Grapplers stay strong over break


by Lexie Hagerty

The wrestling team’s full roster of healthy athletes has taken a hit, and the vacant weight classes have been hindering the chances of dual wins. However, that wasn’t the case during the team’s trip to Florida.

Simpson earned its second dual win of the season at the 2010 Gator Duals in Longwood, Fla. on Dec. 19.

The Storm (2-7) competed against four different teams throughout the day, finishing with a 24-21 win over Concordia, Wis. The Storm competed against Johnson and Wales (44-9), Lakeland (34-9) and Elmhurst (41-9) earlier in the day.

Simpson’s head coach, Clint Manny, said his wrestlers got to compete against some tough teams they normally don’t see.

Senior 157-pounder Calvin Barber led the Storm in wins going 3-1 on the day. He earned a 6-1 win against Ethan Farrell of Elmhurst, a 6-2 win over Tom Jung of Johnson and Wales and won by forfeit against Concordia.

“It was definitely a great chance to see a different style of wrestling, definitely a great chance for younger kids to travel and compete,” Barber said.

Freshman 197-pounder Jared Bevins earned a couple of wins, one including the pinning of Zach Wetzel of Lakeland in one minute 10 seconds.

Senior 149-pounder Caleb Brus went 2-2 on the day, earning a 5-3 decision against Lakeland’s Jacob Bugajski and a 13-0 major decision against Concordia’s Jordan Sernevolos.

“I need to work on capitalizing on opportunities to make shots and be more offensive,” Brus said. “We got a win without having a full lineup though which was a good accomplishment.”

Simpson entered the meet without a competitor in three weight classes.

“We wrestled descent considering where we are at,” Manny said. “With no one at the 125 and heavyweight classes and with Jeff Sand getting injured at the 133 weight class, we were definitely a little handicapped.”

Freshman 165-pounder Justin Bruce, sophomore 157-pounder Cory Stratton, and freshman 149-pounder Stephen Blayer also earned pins throughout the day.

“It was tough going into the meet already 12 points down, but we need to control what we can control,” Barber said.

Manny said their number one focus for the rest of the season is the Iowa Conference Tournament on Feb. 25, which will be hosted by Simpson.

“We have been beaten and battered with injuries but we need to keep the guys we do have healthy and focused,” Manny said.

Brus said it’s not about the duals anymore. It’s about each individual athlete as they head toward the conference tournament.

The Storm’s next meet will be the Iowa Conference Duals on Jan. 25.