Trojans drop dual meet to Hempstead despite four pins

The boys wrestling team fell to Dubuque Hempstead 42-38 after two overtime wins at 126 and 220 on Jan. 21.

After+a+hard+fought+battle+by+Junior+Brett+Pelfrey+in+overtime%2C+coaches+cheer+with+excitement+for+the+victory+against+Hempstead+on+Jan.+21.

Alyssa Skala

After a hard fought battle by Junior Brett Pelfrey in overtime, coaches cheer with excitement for the victory against Hempstead on Jan. 21.

Owen Aanestad, Online Sports Editor and Yearbook Co-Sports Editor

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no secret that wrestling is by far one of the hardest sports to social distance. Only a couple of days into their season the Trojan wrestling program found themselves right in the middle of the pandemic after someone connected to the team caused both the girls and boys wrestling teams to be quarantined. Practice and competitions were postponed and players and coaches were forced out of the wrestling room and into their homes to stay in shape.

After falling to the Mustangs last season the sixth-ranked Trojans were looking for revenge right away at 120 pounds. That wasn’t the case right out of the gate as Thomas Pierce ’22 lost by fall early to put Hempstead up 6-0.

The top 10 matchup at 126 pounds between West’s Grant O’Dell ’22 and Hempstead’s Adler Kramer ’21 didn’t bring all the fireworks but brought a tough fought match through all three periods. The two-state medal winners needed overtime to settle it after being tied 1-1 through three. O’Dell prevailed with only two seconds left when he picked up a takedown to win it 3-1.

Newcomer Kael Scraton ’22 picked up the Trojans’ first fall of the night in a quick one at 132 to give West a 9-6 lead after three matches. Reigning state champion Hunter Garvin ’22 joined the club 1:26 into the first period of his match after he pinned Hempstead’s Cole Rettenmaier ’23. Sophomore Abram Collaguazo’s loss by fall at 145 brought Hempstead within 3 going into 152 with a team score of 15-12 Trojans.

Senior and returning state champion Graham Gambrall went to work early and often in hopes of some extra team points at 152. He got exactly what he wanted with a 21-6 tech fall to put West up 20-12. Fellow senior Ashton Barker celebrated his senior night with a pin of his own at 170.

Back-to-back forfeits at 182 and 195 put the Trojans in need of some team points going into the 220 match. Brett Pelfrey ’22 is known for his thrilling throws on the wrestling mat but when something isn’t clicking you have to adapt. Pelfrey did just that and clawed his way back to force overtime. Only 26 seconds into overtime, the junior called it a night after some controversial calls and won by fall to put West back in the driver’s seat 32-30.

After a fall and forfeit the two teams headed into the final match separated by only 2 points. The Mustangs silenced the small crowd with a quick win by fall over West’s Mason Goodale ’23 to secure the dual win 42-38.

The boys wrestling team will be back on the mat on Saturday, Jan. 23 for a tournament at Waverly-Shell Rock.