Wrestlers top Waconia for WCC East title

Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, Bryce Lofton trailed 14-0 in his match against Waconia before scoring an escape, takedown and pin in the third period. The 11-point turnaround was crucial in New Prague’s 10-point win. (Chuck Kajer Photo)

The New Prague Trojan wrestling team won the Wright County Conference East championship Thursday, Jan. 31, by defeating Waconia 38-28 in the New Prague gym.

The two teams came into the match undefeated in the conference. New Prague was ranked No. 6 in Class AAA and Waconia was no. 6 in Class AA.

The Trojans have a dual meet record of 15-3 entering the final week of the regular season. They are scheduled to host Rosemount on Thursday, Feb. 7, and will compete in the Minnetonka Duals on Saturday, Feb. 9.

The Trojans will enter the Section 2AAA team tournament next week. Seeding will take place over the weekend and despite their high state ranking, the Trojans expect to be the No. 3 seed in the section. That’s because No. 1 ranked Shakopee and No. 3 ranked Apple Valley are also in the section. The tournament begins with an elimination round on Wednesday, Feb. 13, between the No. 8 and 9 seeds. The final eight teams will compete at Burnsville High School on Friday, Feb. 15, beginning at 4 p.m.

The section individual tournament will take place the following weekend at Rosemount High School.

Trojans 38, Wildcats 28 In the Trojans’ dual against Waconia, New Prague got off to its usual good start, with three ranked wrestlers all winning for the Trojans to give them a 16-0 lead. Colby Dunkel (No. 4, 106 pounds) scored a fall over the No. 5 ranked AA wrestler and Joey Novak (No. 9, 113) scored an 11-3 major decision. Nick Novak (No. 3, 120) scored a fall.

Next for the Trojans was Jacob Vaughan at 126 pounds. Coach Dan Wagner said this was one of two matches that he had pegged as keys to winning. Vaughan battled a tough opponent and scored a twopoint reversal in the final 10 seconds to get an 8-7 win and put the Trojans up 19-0.

After a fall for Waconia at 132, senior Bryce Lofton came up big for the Trojans. This was the other key match that Wagner felt was important. Things didn’t go well for........

To see more on this story pick up the February 7, 2019 print edition of The New Prague Times. 

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