Cougars men’s wrestling team defeats visiting Minot State 30-11 to avenge earlier loss
Last time the University of Regina men’s wrestling team went to battle against the Minot State Beavers, in early December, the Cougars were embarrassed 47-6 by their arch-rivals from across the boarder.
In that road meeting, only two wrestlers were able to register wins for the Green and Gold. Steven Schneider was able to squeak out a decision victory, while Gaelen Malloy was awarded an overtime win.
Coming into the rematch on Jan. 26, the Cougars had revenge on their mind. The end result was a 30-11 blowout as a total of eight wrestlers were able to register personal victories.
“Everyone wrestled really solid from top to bottom,” said Cougars head coach Leo McGee of his team’s performance.
Schneider was able to keep his winning streak going against Minot and helped the Cougars get off to an early lead. Cory Horsburgh was then able to make relatively short work of his opponent, thus earning the home team another victory.
The U of R’s Mark Ballon was one of the few wrestlers who had to truly work for his victory. Despite a shaky start, Ballon showed true Cougar heart and was able to crawl his way back against his opponent Coby Carson, eventually getting the pin.
The only bump in the road for the Cougars in the dual came at the hands of Minot State wrestler Luke Michaelson, who was able to register the only victory for his team, defeating Regina’s Lendvoy.
“I think that we lost that one match because Lendvoy just came out of position,” offered McGee. “A mistake like that is really elementary – it’s like having a goalie in hockey who skates to the other end of the ice after the puck.”
Minot’s Sean Small, who ironically wrestles in the heavyweight category, just joined the team at the start of the semester and was able to get his first career MSU victory. However, it was by forfeit.
Besides the one loss and one match given up by forfeit, McGee was extremely impressed overall with how his team preformed that night. Everyone came out mentally and physically prepared, and it showed.
“It was a very, very good performance,” said McGee. “I like this team. This is a young team. They’re neat, really tough and fun to coach. It’s an exciting program.”
Minot’s coaching staff believed that the rule changes, as well as passport issues, contributed to the poor performance of the team. It is possible that Regina faced the same problems when they travelled to Minot, which would explain the drastic difference in scores between the team’s first and second meetings with each other.
The Cougars will now be out of action until the Canada West Championships, which take place in Saskatoon on Feb. 11. It is anyone’s guess as to how the team will do on the big stage, although numerous members of the Cougars have the potential to do quite well. However, even the coach does not want to jinx things.
“I do not have any predictions,” claimed McGee. “The only expectations that I might have are that I want us to be really prepared and wrestle really well. If we do that, then we will be in good shape and we will qualify a lot of kids for nationals.”
The Cougars will be looking to better their second-place finish at last year’s conference championships. The strong finish in 2010 was thanks, in large part, to the performances of Musonza (54 kilogram) Schneider (54 kg) and wrestlers both took home the gold. Those two golds, combined with four silvers and one bronze easily, secured the silver medal for Regina, but still left them 12 points out of first place.
Going into the championships, the Cougars sit second in conference standings, and pose a large threat to not only take home numerous individual titles, but are also a strong contender for the team top spot.
The tale of the match
54 kg. – Gilbert Musonza, UR, won by forfeit.
57 kg. – Steven Schneider, UR, def. Matt Ruby
61 kg. – Marlin Legare, UR, def. Brandon Smith
65 kg. – Cory Horsburgh, UR, def. Jon Wilson
68 kg. – Mark Ballon, UR, pinned Coby Carson
72 kg. – Gaelen Malloy, UR, def. Marcus Wilson
76 kg. – Connor Malloy, UP, def. Cristian Molina
81 kg. – Luke Michaelson, MSU, John Lendvoy
90 kg. – Benji Martin, UR, def. Wade Weppler
HWT – Sean Small, MSU, won by forfeit.