BY SETH ROMSA TRIBUNE SPORTS WRITER
Courtesy of the Powell Tribune
Northwest will return home for the final time this season, hosting the Apodaca Duals for the first time in two years after the event was canceled last year due to COVID-19.
“We are trying to put our best team on the mat for the Apodacas this weekend,” coach Jim Zeigler said. “The most important battle is our memorial event that we have here.”
Heading into this weekend Northwest is expecting the return of Brady Lowry, who will slot in at 149 pounds for the Trappers.
Lowry is one of the Trappers who was involved in the bear attack that took place in October, and was sidelined with an injury until his release to wrestle this week.
He is a returning All-American who placed seventh at 149 pounds in 2020 and is expected to help solidify the lineup this weekend.
“Adding Brady to the lineup helps,” Zeigler said. “He got released, he is good to go and he is going to compete Friday night.”
The Apodaca Duals will kick off Friday night with the presentation of the Apodaca Award at 6 p.m. and will be followed by duals between Northwest and Northeastern alongside Western Wyoming and North Idaho.
On Saturday the duals kick off at 9 a.m. with North Idaho facing Northeastern and Iowa Central facing Western Wyoming.
Northwest gets back on the mat at 10:30 a.m. to face North Idaho while Iowa Central will face Northeastern at the same time.
Noon will have the Trappers face Western Wyoming while Iowa Central faces North Idaho.
The final dual of the day scheduled for 1:30 p.m. will be the Trappers against Iowa Central.
REGION IX DUALS
Heading down to Rock Springs over the weekend the No. 7-ranked Northwest College wrestling team finished with a 1-2 record at the Region IX Duals before returning home for the Apodaca Duals this weekend on Friday and Saturday.
At the Region IX Duals in Rock Springs, the Trappers defeated No. 15-ranked Northeastern Junior College despite having three open weights.
Both teams forfeited at 125 pounds, with only Northwest forfeiting at 133 to give the Plainsmen the early 6-0 lead.
No. 1-ranked Bobur Berdiyorov earned a 17-2 technical fall to make it 6-5 before another forfeit at 149 made it 12-5.
Gus Harrison earned a pin at 157 pounds and Orrin Jackson earned a pin at 165 pounds to give the Trappers the lead 17-12.
No. 1-ranked Aziz Fayzullaev then got a first round pin at 174 pounds to extend the lead out to 23-12.
Northeastern earned a victory at 184 pounds to cut into the lead, before No. 3-ranked Ryker Blackburn and No. 10-ranked Cody Pinkerton got pins to give Northwest the 35-15 victory.
“I was really happy with how they wrestled on Friday night,” Zeigler said. “I was really disappointed on Saturday that we had to bite the bullet.”
Heading into the second and third matches, illness struck the Trappers, forcing both Berdiyorov and Blackburn out of the lineup against Otero and Western Wyoming.
The Trappers forfeited at 141 pounds to give a total of four forfeited weight classes guaranteeing 24 points, and had Carter Gines step in at 197 for the two duals.
The Trappers lost the two duals 36-18 to Otero and 44-6 to No. 2-ranked Western Wyoming. Fayzullaev was responsible for half of NWC’s points against Western Wyoming, defeating the No. 2-ranked wrestler at 174 by 6-3 decision.
“There are times where you have to swallow your pride and protect your kids when they are sick and not getting them hurt, when they can’t defend themselves,” Zeigler said.