Despite a strong showing from the experienced talent, the Dallas Center-Grimes wrestling team fell in their season opener to conference foe Norwalk 42-27.

The contest actually started out quite strong for the host Mustangs as Logan Gard got things started and gave DC-G a 3-0 lead following a 6-2 decision final. The biggest highlights on the night came from some returning names including Trevon Wells. The reigning state tournament qualifier and eighth-ranked Class 3A 132 pound wrestler made it look easy as he picked up a 9-6 decision. Such a task was a tall order as the senior faced off against the fourth-ranked wrestler in Norwalk’s Keaton Moret.

Perhaps the quickest victory for the Mustangs on the night came from Class 3A’s third-ranked 160-pound wrestler in Luke Fistler. The two-time state tournament participant took just 1:22 before capturing his first victory of the 2019-20 campaign by pin-fall. The experience continued right after Fistler’s victory as Garrett Morris, eighth-ranked at 170 pounds, drew the patch all the way to the 3:43 mark before tasting victory by pin-fall in dramatic fashion. Despite several other close calls, Zach Needham (eighth-ranked at 182 pounds), rounded out the victories for DC-G, capturing his win by 11-4 decision.

Even with the impressive victories by the experienced veterans, perhaps the bigger storyline involved the variety of close calls that could have tipped the scales in favor of DC-G. That included Caden Fenn at 145 pounds in a lengthy battle that lasted 5:01 before falling by pin-fall. Connor Pertzsch also came inches away from victory in a narrow 9-8 decision loss.

“There were a lot of close matches that just didn’t quite go our way tonight,” said head coach Cory Stratton. “The guys wrestled well tonight but we just fell short.”

It was still one of the stronger season openers for the Mustangs and one that showed a lot for coach Stratton.

“I thought that the guys who had a lot of experience wrestled really well,” began Stratton. “I thought for the guys with less experience, they were in their matches but one little thing cost them. Overall I’m excited to see where the team can go from here.”

The Mustang grapplers won’t have long to mull over their loss as they get back into action on Saturday, Dec. 7 with the DC-G Invitational. It will be a 13 team field for the Mustangs to go up against with a start time of 10 a.m.