La Crosse Aquinas has a promising wresting future, but Tomah has the older and wiser present.
The Timberwolves put their experience to good use Thursday to claim a 65-10 victory over Aquinas in a Mississippi Valley Conference dual at Tomah High School.
Tomah coach Jeff Von Haden appreciated coaching a match in which both teams filled all 14 weight classes. Aquinas’ lineup included six freshman and just one senior, and Von Haden said age and experience were keys to the outcome.
“Aquinas is a young team, and we’re a little bit more mature,” Von Haden said. “I’m proud of my kids. I thought we took it to them tonight. I like the way we fight and battle and never give up.”
The Timberwolves won 12 of the 14 matches and scored the first points in all 14. And while the Timberwolves had an experience edge, they also prevailed in two matches in which Aquinas sent out the older wrestler.
At 145 pounds, Tomah freshman Sam Linzmeier rolled junior Zach DeGroot into a second-period near fall en route to a 6-0 victory.
In the 182-pound match, sophomore Thor Lass defeated Aquinas’ lone senior, Robert Uehling, with a lightning-fast takedown/pin combination that snapped a scoreless tie late in the first period.
The closest match was 220, where Tomah’s Colby Von Haden defeated Aquinas’ Charlie Langeberg 3-0. After a scoreless first period, Von Haden started on top and rolled Langeberg into a two-point near fall for the period’s only points. Von Haden got an escape early in the third period, and the two wrestlers stayed neutral the rest of the match.
Hayden Larson (285) got the quickest pin of the match by dispatching Aquinas’ Clay Berra in 47 seconds.
Other wrestlers getting pins for Tomah were Caden Griffin (106), Dawson Lambert (120), Nate Boulton (132), Owen Walters (138), Marques Fritsche (160) and Kaden Hericks (195).
Aquinas’ only victories came at 126 and 152 pounds.
“I give Aquinas a lot of credit,” Von Haden said. “They’re getting better, and they have a lot of kids out.”
Barring injury, Von Haden anticipates keeping all 14 weight classes filled the rest of the season. Griffin has gotten down to 106, which opened the door for freshman Caleb Pollack at 113. Pollack won his match in a technical fall at 5:11 with the score 19-2.
“We’re solid where we’re at right now,” Von Haden said. “I think we have our guys where we want them.”
The Timberwolves return home Thursday, Jan. 10 for an MVC dual against Sparta in a match that will likely determine second place in the MVC. The junior varsity matches start at 6:15 p.m. followed by the varsity at 7:15 p.m.