By ERIC X. VICCARO
Home cooking tasted mighty fine for the Ste. Genevieve High School wrestling team during its own dual tournament on Saturday.
The Dragons won all five duals at Peggy J. Johnson Gymnasium, celebrating with the championship plaque at the end of proceedings.
“We worked on some trouble areas from the Hillsboro dual,” Ste. Genevieve head wrestling coach Jared Bonnell said, which the Dragons lost 51-9 Wednesday, Jan. 6.
Bonnell elaborated, saying the team pushed through a couple of tough practices on Thursday and Friday — all to prepare for those duals.
“Several of our boys went undefeated this weekend,” Bonnell said. “It was nice to win our home tournament, and in front of our home crowd.”
Hometown Valle Catholic also participated in the tournament, finishing the day going 1-4 — with the lone victory over an undermanned Mehlville squad.
“We didn’t have a full lineup, and I think that cost us a couple duals,” Valle Catholic head coach Jake Gegg said.
Regardless, Valle Catholic defeated Mehlville 45-12 to give the Warriors their fourth dual-match victory of the 2020-21 season.
“It was nice to get a win on the day,” Gegg added.
As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues, some schools are struggling putting together a lineup, and that’s the concern for Mehlville.
Meanwhile, Ste. Genevieve was hardly pressed — winning all five of its duals by convincing margins.
The Dragons opened up the day with a 60-15 victory over Dexter, with 152-pounder Levi Wiegand picking up the team’s most impressive win with a pin over Luke Blocker in just 50 seconds.
Gavin Gross (138) also won his bout with a first-period pin. Other Dragons won by pin in the second period, Dalton McNeal (126), Kaleb Myracle (160), Elijah Holifield (182) and Ryan Schmelzle (heavyweight).
In the 60-18 win over Owensville, the Dragons picked up a pair of hard-fought decisions. Nathan Selby, at 145, decisioned Kolby Jahnsen, 11-9. Ethan Ogden (170) recorded an 8-5 decision over Alan Kopp.
Ste. Genevieve downed Windsor 54-12, the least amount of points the Dragons racked up in a dual.
Gage Gross (106) needed 5:22 before pinning Windsor’s Anthony Pona. Bryant Schwent (113) decisioned Brayden Belding, 6-1. Holifield also was extended to a third period before winning by pin (5:18).
Dragons battle Warriors
In the match-up of homegrown wrestlers, Ste. Genevieve topped Valle Catholic 60-15.
The Warriors earned three victories, with Joseph Flieg pinning Bryant Schwent in 4:59 — with Schwent bumping up to 120. Noah Elbert (195) won by injury default over Holifield (1:27 into the match).
The most competitive match took place at 145, as Valle Catholic state qualifier Josh Bieser recorded a 10-6 decision over Selby. Myracle had the quickest pin of the entire dual, needing just :40 to pin Tucker Bertrand.
When Ste. Genevieve and Valle Catholic wrestle each other, it’s truly a family reunion.
Bryan Gegg, Jake Gegg’s brother, serves on the coaching staff at Ste. Genevieve. Jake Gegg wrestled under current Dragon assistant Nick Vogt — and was teammates with current assistants Justin Roth and Cole Reynolds.
Matthew Schmidt, competing at 182 pounds, was one of 11 forfeit wins for Ste. Genevieve over Mehlville (66-18).
Valle Catholic opened the tournament with a tough 42-30 loss to Owensville. Windsor defeated the Warriors, 45-24 and Dexter knocked off Valle Catholic, 48-24.
Brandon Giesler (152) earned Valle’s most impressive win in the dual versus Owensville, pinning Gabriel Soest in :54. Flieg recorded a third-period pin over Aries Nicholas (5:22) and heavyweight Jacob Calbreath also won by pin (2:31).
Timothy Okenfuss (170) and Elbert earned wins by fall in the dual versus Windsor, including Noah’s in :40. Flieg recorded a 7-2 decision over Caleb Gardner in the dual with Mehlville. Bieser capped off stellar day with a pin over Dexter’s Jacob Medler in 2:31.