Sandpoint wrestling sent its five-man senior class off with a win on senior night with a 56-21 win over Moscow on Friday.
“[The seniors] are fun, hardworking, show leadership and are dedicated,” Sandpoint wrestling head coach Jake Stark said. “Mason especially, because he was on the rocks this time last year, but he really dedicated himself this year. Parker [Coon] stepped up his game, and so did Casey. I’m proud of the way they wrestled tonight.”
Even though Bangeman didn’t get to wrestle on his senior night — Moscow didn’t have an opponent for his weight class, so he won by forfeit — the senior’s leadership and encouragement was on display in between rounds of Coon’s fight.
After Coon gained momentum with his round-ending takedown, Bangeman tapped his temple twice, got Coon’s attention and said, “You’ve broken him. Now finish him.”
Coon’s third round garnered the biggest celebration of the night. With 20 seconds in the round, Moscow’s Sam Caisley tried to escape, but Coon swept his leg and sent him down on the mat to put an exclamation point on the match.
“I told Parker to wrestle with some heart,” Stark said. “And he showed it. He went out how he should on senior night: He went out there in front of his fans and gave it all. Even if he didn’t win, I’d still be proud of him.”
The senior’s victory set the tone for the rest of the night; momentum swung to the Bulldogs’ favor in the wake of Coon’s win, even while Moscow battled back.
The Bears used a pair of pins to take back the lead early in the night. Yet the Bulldogs regained momentum with senior Isiah Fleck pinning his opponent in 58 seconds, then by with Matt Thurlow’s pin with four seconds left in his match to win the 220-lb. division.
Then Sandpoint put on the afterburners in the lightweight rounds.
Freshmen Jordan Birkhimer and Daniel Zech’s pins in 3:39 and 1:17, respectively, helped put the finishing touches on the night.
“[Zech] has come a long way this season, but [Friday’s win] was huge,” Stark said. “Both Daniel and Jordan are up-and-comers for us.”
Sandpoint senior Casey Olesen’s overwhelming 19-3 win helped the Bulldog seniors finish 4-1 on the night. As a unit, the senior class accounted for 20 of the Bulldogs’ 56 points.
Sandpoint’s season continues Saturday morning, as the junior varsity squad participates in the Lake City JV Tournament at 9 a.m.
The Region I, District I and II Wrestling Championship will be held at Lakeland High School on Feb. 16. Weigh-ins are scheduled to start at 7 a.m., then wrestling action begins at 9 a.m.
Sandpoint 56. Moscow 21
(Sandpoint wrestler in bold)
145: Coon d. Caisley, Dec. 10-8
152: Larson d. Webb, Fall 3:44
160: Fleck d. O. McGreevey, Fall 0:58
170: Needham d. McNelley, Dec. 6-1
195: Benefield d. Nickerson, Dec. 7-2
220: Thurlow d. Kearney, Fall 1:56
285: Marsh d. Twineham, Fall 2:28
98: Birkhimer d. Reynolds, Fall 3:39
106: Wallace accepted forfeit
113: Zech d. Bales, Fall 1:17
120: Kohal d. Pfund, Fall 2:26
126: Olesen d. Stone, TF 19-3, 5:13
132: Ryan d. Blaker, Dec. 10-5
138: Bangeman accepted forfeit