ST. PAUL -- For an underclassman, losing in the state wrestling tournament should provide the drive to work in the offseason and return to state with a vengeance next year.
Little Falls Flyers sophomore Ted Wilczek hopes that will happen. Fifth-ranked Dan Tabbert of Simley pinned Wilczek at 5:31 in the fifth-place match in Class 3A at 119 pounds Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center.
Tabbert had pinned Wilczek in the opening round Thursday.
"We were actually ahead and (Tabbert) got a defensive pin against us," Flyers coach Mike Hendrickson said of the earlier match between the two. "It wasn't all (Tabbert's) doing, so we hoped to get a rematch there, and we got it of course.
"We hoped to turn it around and it didn't happen.
"He's tough with those legs. Actually, Ted's (three) losses (at state) were to guys with the legs. The (consolation semifinal) match he lost 9-2 and every single point the guy scored was from a leg ride."
Wilczek, who took Gabbert down early for a 2-0 lead before getting pinned, finished his second varsity season 29-10.
"I just want to improve on it for next year, try and do a little better," Wilczek said.
Hendrickson said nearly 30 wins is a huge season for a sophomore.
"Hopefully he'll be back and move up the ladder," the Flyers' coach said.
Wilczek and fellow sophomore Troy Biermaier (140), a state entrant who lost his only match Thursday, give the Flyers a nucleus around which to build next season.
"We graduate a small handful of seniors, so we're looking to the future," Hendrickson said. "Chris Roach was in the state tournament last year as a ninth-grader so he would have been our third sophomore. He was in a car accident and was injured toward the end of the season and he wasn't able to wrestle. So that looks good on paper."
Class 3A Individual tournament
119 -- Consolation semifinals-Clark Lensing (Totino Grace) dec. Ted Wilczek (LF) 9-2, Fifth place-Dan Tabbert (Simley) pinned Wilczek 5:31, Wilczek finishes 29-10
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