Alex wrestling: Cards hand out hardwarePiepenburg named MVP for Alexandria wrestlers.
By: Eric Morken, Alexandria Echo Press
The Alexandria wrestling team was optimistic about the future as the Cardinals recognized the accomplishments of this past season at their awards banquet last week.
Alexandria came into the season worried about how its youth would hold up on the varsity level. Many of those guys took their lumps this year as Alexandria finished just 2-18 as a team. The hope is that experience will pay dividends in the future.
“At the beginning of the season, our coaches looked at our roster and were concerned that we didn’t have any senior athletes to place on the mats,” head coach Tom Ellison said. “By the end of the year, that same observation was turned into a positive as we looked at the roster again and exclaimed with delight that we don’t have any seniors on this squad.”
Three of those athletes this team is excited about going into next year are Trent Piepenburg, Tony Hubbard and Justin Cumberbatch after all three wrestled in the state tournament this winter. Piepenburg, a sophomore, was named the team’s most valuable wrestler and earned the Most Dedicated Award.
Piepenburg has established himself as one of the top wrestlers in the state at 106 pounds after finishing fourth at the Xcel Energy Center. He has already passed the 75-win mark in his Alexandria career. He finished this past season with the most wins on the team at 38-7.
Cumberbatch also passed the 30-win mark. The freshman went 32-9 and had the most pins on the team with 22. He and Piepenburg were both named to the All-Central Lakes Conference team.
Hubbard earned the award for the most takedowns on the team with 96. He finished 28-10 and got the experience of wrestling at state in the 145-pound weight class.
Sophomore Jacob Schiltgen and 8th grader Blake Olhausen rounded out the team award winners with the Most Improved and Diamond in the Rough awards, respectively. Schiltgen went 12-24 this season and Olhausen finished 17-20.
The Alexandria junior varsity wrestlers should provide this team with some options next year. The Cardinals’ JV team went 21-8 this past season. Combined statistics from both the JV and varsity teams had Alexandria with more pins (274-265), more takedowns (838-827) and more first points scored (466-432) than their opponents.
“Those figures give reasons for optimism next season as all of our athletes will return,” Ellison said. “Another reason for optimism that was brought up at the banquet by all of the coaches is that each member of the team is willing to work for the success they hope to achieve. That strong work ethic will serve these athletes well in seasons to come.”
ALEXANDRIA WRESTLING AWARDS
TEAM AWARDS – Most Valuable – Trent Piepenburg; Most Dedicated – Piepenburg; Most Improved – Jacob Schiltgen; Diamond in the Rough – Blake Olhausen; Most Takedowns – Tony Hubbard – 96; Most Pins – Justin Cumberbatch – 22
LETTER WINNERS – Hubbard, Andrew Moske, Ariel Way, Landon Anderson, Shawn Nelson, Piepenburg, Schiltgen, Gage Sonczalla, Joe Brown, Cumberbatch, Grant Hockert, Tristan Johnson, Dylan Kreise, Jake Nienaber, Mike Schluter, Olhausen
ACADEMIC GOLD AWARDS – Piepenburg, Landon Anderson, Schiltgen, Dylan Kriese; ACADEMIC SILVER AWARD – Jacob Nienaber, Shawn Nelson, Mitch DeLaRosby, Mike Schluter
INDIVIDUAL – Landon Anderson – 1-12; Ben Bogart – 1-0; Joe Brown – 2-4; Tryg Burgau – 0-2; Cumberbatch – 32-9; Damian Henry – 0-1; Grant Hockert – 3-16; Hubbard – 28-10; Tristan Johnson – 5-17; Dylan Kriese – 9-10; Steve McQueen – 1-3; Andrew Moske – 0-18; Shawn Nelson – 7-29; Jake Nienaber – 5-16; Daniel Oberg – 1-0; Olhausen – 17-20; Piepenburg – 38-7; Schiltgen – 12-24; Mike Schluter – 6-16; Alex Schmidt – 1-6; Gage Sonczalla – 14-20; Ariel Way – 4-16