Canby wrestlers go 1-1 during Lancer Wrestling Extravaganza

CANBY – From dawn through dusk on Saturday, the Canby High School gymnasium had grapplers on the mats. The day featured an eight-team youth tournament and the No. 1 ranked Division II college team in St. Cloud State University, but the main course of the Lancer Wrestling Extravaganza was the high school triangular featuring St. James Area, Waconia and No. 12 (Class A) Canby.

Though the Lancers went 1-1 during the triangular, the day was still very much a success in the eyes of their head coach.

“This is great for us and our community,” Canby head coach Scott Snobl said. “Wrestling is so important here, always has been. You know, there are a lot of people that kind of got this going a year ago and helped make it work. I just think it’s great. You get those eight youth teams in here and all that energy to start out the day, then we got three good teams going at it here in St. James, Waconia and us, and we’re going to have a great dual tonight with the college. It’s a great day.”

After Waconia defeated St. James Area 37-29 in the opening dual of the triangular, the Lancers got their shot at the Saints (12-6 overall).

Even though the Lancers lost the first three and final three bouts in the dual, wins in seven of the eight bouts in between propelled Canby to a 33-27 win. Included in their 33-point run was a three-match swing where the Lancers captured all 18 possible points.

“We lost kind of a close one there at (106), then they’ve got two really good guys in there with Cody Hanson and Richard Soto, and they’re just better than us at those weights,” Snobl said of the Saints. “But then we got on a little roll there and did some things that we need to do, won some matches that we knew we could win. Again we were able to pull that one out. I was really happy overall with how we came back. We didn’t wrestle our best, but we found a way to win.”

Jack Citrowske scored the first points of the dual for Canby with a 5-1 decision over Joe Dominguez at 126.

Quentin Beiningen took advantage of Isaac Carreon’s injury to claim all six points at 132, while Levi Citrowske pinned St. James’ Mark Alvarado at one minute, 32 seconds into their 138-pound bout. Nick Stoks made it four in a row for the Lancers when he pinned Kody Curry at the 4:58 mark of their 145-pound match.

Zach Gleiter interrupted the vital Lancer run with his 6-4 decision over Austin Campbell, but two decisions and Hayden Goplen’s third-period pin of Ryan Westman capped off a three-bout win streak for Canby.

St. James scored narrow decisions at 195 and 220 pounds, while Victor Torres pinned Gavin Benz after 39 seconds in the heavyweight bout.

The three-match slide to end the opening dual may have been a sign of things to come, as some inconsistent focus cost the Lancers in their 37-27 loss to the Waconia Wildcats (12-6).

Canby led the Wildcats 15-3 after Quentin Beiningen’s pin of Alex Longelin after 5:24. Waconia, however, won seven of the final 10 matches, including four pins.

“We lost some focus in matches there that, I don’t know, it was frustrating,” Snobl said. “We were ahead in a couple matches where we got in trouble and that cost us the dual in reality. They’re high school kids too, you know sometimes it’s going to happen. It’s frustrating losing, but you also have to give credit to Waconia. They came ready and they got the job done. It’s like I told our kids, ‘If you’re going to step to the next level to compete, then you’ve got to step up and do it.'”

Three of the four Waconia pins came in the four final bouts, with only Adam Evenson’s 10-7 decision over Mitch Green earning Canby points in the final stretch of the dual.

The Lancers (18-7) have just four duals left in the regular season, including a home dual with fifth-ranked Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg on Thursday. KMS and Canby are two of four state ranked wrestling programs that will be vying for the Section 3A title Feb. 16 in Benson.

“Like I told the kids this week, ‘You guys and what you’ve done over the last couple of years is raise the level of expectation. But now it’s time to step up to that new level of expectation,'” Snobl said. “Today we didn’t quite do it. In places we did, but we’ve got to have all 14 guys performing for us to move to that next level. Our section’s loaded, there’s no doubt about it.”