The home team trailed for the first 11 weight classes before rallying for a 36-32 win over Brookings on Friday at Golden Eagles Arena in high school wrestling. Aberdeen Central improved to 1-1 in Eastern South Dakota Conference duals.
“I knew Brookings had a lot of good kids and they were going to wrestle our good kids. If we didn’t win those matches, it was going to be close,” said Central coach Rocky Burkett. “That’s what happened. They won some key matches.”
In the first six matches of the competition, Aberdeen Central picked up 12 points on the strength of pins by brothers Trevor Hieb at 120 pounds and Griffin Hieb at 138 pounds. Both pins came in less than one minute.
After the 160 pound match, Central trailed 26-15. Grayson Neuharth started things going Central’s way with a 12-7 decision over Wyatt Resmen at 170. Neuharth led 5-3 at the end of the first period and 7-4 after two periods. The sophomore wrestler added an escape and two takedowns in the final period for the win.
“Grayson went out there and wrestled really hard and then Aaron (Henley) and Sam (Schaunaman) got pins right in a row and that was definitely what got us the win. A key was the bigger guys wrestling well and we capitalized on some points,” said Burkett.
Aberdeen received a forfeit at 182 pounds to pull within two points at 26-24.
Aaron Henley of Aberdeen put an exclamation point on the match with a pin at 195 pounds. The senior led 2-0 after the first period and added two near fall points early in the second period. He recorded a pin over Jake Russell after 2 minutes 41 seconds. The two wrestlers had not met yet this season.
“He (Russell) was definitely good on the bottom,” said Henley. “I felt good getting the win for my team after we were behind.”
Henley and his teammates were excited about wrestling at home for the first time this season.
“I was very happy and very excited to get back and wrestle at home finally. As a team we came out and had some matches that weren’t all that great and had some other matches that we did well in,” he said.
Sophomore Sam Schaunaman secured the Golden Eagle win with a pin of his own at 220 pounds. It took Schaunaman just 12 seconds for a takedown on Aaron Eggebrecht in the opening period. With 50 seconds remaining in the first period Schaunaman picked up two near fall points and worked his way to a pin at the 1:34 mark. Aberdeen led 36-26 with one match left. Brookings’ Justin Behrend pinned Aberdeen’s Hayden Grote at heavyweight for the final four point win.
John Frisco was another Aberdeen winner in the match as he recorded a 9-6 decision over Devon Crandall at 152 pounds.
“We weren’t quite as aggressive as we wanted to be. We had a really good warm up. They matched up with us really well and when we lost some key matches, they were right there. They almost got us. We just have to be ready to go next time,” said Burkett.
The Aberdeen Central wrestling team will return to action on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Golden Eagles Arena in an ESD dual against Brandon Valley.
“Right now, we have to worry about ourselves and fix the mistakes,” said Burkett. “A lot of the mistakes we’re making are ones we’ve been making since November. We have to keep improving and find a way to rid of those mental mistakes.”
Aberdeen Central 36, Brookings 32
106, Kayde Bartels, B, def. Josh Moore, 8-1; 113, Justin Nixon, B, pinned Seth Moore, 2:46; 120, Trevor Hieb, AC, pinned Jesse Kuebler, :37; 126, Justice Lamer, B, pinned Collin Haar, 3:51; 132, Peter Hansen, B, technical fall over Bradley Nelson, 18-2;