No. 3 Parsons tops No. 2 Njos to avenge ‘Rumble’ loss at 170 pounds
Anoka ran its consecutive dual meet winning streak to at least 18 after a 58-9 win at Andover Jan. 9.
The Tornadoes dominated the match at its Northwest Suburban Conference rivals with eight pins in 14 matches, including a 45-3 start to the match, two days after shutting out Champlin Park 75-0 in Anoka.
The defending conference champions are well on their way to defend their title with an 8-0 start and only a handful of meets left.
This year’s Anoka squad has consistency throughout the lineup with several third-year varsity wrestlers combined with young wrestlers who were successful at the younger levels.
“We came here to wrestle as a team and wrestled very well,” Anoka co-head coach Kurt Werk said. Four wrestlers are in the latest state rankings and six have made the metro honor roll with at least 14 wins.
Tyler Eischens is ranked second at 106 pounds, Calvin Germinaro is seventh at 113, Brandon Krone is second at 152 and Matt Njos is second at 170 pounds. Sam Begin (160) and Jeremy Rodman (220) made the metro honor roll list for the most wins.
Werk said the high scores show the progress Anoka has made in recent seasons. “It’s just something for these kids to come out of from third and fourth in the conference,” he said. “It’s something I told Jake Olson who was a junior captain last year. I said, ‘You’re going to be part of something special.
“And they helped turn this program around last year, went undefeated and won a conference title and now we step it up and expect to go undefeated in the conference, but ultimately go to state as a team. They’re doing a great job putting up big numbers which is fun for them.”
Third-period falls against Champlin Park and late scores against Andover proved the hard work in the wrestling room is paying off. “All the hard work is paying off but we also remind them there is a lot left to do,” Werk said.
The Tornadoes led 44-0 before the marquee match of the evening at 170 pounds in what has developed into a rivalry between Anoka junior Matt Njos (ranked second) and Andover senior Corey Parsons (ranked third).
Parsons won their regular season meeting last year 11-2, but Njos repaid Parsons with a 4-1 win in the Rumble on the Red semifinals at 170 pounds in December.
Both made it to state last season where Parsons placed third at 170 pounds and Njos was sixth at 182.
“You could flip a coin every time those two bulls butt heads,” Anoka co-head coach Todd Springer said. “Cory tore him apart last year and to split the way he did shows we’re in the right place and both of those guys will represent the section well at state.”
Springer is very happy with the way the Tornadoes are performing early in 2014, including Njos’ development, he said.
But Parsons scored a 5-1 win to stop the Anoka shutout in a match that was closer than the four-point difference.
“I was more amped up wrestling here,” Parsons said. “I came out with high intensity like I should’ve done in the first match.”
Njos appeared to score a two-point takedown near the edge of the mat in front of the Tornadoes bench with 38 seconds left in the opening period. No points were awarded as the pair returned to the middle of the mat.
Parsons was the aggressor from the first whistle, looking to ride the wave of energy inside the home gym. But the Anoka faithful made their presence known throughout the close match.
Njos opened the second period in the down position, looking to score an escape point. Forty seconds into the period, Njos escaped to lead 1-0.
Parsons caught Njos a bit off guard on a quick shot after the pair broke apart with 22 seconds left in the period to lead 2-1.
“I saw he wasn’t expecting me to come for it and saw an opening and it paid off,” said Parsons, who reached 150 career wins at the Rumble and still has his eyes on 100 career pins.
Njos let Parsons up to start the third period for a 3-1 lead before Parsons added another takedown in the final moments of the match for a 5-1 final score.
Jason Olson is at