MAUSTON—Thor Lass claimed an improbable − even a fluke − wrestling victory Thursday.
But if Lass hadn’t fought his way out from under a cradle in the first period, his match would have gone down as an ordinary loss.
Lass was declared the victor at the end of the second period in his 182-match against Mauston’s Dakota Barrix to notch Tomah’s signature triumph in a 62-15 dual victory over the Golden Eagles at Mauston High School.
The Timberwolves didn’t need Lass’ victory to boost their dual record to 4-2, but the sophomore’s surprise win still electrified the Tomah fan section. Lass was trailing 6-2 late in the second period when Barrix, a sectional qualifier from last season, appeared to have Lass in a pinning combination.
Lass’ right shoulder blade was two inches off the mat when the referee called a pin less than a second before the buzzer sounded. Tomah coach Jeff Von Haden was ready to dispute the call until the official raised Lass’ right hand.
The call wasn’t visibly disputed by the Mauston coaching staff.
“We were getting pinned, and the (Mauston) kid pinned himself, which is unfortunate for their wrestler,” Von Haden said.
However, Von Haden gave his own wrestler a lot of credit. Lass was nearly pinned by Barrix in the first period before Lass fought his way off his back and executed a reversal.
“I’m proud of Thor,” Von Haden said. “He kept fighting, kept battling and didn’t give up. That’s what I always preach to kids − you’re never out of the match. You just have to keep fighting.”
Von Haden was pleased with the effort of the entire squad. The Timberwolves won seven of the nine contested matches and accepted four forfeits while giving Mauston a forfeit at 106.
“The kids went after it right away,” Von Haden said. “I think we had them outmatched in a lot of the weight classes, but they went out aggressive, and we took it to them.”
Tomah got pins from Dawson Lambert (126), Braden Bemis (132), Nate Boulton (138), Owen Walters (145) and Marques Fritsche (160).
Lambert, Boulton and Fritsche remained undefeated on the season.
The Timberwolves open their Mississippi Valley Conference season Thursday, Dec. 20 with a road match at Holmen. They compete at the Bi-State Classic in La Crosse Dec. 28-29.