Packer wrestlers power past Rockets on senior night

Published 10:35 pm Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Austin wrestling team put a cap on its home wrestling schedule when it beat Rochester John Marshall (3-18 overall, 0-11 Big Nine) on senior night in Ove Berven Gym Thursday night.

The Packers (7-9 overall, 3-7 Big Nine) picked up four pins and six forfeits in the win.

Austin’s Jacob Tapp manuevers Rochester JM’s Evan Hanson during their match at 106 Thursday night in Ove Berven Gym. Eric Johnson/

“We saw a lot of resiliency and we saw a lot of fight,” Austin head coach Jer Osgood said. “We were working for bonus points and that was nice to see. It was a great night for the seniors. They’ve been a staple for this team and there’s eleven of them that have been great leaders and great role models all around.”

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Austin senior Aiden Wilson picked ups first period pin against Tyler Bertschinger in what will likely be Wilson’s last match in Ove Berven Gym. Wilson was a little emotional before the match as he looked back on all of his years with the Packers.

Austin’s Aiden Wilson works to finish off a pin on Rochester John Marshall’s Cale Collins at 145 pounds Thursday night in Ove Berven Gym. Eric Johnson/

“It was an experience that I thought was never going to come, but I knew deep down that it would,” Wilson said. “It was really sad and I’ve seen seniors come and go over the years. I told myself not to get too emotional.”

With the Section 1AAA individual tournament just two weeks away, Wilson is honing is skills in search of his first ever trip to the state meet. Wilson recently found himself ranked at No. 10 at 145 pounds in Class AAA.

“I’ve been preparing for sections for the past couple of weeks and I feel completely different. I was ranked not to long ago,” Wilson said. “I know I’m one of the best and I don’t need a ranking to tell me that, but now people are going to be ready for me.”

Austin’s Josh Belden tries to reverse on Rochester John Marshall’s Justin Higgins at 152 pounds Thursday night at Ove Berven Gym. Eric Johnson/

While the seniors said goodbye to Ove Berven Gym, Austin sophomore Gavin Brady was saying hello. Brady thought he was going to spend this entire season as a student manager after he was injured in a car wreck three months ago, but he found himself cleared Thursday morning and on the mat Thursday night.

Brady pinned JM’s Dominic Lennes in the second period to get the win.

“I went to the doctor this morning and I mom told me I could ask [to get cleared] even though I thought thought there wasn’t a chance,” Brady said. “The doctor said ‘yeah’ and then my mom had to run me around a lot to get me cleared today. Thanks to the coaches, the AD and the MSHSL for getting me back from now until sections.”

Brady had been condoning with the team without knowing whether or not he would be able to compete this season. He was thrilled to get back into competition against the Rockets.

“It kind of sucked practicing without competition for a month, but it was worth it,” Brady said. “I want to thank everyone who helped me when I was injured.”

Osgood was glad to see Brady get back on the mat in front of the home crowd.

“He’s a hard worker and he’s persevered so much,” Osgood said. “To be able to enjoy the end of the season as a competitor says a lot about him. He maintained his physical conditioning with the hopes that he would get cleared tonight. He put in the time without knowing what the doctor was going to say.”

Austin 285-pounder Enrique Martinez pulls down Rochester John Marshall’s Alex Parlin Thursday night in Ove Berven Gym. Eric Johnson/


106: Jacob Tapp (A) pinned Evan Hanson (JM) (4:40)

113: Tae Weber (A) won by forfeit

120: Zach Smith (A) 9-4 dec. over Ben Zierdt-Thorson (JM) 9-4

126: Moo Thaw (A) won by forfeit

132: Gavin Brady (A) pinned Dominic Lennes (JM) (2:31)

138: Connor Higgins (JM) 16-2 tech. fall over Lathan Wilson (A)

145: Aiden Wilson (A) pinned Tyler Bertschinger (JM) (1:05)

152: Justin Higgins (JM) pinned Josh Belden (A) (1:05)

160: Cale Collins (JM) 15-0 tech. fall over Cole Carter (A)

170: Chance Brady (A) won by forfeit

182: Kaden Igou (A) won by forfeit

195: Phillip Zynda (A) won by forfeit

220: Isaac Arjes (A) won by forfeit

285: Enrique Martinez (A) pinned Tyler Bruns (JM) (1:41)