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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 24, 2017

Fritz, Lunsford have ‘momentum’

By ALLAN MANDELL, LEDGER SPORTS EDITOR | Feb 16, 2017
Photo by: ALLAN MANDELL Michael Fritz, left, embraces Brendon Lunsford after Lunsford captured the District Meet championship in the 285-pound weight class.

Fairfield senior Michael Fritz and junior Brendon Lunsford will be participating in the 2017 State Wrestling Tournament tonight at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

“Iowa is known for its wrestling and especially its State Wrestling Tournament,” said Trojan head coach Steve Miller. “Michael and Brendon both have a tremendous amount of momentum.”

On Saturday at Fairfield High School, Fritz won the District Meet championship in the 195-pound class. Down 6-3 with seven seconds left in the title contest, Fritz pulled off an almost unfathomable comeback, scoring four points in those seven seconds — and winning 7-6.

“That was awesome to see,” Miller said.

“That was pure craziness,” said Fritz’s teammate Jonah Cooper. “I lost my voice during those seven seconds.”

Lunsford punched his ticket to state in the 285-pound class with two impressive wins in the District Meet, winning the championship match 7-4.

Lunsford was unranked going into the meet, an insult he used to help fuel his championship ride.

“Brendon moves his feet well and he’s athletic,” Miller said. “Those two things can go a long way in the heavyweight division. Plus, Brendon is a finisher. To be successful in this sport it is essential you be a strong finisher — and that’s Brendon.”

Saturday was a big day for Cooper, too. Just a freshman, Cooper competed in the 106-pound class.

Miller said it was quite an accomplishment to make it to district as a frosh.

While Cooper wasn’t able to pull off a win in his two matches, he was competitive.

“Being one of the few freshmen that are here made this a fun experience for me,” Cooper said. “It’s a lot of pressure to compete in front of such a large crowd but it was an honor to be here.

“At the beginning of this season, I had no idea I’d make it this far.”

Trojan senior Dallas Peebler (126) also competed at the District Meet and he, too, was competitive.

Beaten in his first match, Peebler nearly won his second, almost pulling off a reversal and pin.

“I went for it,” Peebler said. “I tried to catch him and almost did.

“Overall, it was a good experience. It meant a lot to me to have been able to get here.”

It meant a lot to Miller, too.

“I was extremely proud of Dallas because he fought the entire time,” Miller said. “And I was extremely proud of Cooper, too, who also never stopped fighting. They both had such tough brackets but I’m glad they were both able to smile at the end of this day — they gave it everything they had. They competed.”

And Miller again expressed his full confidence in Fritz and Lunsford moving forward.

“Everyone has earned their ticket to state,” Miller said. “A lot of times, nervous energy can drain a kid of his strength at state. It will come down to the guys who say, ‘I’m here to wrestle, I’m here to have fun and I’m here to perform.’

“I know my two guys will wrestle, have fun and perform — and I want our two guys to get on the award stand.”

 

Sports@ffledger.com

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