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Northwest Salmon



Webster wrestling to continue victory

by Emre K. Erku

Last season saw two Webster varsity wrestlers take South Dakota’s championship honors in their respective weight classes, and head coach Wade Rausch looks to keep this success grappling into the 2015-16 season.

“We have an opportunity to do something similar like we did last year,” said Rausch. “So far, we’ve had a lot of good attitude. I’ve been real pleased by the efforts of the team.”

Thus far, Rausch’s repertoire of one senior, seven juniors, one sophomore and three freshmen have exhibited a distinct positive attitude since they first hit the mat in practice earlier this month. This enthusiasm, for Rausch, is an emerging trait powerful enough to build another formidable squad.

“When you got a positive attitude, your technique benefits along with performance,” he said.

Returning upperclassmen for the Bearcats are juniors Aiden Grout (132 lbs), Dawson Mathison (145-152 lbs), Zack Rucktaeschel (152 lbs), Kelby Hawkins (160 lbs), Logan Richie (182 lbs), Gabriel Jimenez (182 lbs) and Colton Koslowski (195 lbs). The lone senior is Eric Page (220 lbs).

Underclassmen include freshmen Mason Gruby (152 lbs), Tristen Bent (195 lbs), Ethan Ninke (285 lbs) and Chase Sigdestad (285 lbs). The lone sophomore is Carter Shoemaker (145 lbs).

According to Rausch, the major player standing in his team’s way are, first and foremost, the Milbank Bulldogs. Last season those boys from out east were able to wrestle away a conference title from the Bearcats which, to Rausch, isn’t something that normally happens.

“It’s been a while since we lost it,” he said with an overtone of agitation.

Other opponents to watch out for, Rausch noted, are Redfield/Doland and Clark/Willow Lake.

To help overcome these foes, there are a few different characteristics of this year’s Bearcats to last’s, and that’s the abundance of depth. With more athletes ready for battle, points are less likely to be deducted during the season due to lack of forfeits. And with this vast platoon of grapplers, the goals are already seemingly set in place.

“They’ve got their individual goals,” said Rausch. “Like a kid wanting to wrestle in the state championship and setting a certain number of pins. There’s a lot of different things we can do to become better.”

With that, the Bearcats are preparing for their first test: the Clark/Willow Lake Tournament Dec. 5, which should give the Bearcats a good opportunity to get their feet wet.

“It’s more about getting mat time right now,” said Rausch. “I’m looking forward to getting things underway.”

Other wrestlers include six graders Cale Larson (80.7 lbs), Cade Roerig (83 lbs), Hunter Rucktaeschel (88.2 lbs), Hayden McCarlson 113 lbs) and Colton Lauen 147.7 lbs); seventh graders Dasan Mathison (94.6 lbs) and Andy Johnson (98.5 lbs); eighth graders Sterling Rausch (111.9 lbs), Joe Hubsch (123.9 lbs) and Cade Shoemaker (143.3 lbs).

Webster competes in the Clark/Willow Lake Tourney Dec. 5, Howard Invite Dec. 12, Northeast Conference bout in Milbank Dec. 19, Webster Invite Jan. 2, Webster quadrangular Jan. 7, Central Cass Tourney in Casselton Jan. 8-9, Sisseton/Groton triangular Jan. 14, Philip dual Jan. 15-16, Redfield/Doland Jan. 21, Parkston Tourney Jan. 23, Milbank and Britton/Hecla triangular Jan. 28, Aberdeen Central Tourney Jan. 30, Huron Invite Feb. 13, Regions Feb. 20 and state (if advanced) in Rapid City Feb. 26-27.

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