Miners’ big wrestlers tighten the screws
If Wade Sauer can survive every ache and pain he’s been through the past two months, he surely can survive until the state tournament.
Both Sauer, a sophomore at 215 pounds, and wrestling practice partner Chris Mosbacher, a senior at 189 pounds, plan to still be wrestling when it comes time for the individual state tournament.
NU wrestling coach Steve Pilcher believes both have a shot at qualifying for state this year, especially after their respective performances last weekend at the Asics Foothill Wrestling Classic tournament in Sacramento.
Against a field loaded with state-ranked wrestlers, both reached the quarterfinals, with Sauer advancing on to place third. Only a loss to the state’s top-ranked 215-pound wrestler, Jon Stevens of Castro Valley, prevented Sauer from winning his second straight tournament.
Mosbacher, who did his best wrestling of the season last weekend, according to Pilcher, ran into seeds back-to-back in the second day of the tournament, and did not medal.
Under a new format, sub-sections have been expanded from 16 teams to a field of 24, with the top six wrestlers advancing on to the Sac Joaquin section tournament.
“I think (state) is a realistic goal for both of them,” Pilcher said. “But they’ll need a lot of luck along the way.”
It is somewhat amazing that Sauer has managed to wrestle at all this season, let along post more than 30 victories. Shortly before wrestling season began, Sauer awoke from an early night’s rest to find he had a temperature exceeding 106 degrees. According to Sauer, doctors initially suspected he had spinal meningitis. A spinal tap discounted that theory, and after three weeks in and out of hospital, Sauer returned in time for his second season on the varsity.
This year, not only had he overcome the weakness and loss of 20 pounds from his preseason illness, he has had to battle through a chronic disc condition and a knee he bruised the night before winning the tournament at Tracy.
Last year Sauer, who has medaled at every tournament in which he has competed in this year, wrestled at heavyweight against wrestlers as much as 50 pounds heavier than he was.
“I still sometimes collar tie when I wrestle and other heavyweight stuff,” Sauer said. “But Chris is great for me, because all the guys I wrestle are strong, and all I need is the speed, which is what the ’89s have.”
Mosbacher, the biggest member of this year’s cross country team, split time on the varsity wrestling team last year. He has owned the 189-pound slot this season. On a team loaded with younger wrestlers like Sauer, Mosbacher finds himself one of two seniors starting on the varsity.
“It is different, having a young team, but I look at them as equals,” said Mosbacher, who is 20-6 . “I think it makes me stronger working out with Wade, because he is heavier, bigger, and wrestles different than a 189-pounder.”
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The Little League District 11 postseason is off to a hot start.