Jeffries’ match. “I wasn’t happy either, because I felt like as hard as he wrestled — and he did a great job — ... he didn’t quite finish it.”
The next match was at 141 pounds, between Northwest’s Palmer Schafer and Jake Thompson.
“He stepped up,” Zeigler said of Schafter. “He was one of the bigger surprises for me in how he stepped up and won that match.”
Schafer, who is from Lander, won by a 7-5 decision.
“Really nice win,” said Zeigler. “Palmer took charge of it and he wrestled with more confidence in that match than I’ve seen him all year and he was solid. I was very proud of his performance.”
At 149 pounds, Nic Urbach squared off against Kenny Astle who is ranked second in the nation. Urbach was pinned in 1:25.
At 157 pounds, Tate Allison won by a 6-2 decision over Ky Webb.
The 165-pound match was between NWC’s Logan Soundrup and Tucker Tomlinson, ranked No. 7 in the nation. After the first period, Soundrup led 2-1. At the end of the second period the score was tied at 2. The score remained that way until about 12 seconds remaining in the third, when Tomlinson got a takedown and some backpoints to win by a 8-2 decision.
“That’s a good kid, too,” Zeigler said of Western’s Tomlinson. “We were a heavy underdog in that match with Logan [Soundrup], but he did have a chance to win.”
Zeigler said Soundrup hestitated.
“I think he just didn’t have that extra gear that comes with confidence and belief. I think he was surprised he was in that position and I think he was more worried about what the other guy was going to do than what he should be doing,” the coach said. “Those are things that come with maturity, that come with success. When you gain success, you get more success in those situations.”
At 184 pounds, Jeff Oakes — who is ranked second at 197 pounds — wrestled Conor Kirkland, who is ranked fourth at 184 pounds. The wrestlers were tied at 3 after one period, while Kirkland led 6-3 after two.
In the third and final period, Oakes held Kirkland scoreless, but was unable to take a lead. He lost by a 6-4 decision.
“Jeff [Oakes] wrestled hard, and that’s a good kid, but it was a match that was winnable for him,” Zeigler said.
The Trapper wrestling team is off this weekend and will return to action on Feb. 10 in Rock Springs at Western Wyoming Community College for the Rocky Mountain District Championships.
Three teams will compete to see who will win a trip to the NJCAA National Championships in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Feb. 23 and 24.