GALLERY: St. Michael-Albertville Wrestling Stops Cambridge Cold
An early route and late rally put the Knights in the driver’s seat for another Mississippi 8 Conference title, and the No. 1 seed in Section 7-3A
Bennie Wilson is used to making big plays on the football field.
Thursday night, however, he took his talents to the wrestling mat, and came up big.
Wilson, a junior in his first year of wrestling for the Knights’ varsity squad, filled in for STMA’s lone senior on Senior Night, and scored a major decision at 220 pounds.
The big linebacker filled in for No. 1 ranked Nick Edling, who fractured a bone in his hand at the Kiffmeyer duals.
With the Knights trailing 28-27 thanks to Mitch Eull’s pin at 195 pounds, Wilson was relentless in his match vs. Kyle Chromy, at one point chasing Chromy down and tackling him in the ring for a takedown.
It was a microcosm of the night, which came down, as usual, to the last two matches.
STMA rolled to a 21-3 lead behind Aaaron Dick, No. 1-ranked Tommy Thorn (113) and Colton Schoen (120).
But the match turned, as expected, when the middle weights rolled around.
The BlueJacket surge came a bit unexpectedly, though. Mapping out the match, the Knights figured they’d take a win at 138, with Lincoln Mallinger ranked sixth in the state.
And Mallinger was as good as advertised, taking a commanding 7-1 lead, until the match turned in a flash.
Senior Robbie Philips escaped a near fall and somehow got Mallinger on his shoulders, getting an unexpected pin.
The Cambridge crowd erupted with the upset, smelling blood.
The Knights, outmanned in the next few matches, were able to avoid costly pins at almost every weight. Jake Briggs avoided a fall. Owen Gammell did as well at 152. Ricky Briggs couldn’t score, but held No. 2 Clayton Jennissen to a 5-0 decision, and the Jackets had just a 28-21 lead going into the last three matches.
The, Eull erupted with a huge pin over Trent Chromy. Wilson got his win over Kyle Chromy and Mike Kessler sealed the deal with a decision at 285.
Afterward, coach Dan Lefebvre rounded up his troops. Without their No. 1 at 220, an upset to Mallinger and an injury to Cole Sladek in his match at 126, the Knights still held off their main conference rival and top section opponent, he said.
“It was a team effort,” he said. “All the way around.”