Each year the Minnesota State High School League crowns 14 new state wrestling champions in Class AA. It is a long and winding road through the wrestling season but four Lightning wrestlers made the climb this year for the opportunity to take on the best in their weight class in the state. Jordan Hanan, Matt Fuller, Jesse Puncochar, and Derek Rachel all competed in this weekend’s state wrestling tournament.
Head Coach Jason Bartels felt confident that his wrestlers had the ability and were ready to bring home some state tournament hardware.
On Tuesday the Irish traveled to Milaca for a sub-section game. It was a battle to the end but Maple Lake was able to hang on to the lead, winning the game by a score of 70-67.
The Irish shot very well during this game, which was one of the components to earning the win. On the other side of the ball was where they struggled the most, though, the team was not able to stop a very quick guard from scoring which hurt the Irish, who led Milaca with 34 points.
Melrose High School played host to this year’s Section 6AA Individual Wrestling Tournament. The tournament ran Friday, February 25th, and Saturday, February 26th. Central Minnesota wrestling fans were treated to multiple close matches in a section that has often daunted some of the toughest wrestlers in the state.
Last Tuesday, February 22, was Senior Night for the Irish who took on the Holdingford Huskers.
The Huskers came in looking to avenge an 18-point loss to the Irish earlier this season.
The game got underway with both teams playing tough man-to-man defenses. Brooke Decker had the hot hand early and led the Irish with 11 first-half points as the Irish went into the intermission leading by 4 points, 25-21.
Thursday, Mar 3: TBD, Swimming: Boys Varsity State Tournament Buffalo vs. TBA @ TBA
Friday, Mar 4: TBD, Swimming: Boys Varsity State Tournament Buffalo vs. TBA @ TBA; 6:00pm, Basketball: Boys JV Game vs. Kimball Area @ Maple Lake High School; 6:00pm, Basketball: Boys C Game vs. Kimball Area @ Maple Lake High School; 7:30pm, Basketball: Boys Varsity Game vs. Kimball Area @ Maple Lake High School
Saturday, Mar 5: TBD, Swimming: Boys Varsity Meet Buffalo vs. TBA @ TBA; 9:00am, Speech: Varsity Meet vs. Fridley @ Fridley High School
On Monday, April 18, the Maple Lake Irish baseball team traveled to Litchfield for a non-conference game against the Dragons. It was a battle for both teams but the Irish fell in a close game 2-1, picking up their second loss of the season thus far.
“Offensively we struggled,” said Coach Tony Smith. “We played good defense and the pitchers threw well.”