The Bulldogs defeated Hannibal-LaGrange College on Nov. 17 45-12 in the 2011 home opener.
The victory moved the ‘Dogs to 2-0 for the season. After the first five bouts of the dual, which all were decided by forfeit, Truman was ahead 24-6.
Sophomore Josh Wells defeated Hannibal-LaGrange sophomore Bryce Alexandar 10-8 using a late escape to put him ahead with five seconds to go in the 165-pound match. After junior Sean Brown was pinned two minutes and 36 seconds into the first round in the 174 slot, two more opens and senior Thomas Redmon’s 36 second pin of Hannibal-LaGrange sophomore Jake Hare gave the Bulldogs the victory.
“They had a lot of opens due to [some] problems but I thought our kids handled the situation well,” head coach David Schutter said. “They competed well in front of the home crowd and that was a nice win for Thomas [Redmond]. It was a thrill. He was Varsity out of Kirksville High and has just kept getting better since he got here. And since he’s graduating in December, it might be his last match at Truman. It was a huge win.”
The ‘Dogs also competed in the Lindenwood University Open Nov. 19 in St. Charles, Mo.
“Lindenwood was definitely one of the toughest tournaments on our schedule this year,” sophomore Ryan Maus said. “I think that everyone on our team who went got some good experience wrestling better competition.”
Maus and Wells went 2-2 in the 149 and 165 weight classes. Maus won his first match by technical fall, but dropped his second to University of Iowa redshirt freshman Jake Ballweg. Maus won his next match 5-0 but then was knocked out of the tournament by Lindenwood sophomore Derrick Weller in a 5-3 overtime decision.
“I think those are the types of matches that will drive me to get better this year,” Maus said. “It is still very early in the season and my conditioning and wrestling are not top notch yet, but if I stay focused, by the end of year matches like these ones should go in my favor.”
Wells lost his first match by fall in the second period. He was able to bounce back by pinning his next opponent in just one minute and 18 seconds and won his third match 3-2. He would go on to drop his last bout to University of Missouri freshman T.J. Parker on a 5-1 decision.
The only other Bulldog to score a victory in the tournament was sophomore Joel Geders, who did so in the 285-pound consolation bracket when he beat Hare in a 7-1 decision.
“We have room to improve,” Geders said. “But then again we were up against some of the top Division I, NAIA and Division II teams in the country. Ryan [Maus] almost beat a kid from Iowa and Josh [Wells] did well after banging up his knee. We have room to improve but with that tough of competition, I think we did pretty well.”
The Bulldogs will compete next at the Simpson College Invitational on Dec. 3 in Indianola, Iowa. Nine of the teams competing are ranked either in the NAIA or Div. II.
“It’s going to be a tough tournament,” Schutter said. “We’ve went up there and won it before and we’ve stunk it up before. It just kind of lets you know where you’re at. It’s tough but it’s just another tournament on our schedule. We’ll go out there and compete. Our team is a tough, resilient bunch or guys. They’re a bunch of fighters.”