Triton's senior captain Brock Franko celebrates his 100th win on after the triangular in Hayfield on Saturday. He reached the 100 mark in his first match against a Z-M wrestler. Photo by Darla Schletty
By Shane VanBeek
With the start of the new year the Cobra wrestlers were back in action this week with three conference and section opponent duals. All three contests were filled with action with a few new faces to the varsity line up due to injuries. The team wrestled hard in all three duals and came out with a record of 1-2 (6-8 overall) in the events.
The week started off Thursday, January 3 with Parents Night at Triton versus Pine Island. The Panthers and Cobras split the two duals between them last year, and once again it was a closely fought battle. Pine Island came out on top 38-33, but the matches were split 7-7. Within the seven wins for the Cobras came first career victories at the varsity level for freshman Aaron Jennings and Ethan Otterbein! In addition to these two, the Cobras also received wins from freshman Gavin Bowman and Adam Vacura. Also winning on the night was Patrick Ramirez, Lucas Etchason, and Brock Franko. It was a great atmosphere in the Cobra gym for the night even with the team coming a few bonus points short of the team victory. Lucas Etchason did avenge his one loss of the year (20-1) by defeating Brady Kunz in the 195 pound showdown.
The Cobras were back at it again the following night in Hayfield for a triangular with defending section champion Zumbrota-Mazeppa and Hayfield. The Cobras split on the night dropping the first dual to ZM 51-28 and beating Hayfield 42-32. The Cobras managed to win five matches against the Cougars including a pin by Colton Chicos, a tech fall by Patrick Ramirez, a pin by Brock Franko, a tech fall by Lucas Etchason, and a pin by Randy Henderson. Alex Head dropped a close decision 4-3 to #2 ranked Cody Heitman in a great match.
Coming off of the loss against ZM, the Cobras rebounded in the final dual to beat Hayfield 42-32. It was another tight dual with many great matches throughout. Winning for the Cobras on the evening was Max Stoeckel by pin, Patrick Ramirez by major, Gavin Bowman by pin, Alex Head by decision, Brock Franko by forfeit, Ryan Newman by forfeit, Lucas Etchason by forfeit, and Randy Henderson by pin. The dual was 37-32 before the heavyweight match when Randy Henderson came through in the clutch with a pin to secure the victory.
With his first victory of the night via a fall against Zumbrota-Mazeppa senior captain Brock Franko won his 100 match of his career! Brock's career record currently stands at 101-70. He has been a huge part of the program since he started seventh grade. He is a great leader in the practice room and on the competition mat. As a returning section champ, and currently ranked #7 in the state, Brock looks to continue to add to the win total through the regular season and beyond. Congrats Brock!
The Cobras currently have four ranked wrestlers in the lineup including Patrick Ramirez (#7 126), Alex Head (#9 145), Brock Franko (#7 182) and Lucas Etchason (#4 195). This upcoming week Triton will host Kenyon-Wanamingo for Youth Night on Thursday night, January 10th. Come out and support our Cobras!