Le Mars girls wrestling wins big on senior night
LE MARS — The Le Mars Community girls wrestling team won big in a pair of duals over Missouri River Activities Conference foes Sioux City East and Sioux City West on Thursday.
“I saw our girls go out there and were ready to go. They wrestled well. They were aggressive. They countered well when the other girls were aggressive. I think we just had an overall really good night,” Le Mars Head Coach Greer Milledge said. “The matches that we lost, I think we only lost five matches tonight, and in all the losses we had, the girls always kept fighting. It wasn’t like they gave up.”
Recognize three seniors
The Bulldogs recognized three senior wrestlers between their two victories as Kylie Hessenius, Jacey Theisen and Bailey Brady were honored for helping to build up a program which is in its first IGHSAU-sanctioned season.
“We have three great seniors,” Milledge said.
Brady started off the Bulldogs with a win at 120 against West’s Natalie Sanchez as she picked up a pin in 1:41. She then capped off the night with a forfeit win against East.
Hessenius had the last victory of the West dual wrestling at 115, and won a 4-0 decision over West’s Melonie Barillas. She added a win by fall in 1:14 over East’s Tagan Kelly Case.
“Bailey and Kylie, having them be successful and continuing to fight and never giving up, neither one of them are going to give up on a match, and that’s been really beneficial to us,” Milledge said. “Hopefully some of our younger girls see that and can build off of it moving forward.”
Theisen ended up dropping her two matches at 190. She was pinned in 1:31 by West’s Jolyssa Rodes Perez and dropped a competitive 11-6 decision to East’s Olivia Garcia.
“Jacey Theisen is the spirit of this team. Everybody is there to support her and she has done an amazing job,” Milledge said.
Rest of the lineup does well
Milledge said one thing stood out to him in the 72-9 win over East and 63-16 win over West.
“What stands out to me right now is that we had all 14 weight classes filled for the first time this year,” Milledge said. “That’s a huge benefit to us.”
Kirsten Tyler competed at 125 and won by fall over West’s Mariah Barillas in 30 seconds. She won by forfeit against East.
Briar Hoppe pinned Nyamal Koang in 1:51 in the 130 match against the Wolverines before losing by fall in 1:19 to East’s Corinne Parry.
Autumn Olsen won by forfeit at 135 against both opponents.
At 140, Mac Ciaffa lost by fall in 3:33 against West’s Lisbet Vigil-Rodriguez before picking up a forfeit win against East.
Kerene Panya picked up two wins for the Bulldogs at 145, pinning West’s Daniela Rodriguez in 51 seconds and East’s Laura Canady in 1:12.
Savanna Salen went uncontested at 155 against West and added a win by fall in 42 seconds over East’s Alaina Kelly.
Desiree Breuer won at 170 in both matches, pinning West’s Alexandria Vaul in 37 seconds and doing the same to East’s Ziva Shultz in 2:33.
At 235, Riley Ernst won by forfeit against West and pinned East’s Nevaeh Hast in 45 seconds.
Hadassa Vasquez and Keira Hessenius won by forfeit in the 100 and 105 weights against both opponents.
Adriana Guerrero lost to West’s Roselyn Narcia by a 20-10 major decision score. She came back with a 3:45 win by fall against East’s Aubrey Vedrel.
Le Mars improved to 4-2 in dual matches this season.
Preparing for the postseason
With the state qualifying meet coming up on Jan. 27, Milledge is looking to get his team prepared for what they hope will be a successful day at the Tyson Events Center.
“I think our girls, I think they’re getting close. We just have to get some more confidence, that’s going to be key going into postseason. Having the confidence to be successful. We have a lot of young girls and these young girls haven’t had as much experience on the mat in general or in situations like this. So getting confidence in them going forward is going to be a big, big thing for us,” Milledge said.
The final tune ups before the postseason will be a set of duals at Spencer and Sioux City West.
“The girls know that it’s getting down to the end and every match matters. Capitalizing on those scrambles where either side could come out victorious, I think that is where we’re coaching these girls,” Milledge said. “We have to correct the mistakes that we’ve been having, the small mental mistakes that could mean the difference between us getting pinned and pinning the person.”