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Trojan Wrestlers edge Scott West
Just a few seconds into the final match and wrestling in front of a packed gym at Belle Plaine Friday evening, New Prague 285-pounder Zach Lafavor found himself in a position he didn’t expect... flat on his stomach, with his Scott West opponent on top of him.
The Trojans, ranked No. 5 in Class AA, had trailed Scott West, ranked No. 4, all night, but two wins by the Trojans had cut the lead to five points, meaning the Trojan senior could give his team a win with a pin.
“I thought to myself, I had two choices, I could let the team down, or I could fight back and win this thing,” Lafavor said. “I kept moving and working, and finally got him on his back.”
Lafavor’s second period pin set off a big celebration as the Trojans scored a 28-27 win.
It was the first win for New Prague over Scott West since 1998. New Prague has a 12-0 record on the season.
“I was determined to get that pin,” Lafavor said. “The difference was that he was wrestling not to lose, I was wrestling to win.”
“We knew we had a good chance with the last three weights,” said Trojan coach Greg Tikalsky. “But really, this was a team win. Everyone did what they could to help the team.”
Tikalsky was referring to the six Trojan wrestlers who lost their matches. None of them were pinned and only a couple gave up bonus points. Tikalsky had said before the match that if they could avoid the pins and limit the bonus points, his team had a good chance to win. The Panthers scored only one technical fall, and their only sixpoint match was a forfeit win at 160 pounds, when Tikalsky decided not to send anyone out to wrestle No. 1- ranked Andrew Fogarty.
“We had a JV wrestler ready to go, but we didn’t want to give them the momentum a pin might have given them,” Tikalsky said.
The Trojans lost the next two matches, by major decision and decision, giving Scott West a 27-13 advantage going into the final three matches.
Cody Sirek, wrestling for the first time in a month following a concussion, scored a 5-0 win at 195 pounds, then Nathan Preston made quick work out of his opponent at 220, getting a pin in 30 seconds. That set up Lafavor’s match.
Scott West had jumped to an early 11-0 lead, winning the first three matches, but the Trojans come back with three wins.
Griffin Parriott scored a 3- 1 win over Zach Siegle at 126 pounds. It was the third time these two wrestlers, the top two wrestlers in their weight class in Class AA, had faced off this season, and Parriott got the early takedown and held on for the win.
James Berg also scored a decision and Richard Reinartz scored nine takedowns in his 19-7 major decision at 138 pounds, pulling the Trojans to within a point at 11-10.
The teams split decisions over the next two matches before the forfeit to Fogarty, with Joe Heinz getting a 6-3 win at 152 pounds.
The Trojans will face another Section 2AA foe on Thursday, Jan. 10, when Watertown- Mayer travels to New Prague. The time of the dual meet has been moved to 7 p.m. New Prague travels to Montgomery for the Tri-City United Invitational Saturday, Jan. 12, then wretle at Northfield Thursday, Jan. 17, in a triangular with Farmington and Northfield.