New faces bolster RAHS wrestling roster, future

When official practices began in late November, the Roseville Area High School wrestling team received a pleasant surprise. The number of kids that came out for the team this year is up, bolstered by a large group of first-time wrestlers.

Those first-timers are more than just the usual freshmen who are new to the school and the program. Head coach Mike Holmes said there are also sophomores, juniors and even seniors who have never wrestled coming out for the team.

"We've got a large number of first-time kids," said Holmes. "I don’t know why."

Regardless of the reason, Holmes is not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Holmes is hoping the newcomers can help fill in some holes in the lineup down the road but for now Roseville's strength is in the middle weights.

"At the middle weights, we have lots of experience," said Holmes.

Among Roseville's top wrestlers in the middle of the lineup is senior captain Hsinku Lay, who is ranked fifth in the state in Class AAA at 170 pounds. He won 30 matches last season and qualified for the state tournament at 160 pounds.

Other middle weights Holmes has high hopes for include senior captain Tony Landucci (182 pounds), junior captain Alex LaPierre (152 pounds) and junior Tamir Beeler (160 pounds).

Outside of those middle weights (132-182), Roseville is thin on experience.

"The first three to four weights are going to be kids who have never wrestled," said Holmes. "Good athletes, good attitudes, really loving it so far but still coming in brand new."

Same thing goes for the three heaviest weight classes.

"Over 182, we are young," said Holmes. "It's been our thing for a while. Those light weights and heavy weights have been tough to fill."

That type of a lineup also makes it difficult to pull out dual-match victories. Holmes said a number of last year's victories came via Roseville digging itself out of a hole after losing early in the light weights. The middle and heavy weights were able to rescue the match but that's tough to do with only the middle weights.

Roseville opened the season with a pair of events over the first weekend of December. One of those meets was a tournament hosted by Maple Grove High School. The Raiders finished 10th in the team standings and had four wrestlers place in the top six of their respective weight class.

Lay posted Roseville's highest finish by taking second place at 170 pounds. He won twice to advance to the finals, where he lost to Trae Bedford of Annandale/Maple Lake.

Beeler went 3-1 to finish third at 160 pounds, LaPierre finished 3-2 and in fifth place and Landucci posted a 2-3 record to finish sixth.

Roseville has a pair of events on the schedule this week. The Raiders travel to Cretin-Derham Hall for a Suburban East Conference dual on Dec. 17 and then head to Richfield for a tournament on Dec 19.

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.


2015-16 Roseville Area High School wrestling schedule

Dec. 4    vs. Park-Cottage Grove    7 p.m.
Dec. 5    at Maple Grove tournament    10 a.m.
Dec. 10    at East Ridge triangular    4:30 p.m.
Dec. 17    at Cretin-Derham Hall    7 p.m.
Dec. 19    at Richfield tournament    TBA
Jan. 8    vs. St. Paul Como Park    6:30 p.m.
Jan. 9    at Centennial tournament    9:30 a.m.
Jan. 15    at WBL triangular    4 p.m.
Jan. 16    at East Ridge tournament    9:30 a.m.
Jan. 21    at Stillwater    7 p.m.
Jan. 23    Rosemount quad    10 a.m.
Jan. 29    vs. Mounds View    7 p.m.
Jan. 30    Home quad    9 a.m.
Feb. 4    vs. Woodbury    7 p.m.
Feb. 13    Section 4AAA team    TBA
Feb. 20    Section 4AAA individual    TBA
Feb. 25    State tournament    TBA
Feb. 26    State tournament    TBA
Feb. 27    State tournament    TBA

 

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