2020 P.I.T. Invitational


Allen Catour, Writer

This past weekend, the Orion wrestling team competed at the Princeton Invitational Tournament on Friday and Saturday. This tournament is considered to be a very tough tournament and even draws comparisons as being similar to state. Ethan Meisenburg (138), Allen Catour (145), Noah Schnerre (152), Weston Ferry (160), Josh Fair (182), Brody Mulvaney (220), and Luke Debaillie (Hwt) all wrestled for the Chargers.

The Chargers had a very successful first day. Ferry was the only wrestler to wrestle first round, where he advanced to the next round with a pin in 5:56. In the second round, Meisenburg, Catour, Schnerre, Fair, Mulvaney, and DeBaille moved to the quarterfinals while Ferry got bumped to the wrestle backs. He’d bounce back and win his next two matches to wrap up the first day.

“Ferry is starting to open up offensively. He has struggled on his feet, but he has a couple of things that he’s started going to and it’s nice to see him improve,” Coach Dan Diamond says.

Meisenburg had the match of the tournament for the Chargers to open up Saturday morning. In his quarterfinal match against Lucas Sutherland from Dakota, he was down 7-2 with time winding down in the third period. A desperation throw by Meisenburg had Sutherland on his back before the ref called a pin at 5:41.

“It’s exceptional that he stayed focused enough to catch a good kid like that and move on to the semifinals.”

Catour, Schnerre, and Mulvaney also advanced to the semis with wins over their opponents. Fair and DeBaille both lost their quarterfinal matches to very tough opponents. Fair lost a close match to Evan Riggle of Dakota, who’d go on to win the tournament, 1-0 while DeBaille was pinned by the number two ranked wrestler in the state, Tyler Elsbury from Byron. The Chargers continued to hit tough competition at all weight classes. Meiseburg, Catour, Schnerre, and Mulvaney all lost their semifinal matches to state ranked opponents. While the losses seem bad, it’s beneficial to see great competition during this part of the season.

“We lost some matches in the semis to kids that were better than us, so we’ve still got some work to do in the next month, but it shows us that we’re right there in the mix,” Diamond comments.

The team was able to bounce back from the rough semifinal round. Meisenburg and Catour would finish in third place, Schnerre and Mulvaney fourth, and Fair in fifth. Everyone that lost in the semis ended up in the third/fourth place match, which says something about the team.

“After losing in the semifinals it’s really hard to regroup because you have to wrestle another match just to get into the third place match. It’s a great attribute to the kids that lost in the semis to see that they didn’t hang their heads down and give up, but instead continued to wrestle hard,” Diamond says.

The team ended up finishing in seventh place, only five points behind Alleman for sixth. Considering Orion took seven guys, their placement as a team is something to be proud of and a key checkpoint this far into the season.

“To finish seventh out of thirty-four schools with only seven guys is quite of an accomplishment. We’re over the midpoint of our season, which is a good measuring stick. Since I’ve been the head coach the only guys to place here have gone on to place at state. Moving forward we have got to stay healthy. We have a really busy January and we just need to stay focused and keep working on improvements.”