FL earns No. 7 seed in section tournament
The Ranger wrestlers closed regular-season competition last Thursday on the road with wins over Park and Cretin-Derham Hall at the Wolfpack triangular.
Eighth-grader Teddy Pierce set the tone in the match against the home team with a pin at 106 pounds. Sophomore Luke McCord showed why he is now the No. 8 grappler in state (Class AAA) with a tech fall in the 120-pound weight class.
“Luke has really developed into a strong wrestler and is wrestling with a lot of confidence,” head coach Billy Pierce said. “He’s a dangerous wrestler, because he’s just long and lanky, and that poses a big challenge and works in his advantage.”
Eighth-grader Grant Brown won by major decision to give the Rangers a 15-6 lead, followed by a pin by No. 3 James Pleski at 132 pounds.
Senior Andrew Meyers continues to climb in the rankings as the No. 5 wrestler at 132 pounds with a major-decision victory at 138 pounds to put the Ranger lead at 25-6.
Ninth-grader Nic Norem got the pin at 152 pounds while fourth-ranked senior Austin Boniface won by tech fall at 160 pounds. Senior Beau Phinney also recorded a pin at heavyweight.
The Rangers went on to defeat Cretin-Derham Hall 53-12 later.
Head coach Billy Pierce said the wins were reassurance that Forest Lake is on the upward swing once again heading into the section tournament.
The squad struggled during the first part of the year— they went 2-9 prior to Jan. 1 due to injury and inexperience in many weights. The Rangers had just eight of their current 14 varsity starters competing at full strength. Since the first of the year, Forest Lake improved its record to 10-14 with eight wins and five losses.
“We’re excited for sections, but we do have five of the top-12 teams in state to go up against,” Pierce said.
The Rangers were seeded seventh in the section and host No. 2-seed and No. 4 in state Cambridge-Isanti at 4 p.m. on Friday. Forest Lake is hosting the Section 7AAA tournament this season.
“Cambridge is a very good team, but we’ve got our best lineup of the year right now so we’ll go out there and do our best and see how it rolls,” Pierce said.