The bad news for the Forest Lake wrestling team was that it struggled to win just two of the four matches it wrestled last week.
The good news is that tough competition will sharpen the Rangers for tests at the section and state level in the coming weeks.
Forest Lake experienced both the highs and lows of competition in a triangular at Northfield on Thursday, Feb. 11. The Rangers won every match in an 80-0 blanking of Austin, only to suffer a narrow 33-32 loss to Northfield.
Sophomore Jacob Aho got things rolling against Northfield with a pin at 113 pounds, and senior Derrick Cardinal claimed a technical fall at 132. Junior Daniel VanAcker added a pin at 145, and senior Logan Collins claimed a 10-8 decision to win at 152. Freshman Mark Rendl won with a pin at 170, as did senior Tyler Raway at 195.
The win over Austin was easy as the Rangers collected 11 forfeits out of 14 weight classes. Senior Cole Decker earned a technical fall at 138, while Rendl added a pin at 170 and senior Jacob Schurrer closed the match with a 5-4 decision at 285.
The Rangers then hosted a triangular against Wayzata and Coon Rapids on Saturday, Feb. 13. Forest Lake lost to Wayzata 40-27 but claimed another win over a Section 7 opponent by knocking off Coon Rapids 38-28.
In the victory over the Cardinals, the Rangers posted pins in four of the first five weight classes to build a lead they did not relinquish. Freshman Parker Lyden posted a pin at 106, as did junior Jesse Welter at 120, freshman Jackson Marr at 126, and Cardinal at 132.
VanAcker collected a pin at 145 and Raway took just 34 seconds to earn a pin at 195.
But Forest Lake struggled against Wayzata, winning just five of 14 weight classes. The Rangers kept things close by collecting four pins, which were notched by Cardinal, VanAcker, Raway and junior Jordan Silvera at 285.