When the Fond du Lac wrestling team was actually competing Thursday night, the Cardinals looked pretty good.
The problem was that didn’t happen nearly enough.
Fond du Lac forfeited four matches in the lower weight classes, but still hung tough with Oshkosh West, falling 40-30 in a Fox Valley Association dual meet at Fond du Lac.
“Finding the little guys are tough,” Fond du Lac coach Joe Rens said. “In the past, we had a hard time finding big guys. I think we’ll get a couple guys in there, but we’re pretty solid.”
The night couldn’t have started out any better for the Cardinals. Fond du Lac senior William Boyrington kicked off the dual with a pinfall victory at 182 pounds, pinning Oshkosh West’s Edson Salazar 2:48 into his match.
State qualifier Jason Toshner then followed with a pinfall victory at 195 pounds, ending his match with Aric Lippold just 36 seconds in.
Colton Wasieleski dropped a tight 8-6 decision in overtime at 220 pounds, but Donte Johnson came back with a pinfall win at 285. Johnson pinned Zach Collins with 0.2 seconds left in the second period of his match.
Leading 18-3 only four matches in, the Cardinals saw that advantage wiped away in minutes.
The Cardinals forfeited at 106 pounds, picked up an 11-7 decision victory from Cameron Casetta at 113, then forfeited at 120, 126 and 132. Oshkosh West’s Senna Sieber followed with a pinfall victory over Tyrik Viebranz at 138 pounds.
Josh Adams did give Fond du Lac a bit of life with a pinfall victory just 28 seconds into his 145-pound match with Jesus Heredia, but Oshkosh West’s Josh Bartelt won a 10-2 major decision at 152. Fond du Lac’s Dakota Maas won an 8-3 decision at 160, but that ensured the Wildcats would take the dual as they held a seven-point lead entering the final match.
West’s Grady Sullivan won a 6-0 decision over Bladimir Aviles at 170 pounds to close out the night.
While the night ended in a loss, there were certainly bright spots for Fond du Lac, which gave West 24 points via forfeit. Toshner and Adams looked especially dominant in their pinfall victories on Thursday.
“They not only worked hard tonight and during our season, but they’re working hard all year long,” Rens said of Toshner and Adams. “They’re either playing football or busting their tail in the weight room. Josh wrestles a lot in the offseason. He lives and dies wrestling. Jason on the other hand is a three-sport athlete and you can see he’s a strong kid. Great attitude. They’re our team leaders and the kids feed off that. They want to be Josh Adams or they want to be Jason Toshner.”
The loss drops Fond du Lac to 0-2 on the young season, but Rens isn’t too concerned with that right now as his team is young and still looking to fill out some weight classes. He’s just looking for improvement as the year goes along.
“We’ve just got to put it all together,” he said. “We don’t get too wrapped up right now because it’s early. … We’ve got some athletes on our team so hopefully we can put it together come February.”
106 : Colton Mellgren (OW) forfeit. 113: Cameron Casetta (FDL) decision over Reese Thompson (OW), 11-7. 120: Josh Coopman (OW) forfeit. 126: Michael Fay (OW) forfeit. 132: Brennon Mellgren (OW) forfeit. 138: Senna Sieber (OW) pinned Tyrik Viebranz (FDL). 145: Josh Adams (FDL) pinned Jesus Heredia (OW). 152: Josh Bartelt (OW) major decision over Lavonn Johnson (FDL), 10-2. 160: Dakota Maas (FDL) decision over Jacob Disterhaft (OW), 8-3. 170: Grady Sullivan (OW) decision over Bladimir Aviles (FDL), 6-0. 182: William Boyrington (FDL) pinned Edson Salazar (OW). 195: Jason Toshner (FDL) pinned Aric Lippold (OW). 220: Jacob Heath (OW) decision over Colton Wasieleski (FDL), 8-6. 285: Donte Johnson (FDL) pinned Zach Collins (OW). Starting weight: 182.
Sam Oleson: (920) 907-7930 or firstname.lastname@example.org