The ejection of Pine Eagle wrestling Coach Itsy Tanaka after an alleged assault marred the opening of the 2018-19 wrestling season during the Enterprise Kickoff tournament.

Newly minted Enterprise wrestling coach Forest Wilson brought his first grapplers to Quinn Court on Friday, Nov. 1. 

The Outlaws placed seventh with 83 points and the Joseph Eagles placed fifth with 96 points at the 12-team tournament.

Trace Evans and Klint Norton placed first in the 138-pound and 285-pound categories, respectively. Shane Lund, who had to wrestle two weights above his normal 132-pound slot finished second at 145 pounds. Drew Widener placed fourth at 220 pounds.

Coach Wilson thought the team turned in a fine performance.

“I thought we did quite well, considering some of the larger schools there,” he said. “It was tough.”

Wilson lauded Norton’s performance and said the wrestler had decided it was going to be his year.

“He handled himself quite well,” Wilson said. The coach noted Evans’ performance with similar words and gave Lund credit for his above-weight wrestling effort. 

“Wrestling two classes above you really takes it out of you, and you could tell in Shane’s last match,” Wilson said. “He performed well.”

Eagles coach Tim Kiesecker liked some things he saw, but also noted room for improvement. He said that the team had been pegged as high as second until the championship round.

As it was, Steven Beckman placed first at 120 pounds as did Jonah Staigle at 195 pounds. Austin Broackamp placed second at the 182-pound category and Gus Ramsden placed a respectable third at the 160-pound slot. 

Beckman said he enjoyed working out his early-season jitters. The meet also gave him the opportunity to work on different wrestling moves and pin combinations. His finals match lasted all of 50 seconds before his opponent hit the mat for a pin.

“It was a good match to see where I was at, and so my teammates could see where they were as well,” he said.

The coach noted that several wrestlers lost matches to wrestlers they’d defeated last season. He added that several other wrestlers had very little time to practice as they’d participated in the state football playoffs.

“They’re in condition to play football, not wrestle,” he said. “It’s two different kinds of conditioning, and they’ll get it down soon.”

Overall, the coach thought the team learned a lot and took their lessons to heart.

“The kids wrestled really well,” Kiesecker said. “We know what we need to work on for our next matches. We’ll be ready.”

The Eagles next wrestle at the Culver Invitational Dec. 7-8.

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