It’s the holiday season and once again time to roll out the mats. The Eden Valley-Watkins wrestlers had a good workout on Wednesday, Nov. 27, as they participated in the Melrose Early Bird Invitational. Eagles’ coach Dan Berg is excited to get another season underway. “Well, we started pretty slow but we have some newcomers in the lineup, so we probably expected that going in, but some of our experienced guys seemed to be slow to start as well. We did finish well, but hoped to get more of a complete effort throughout the tourney.”
The first action of the year is typically a time to knock off the rust and learn from the experience. “Cain wrestled a great tournament, winning his bracket at 182 with three pins, but I thought Luke wrestled the best, beating Vitale from Sartell in the semi-finals,” Berg said. He was also a state entrant last year at 182 pounds, and wrestled a good match against Ryan Carlson in the finals who took second in state at 152 pounds. “We like what the kids are doing in the wrestling, with hard work and being aggressive, but we need to bring that aggression with us to tournaments and matches,” said Berg.
The Eden Valley-Watkins Eagles traveled to Grove City Monday, Nov. 25, for a season-opening, non-conference battle with the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City Falcons. The Eagles were down just four at the half, but the Falcons turned up the heat and never looked back, scorching the nets for 47 second-half points, en route to their 82-69 commanding victory.
“We are not going to win many games giving up 82 points. We need to be able to slow teams down, and that happens on both sides of the floor. We need to be more patient offensively and work much harder on the defensive side,” EV-W Coach Adam Langer said. The Eagles were sharp most of the night with junior guard Bret Mattice leading the way with 28 points. Junior forward Jared Streit registered a double-double, with 10 points and 16 boards. Sophomore DeShaun James had 12; senior Nick Pauly, 8; freshman Jacob Streit, 5; junior Austin Schlangen, 3; and sophomore Travis Thielen, 3. “It was a good first game. We did some very good things, but we also have a long list of what we need to work on,” said Langer.
The EV-W girls’ basketball team had a scrimmage with ROCORI Saturday, Nov. 30. Their first game is Friday, Dec. 6, against New London-Spicer. Above, junior Gretta Stommes gets fouled as she goes up for the shot.
Photo by Nick Block.
Community Education Tae Kwon Do at Eden Valley-Watkins Schools is organized and instructed by Master Ben Peterson. The tournament was in Marshall Saturday, Oct. 26. EV-W students earned the most points for their division, and brought home the Division 3 trophy for
most points earned through competition in Sparring and Forms. Submitted photo.
The Eden Valley-Watkins wrestling team is well anchored by Coach Dan Berg. “Well we should have better expectations this year, even though we lost some key individuals in Zach Blonigen and Austin Peterson.” The Eagles return two state entrants in Cain Renner and Luke Kuechle and three letter winners in Hunter Mathies, Tyler Donnay, and Grant Winter. Berg’s expectations for his team include making the final four and getting a shot to make the finals. “So if you were a state entrant, maybe place this year, make the state tournament, place higher in sections, place in sections, or improve from last year.” The Eagles’ toughest competition is probably a very formidable ACGC squad in the section. Additionally, there are some key and very competitive wrestlers returning from Kimball, Osakis, and B-B-E. “It should be an interesting year, with some experienced guys coming back and also some newcomers starting out,” said Coach Berg. “We have Matt Schindler, Tyler Dockendorf, Logan Donnay, John Salzl, and Lyle Miller, back from last year’s team and many others that will contribute,” added Berg. The Eagles’ grapplers look to improve on a 7-9 record from last year, and look forward to hosting their first ever Elementary Wrestling Tournament – Dec. 21.