St. Bede wrestling coach Sam Allen is hoping to build the Bruins into a perennially strong team.
The Bruins faced two programs Wednesday that are already there in Morrison and Orion and competed well in a 42-27 loss to the Mustangs and a 42-17 loss to the Chargers in a Three Rivers Conference triangular at the Academy.
Orion beat Morrison 51-27 in Wednesday’s other match.
“We wrestled against two really solid programs that are historically tough,” Allen said. “We’re getting closer and closer to them every year and I think they’re picking up on that. In the wrestling world, that’s a respectable thing. They know they have a little more coming at them when they come to St. Bede now. That’s a really good feeling. These boys work really hard. The one thing we’re missing is our strength and conditioning. We have to catch up to other schools in that aspect and we’re working on that. We’re doing a lot of things in the background to light that up and take off with the weight room.
“With Morrison and Orion, you know what you’re going to get — hard-nosed, tough kids who have been wrestling for a long time. They have clubs around them that feed right into their programs. We don’t have that. The clubs around here go to L-P or Ottawa. They’re not coming here. What coach (Gavin) Kurtz and I are trying to do is change that culture at St. Bede. I think we’re off to a pretty good start.”
Noah Setser and Ethan Fleming each won a pair of matches for the Bruins.
Setser (132 pounds) won by pin in 2:27 against Morrison before winning by 15-5 major decision against Orion, while Fleming (170) recorded a pin in 3:34 against the Mustangs and won by 15-7 major decision against Orion.
Also wining for St. Bede against Morrison were Pete Sampson (285) by decision and Sam Maschmann (145) by pin in 4:29.
The Bruins’ Henry Orteza (120) won by 8-2 decision against Orion, while Dominic Bima (126) rallied from a five-point first period deficit to win by pin in 3:25.
“I thought Noah Setser really had a good night,” Allen said. “He had two solid wins against pretty good kids. Ethan Fleming had some really good matches. Dominic Bima came from behind and got a pin. We try to teach our kids that it doesn’t matter what the score is, until the last whistle blows the match is still going, so there is still reason to fight and keep going. We’re definitely living by that philosophy.”
Before the matches, the Bruins celebrated Senior Night, honoring Maschmann, Sampson, Beau Bonnell and Nick Lough.
“Those guys already had a year here before I stepped in as head coach,” Allen said. “I knew them as freshmen because I worked here, but I didn’t coach them yet. They’ve been the foundation of the program. They were here when we only had 5-6-7 guys on the team. They’re still here and we have 16 this year. The goal is always to get a couple more. They’re leaders by example. We can tell them we need them on the peer level expressing things we’re saying because from the coaches it only means so much. For those guys to regurgitate our philosophies and ways of thinking is a big deal. Those seniors really did that for us this year and last year as juniors."