The Waldorf University men’s wrestling team was determined to not go down without a fight in its opening match against Graceland University. However, the Graceland University Sting (1-0) proved to be too tough of a foe and ended up defeating the Warriors (0-1), 47-3 in a season-opening dual Thursday night.
After seeing the host Sting get an early 12-0 lead, Waldorf senior Taylor Lehman came ready to play in his 141-pound weight match and ended up earning a 9-7 decision over Graceland’s Trey Heckadon. Lehman’s victory gave the Warriors just a nine-point deficit, down 12-3, but Waldorf just couldn’t quite build on the momentum that their senior leader handed them.
“We definitely have things to work on, and we need to get our guys to the right weight classes,” Waldorf fifth-year head coach Brad Stockton said.
One turning point of the match happened during the 157-pound weight class match between Waldorf senior Dustin Samudio and Graceland’s Drew Sams. Samudio tried to get Waldorf back into the match, but left the mats prematurely due to an injury. Although they tried their hardest, Waldorf couldn’t quite recover from that point onward.
“As a team, everyone got off to a slow start in their matches,” Waldorf’s head coach added. “They need to be gritty and ready for everything at the start. It is too hard to fight back in matches when you start in the hole.”
“Hustling in every position is the No. 1 thing that they need to be aware of at all times,” Stockton said, looking ahead as Waldorf gets an entire week to prepare for its next action when the Warriors return to the mats on Nov. 11 for the DWU Open in Mitchell, S.D.