Saints Wrestling hoping for another good season under coach Barry Kittleson’s direction

Ej Photo/ Colby Fossey

This year’s St. Ansgar wrestling team is looking to accomplish a few of the feats they reached last season this year, but it won’t be an easy task with a few new athletes wrestling this year that haven’t had as much varsity experience. Last season, the Saints finished 2nd in the sectional tournament and reached the regional duals, a big accomplishment for St. Ansgar.

The Saints got their season started on Thursday, November 30 when they took on West Fork and Northwood during the night. It was a great start to their season as the Saints took down Northwood 45-27 and beating West Fork 66-15 respectively. “I think we wrestled good for the first time out Thursday night,” said head wrestling coach Barry Kittleson. “We were able to get some wins even though we were shorthanded.”

On Saturday, the Saints hosted a 7 team tournament that included Austin, Clear Lake, Garner-Hayfield/ Ventura, Northwood-Kensett, Wahlert, and Westwood. The Saints finished 1-4 throughout the day. Their win came against GHV with a final of 42-24. The Saints gave up 4 weight classes on Saturday, losing points in 120, 152, 195, and 285 weight classes.

Dayton Smith picked up win number 100 in his final match of the day against Ian Lynch of Westwood during Saturday’s tournament in St. Ansgar. “I didn’t even know what I was at for wins so it’s pretty surprising,” said Dayton on his 100th win. “It’s always been a goal of mine. My brother reached 100 wins when he was a senior so I had set my goals pretty high my first year of high school.”

Giving up weight classes hurts the team’s chances at winning when they could have a chance if there was an athlete to fill those spots, which can be frustrating at times. “I was a little disappointed we didn’t win that last dual against Westwood but a couple guys got reinjured right away and with the forfeits we already have, it was just too much to overcome. We had some guys decide not to participate this year so that’s always a disappointment but you got to go with what you have and the guys we do have want to compete. We are working really hard and keep getting better and will continue to get better all year.”

“Last year we finished 2nd in sectionals and made the regional duals and we want to do that again this year,” said Kittleson. “It will be a lot tougher, not going to say we can’t do that but when you have low numbers and give up all those points it doesn’t make it any easier for you.”

The Saints will be the hosts for their next competition. They host a varsity quad with Newman, West Hancock, and Osage on Thursday night. Be sure to go and cheer on your St. Ansgar wrestling team!

Deven Steele gets a hold of his opponents leg and would hold on long enough to get into better position for the two points. Steele finished the day undefeated for the Saints at their 7 team tournament.

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