The Prior Lake wrestling team was shorthanded in its first four duals, but still won three of them.
The No. 3-ranked Lakers opened the season with a 33-31 South Suburban Conference home victory over Eagan Dec. 1 and followed going 2-1 at the Raider Duals in Hastings the next day.
Prior Lake opened the Raider Duals with a 48-18 loss to No. 8 Albert Lea Area and followed with wins over Minnetonka (46-27) and Hastings (37-32).
The Lakers are back on the SSC mat Dec. 8 at home versus Burnsville at 7 p.m. Prior Lake's own Ron Edwards Duals are Dec. 9 starting at 9 a.m. The field is strong with the likes of No. 4. St. Michael-Albertville, Farmington and Stillwater, along with Simley and Waconia, ranked No. 2 and 8, respectively in Class 2A.
In beating Eagan, senior Zachary Wick pulled out a 7-5 win at 220 pounds to clinch the dual, putting the Lakers up 33-25 with one match to go. It was his first-career varsity victory.
The Lakers opened the season without two of its seven ranked wrestlers — senior Zach Smith (ranked No. 4, 126 pounds) and junior Hunter Koenig (No. 5, 220).
Senior Kenny O'Neil is ranked No. 1 at 170 for Prior Lake, while sophomore Cory St. Martin is No. 10 at 106. Senior Theo Smith is No. 6 at 138, while senior Curtis LeMair is No. 3 at 145 and junior Calvin Sund is No. 4 at 182.
St. Martin won by fall against Eagan at 106 pounds, while Theo Smith earned a 19-10 major decision at 132. LeMair won 6-1 at 145, while sophomore Vincent Mosher was victorious at 152 by a 4-2 decision.
O'Neil earned a technical fall (19-6) at 170, while Sund won 14-7 at 195. Sophomore Chase Bloomquist won by forfeit at 113 for the Lakers.
In the win over Hastings, earning falls for Prior Lake were: St. Martin (106), Bloomquist (113), Theo Smith (132), LeMair (145) and O'Neil (170).
Ninth-grader Colton Sund won 3-2 at 138 (3-2) for the Lakers, while sophomore Logan Hennen earned a 12-4 major decision at 160.
In beating Minnetonka, St. Martin, O'Neil, Sund and Wick by fall at 106, 170, 195 and 220 pounds, respectively.
Other Laker wins: Bloomquist at 113 (11-3), Theo Smith at 132 (forfeit), Colton Sundaat 138 (7-2), LeMair at 145 (forfeit) and Mosher at 152 (5-3).
In the loss to Albert Lea Area, the Lakers had four victories — Theo Smith at 132 (10-4), LeMair at 145 (3-1), Wick at 220 (forfeit) and junior Noah Benson at heavyweight (forfeit).
O'Neil lost a 3-2 decision at 170 to Zach Glaizer, who is ranked No. 2 behind O'Neil at 170.
The annual Christmas Tournament is Dec. 15-16 in Rochester. The tournament features many of the state’s top wrestlers from all three classes.
Prior Lake ends 2017 in the Class National Duals in Rochester Dec. 29-30. It’s the sixth straight year, the Lakers have been invited to compete in the annual event features some of the top teams in the country, as well as the many of the top programs from all three classes from Minnesota.
Last year, the Lakers won two of six matches at the national duals to finish 15th out of 32 teams. Prior Lake has a 17-13 overall record in its five seasons there.
To see more of the Lakers' win versus Eagan, click here.