Jan. 28, 2011
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming wrestling team made a big statement Friday in Laramie as it pitched its first shutout of the season and defeated South Dakota State 49-0.
The Pokes won their second Western Wrestling Conference dual of the year, and now sit 8-4 overall and 2-0 in conference. On Friday, Wyoming won all 10 matches versus the Jackrabbits - two by forfeit, four by pin, one by major decision and three by decision. It was the largest margin of victory for the Cowboys this season, and their largest since a 42-0 win over Simon Fraser in 2009.
"Those (wins) are nice to have. We got an opportunity for some guys to go out and work on some things, build some leads up," Wyoming coach Mark Branch said. "We got a lot of pins, which was nice. I just told these guys to approach it business-like, no matter what happens. Sometimes when you get on the winning side of lopsided duals, all of a sudden, the attitude changes on the bench and guys aren't serious. It's important to stay serious because the next guy needs to come in and take care of business. They all did that. It would've been frustrating to see anything less."
The night started with a forfeit win for No. 5 Joe LeBlanc at 184 pounds, and from there, everything went Wyoming's way.
L.J. Helbig pinned SDSU's Cord Willers at the 6:43 mark in the 197-pound bout, and heavyweight Matthew McLaughlin followed that up with a 4-1 decision over Kevin Kelly. Those wins gave the Cowboys a 15-0 lead.
No. 18 Michael Martinez battled Aaron Pickrel in the 125-pound match and came out with a 7-3 decision. Tyler Cox won by forfeit in the 133-pound match, and Kasey Garnhart wrestled at 141 pounds for Wyoming and took an 11-6 decision over Tyler Johnson. After those matches, it was 27-0 Wyoming.
Branch lauded the effort of Martinez and Garnhart, both of whom went down 2-0 early thanks to takedowns, but battled back for the win.
"Those guys came out and gave up a takedown early, but they didn't lose their focus," Branch said. "Both guys kept grinding away and eventually took the match away and didn't even leave it up in the air. That was good to see."
No. 18 Cole Dallaserra pinned SDSU's Andrew Youngblom at 5:24, after taking a 16-1 lead in the third period. Jimmy Belleville took only 1:44 to pin Rex Lyon, and Shane Onufer kept his flawless record intact by pinning Joe Rasmussen at 4:05. Onufer now is 22-0 on the season.
Patrick Martinez capped off the perfect night for the Pokes, winning a 16-4 major decision over David Michaud.
"Overall, it was a real solid effort, and those guys should feel good about the way they came out and wrestled," Branch said.
Up next is a matchup with WWC foe North Dakota State at 1 p.m. Sunday in the UniWyo Sports Complex. But the Cowboys aren't expecting to roll over the Bison, who have a strong resume thus far.
"I think you do have to wipe the slate clean, because you can't expect that Sunday," Branch said. "We have to come out very much on our toes and be ready to wrestle. North Dakota State is a good team. We can't let our guard down, for sure.
"The most important thing in these conference matches (is) right now, it affects the next month. If you fall asleep at the wheel and let something bad happen, it can come back and haunt you. Individually, we've got to do the things that are going to put us in good position for March."