CANBY - A week after winning the Section 3A team wrestling tournament and securing their third straight trip to the state tournament, the Minneota wrestling team seems almost primed to bring their team to the individual tournament.
With 10 kids left in the championship semifinals, and 13 of their 14 wrestlers still alive, the Vikings led the way amongst the 10 teams at the Section 3A individual tournament, which started in Canby on Friday.
"We put together a good team," said Minneota head coach Joel Skillings, "and this is a big bonus for them to try and earn a trip individually."
Photo by Joe Brown
Canby’s Austin Campbell, left, hangs on tight to the leg of Yellow Medicine East’s Dylan Johnson during their 126-pound match at Day 1 of the Section 3A individual tournament at Canby High School. Johnson won in a 6-4 decision, advancing to the championship semifinals.
For Minneota, Landyn VanOverbeke (106 pounds), Bryce Bruner (113), Nicolas Esping (120), Andrew Swedzinski (132), Theodore Bueltel (138), Travis Longtin (145), Alex Lessman (152), Isaac Josephson (170), Adam Josephson (195) and Josh VanOverbeke (220) all remain in the championship bracket after going undefeated on Friday.
"Almost everybody's still alive, getting some experience and learning the ropes," Skillings said. "It's a great section. There's a lot of great kids in this thing and everyone's real competitive. Sometimes, you have to make sure you wrestle sound and let the chips fall where they may."
Not to be outdone, Wabasso/Red Rock Central, the Section 3A runner-up, had 11 wrestlers qualify for the section semifinals on Friday. Among the championship semifinalists are Spencer Jenniges (113), Brandon Goblirsch (120), Derek Christians (126), Dominic Ourada (132), Tanner Rohlik (138), Mitchell Rohlik (152), Blake Altermatt (160), Nathan Mattison (170), Shane Irlbeck (182), Cody Welch (220) and Alex Schroepfer (heavyweight).
Minneota Individual Results
106-Landyn VanOverbeke 1-0; 113-Bryce Bruner 1-0; 120-Nicolas Esping 1-0; 126-Cole Hennen 1-1; 132-Andrew Swedzinski 2-0; 138-Theodore Bueltel 1-0; 145-Travis Longtin 2-0; 152-Alex Lessman 1-0; 160-Keagan Drietz 1-1; 170-Isaac Josephson 1-0; 182-Nathan Bueltel 0-1; 195-Adam Josephson 1-0; 220-Josh VanOverbeke 1-0; HWT-Doug VanKeulen 0-2.
Wabasso/RRC Individual Results
106-Cole Werner 0-2; 113-Spencer Jenniges 1-0; 120-Brandon Goblirsch 1-0; 126-Derek Christians 1-0; 132-Dominic Ourada 1-0; 138-Tanner Rohlik 1-0; 145-Mitchell Schroepfer 1-1; 152-Mitchell Rohlik 1-0; 160-Blake Altermatt 2-0; 170-Nathan Mattison 1-0; 182-Shane Irlbeck 1-0; 220-Cody Welch 1-0; HWT-Alex Schroepfer 1-0.
Canby Individual Results
106-Konnor King 1-1; 113-Jack Citrowske 1-0; 126-Austin Campbell 1-1; 132-Levi Citrowske 0-1; 138-John Deslauriers 1-0; 145-Cedric Citrowske 1-0; 152-Christian Full 1-1; 160-Hayden Goplen 0-2; 170-Matt Jelen 1-0; 182-Chris Kaddatz 1-0; 195-Cole Regnier 0-2; HWT-David Bursack 1-0.
YME Individual Results
106-Isaac Rillo 1-1; 113-Evan Knudson 1-0; 126-Dylan Johnson 1-0; 132-Kirby Winson 1-1; 138-Wyatt Hatch 0-1; 145-Zach Fischer 0-2; 152-Ethan Ator 0-2; 160-Aaron Lalim 1-1; 170-Ted Refsland 0-1; 182-Oscar Arce 0-1; 195-Cody Bossman 1-0; HWT-Tim Savig 0-1.
Last season in Class 3AA, the Bobcats had 10 wrestlers go undefeated on the first day of sections, and with a new section, the Section 3A regulars know the challenge that Wabasso/RRC brings everyone.
"It makes a tough section even tougher," said Yellow Medicine East head coach Dave Wingert. "You throw in a team like that and every kid is solid.
"It toughens up our section, but steel sharpens steel. You get a team like that, we have to raise our game up that much more."
For the Sting's part, Evan Knutson (113), Dylan Johnson (126) and Cody Bossman (195) all moved on to the semifinals. Knutson remains the top seed at 113 pounds, so his advancement was no surprise. But Wingert was pleased with the efforts of Johnson and Bossman to break through and get to the championship semis.
Both guys wrestled to win," Wingert said. "Cody has seen (Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg's Austin) Rothers multiple times this year, and they've beat each other multiple times. We knew it was going to be a dogfight and it was until the last second.
"Dylan wrestled hard (against Canby's Austin Campbell) for all six minutes and got the win there."
Host Canby, which made a return to the 3A final four last weekend, had six wrestlers reach the semifinals: Jack Citrowske (113), John Deslauriers (138), Cedric Citrowske (145), Matt Jelen (170), Chris Kaddatz (182) and David Bursack (heavyweight).
Lancers head coach Scott Snobl was quick to praise Jack Citrowske for a 9-7 come-from-behind win by decision against MACCRAY/Renville County West's Trevor Fagen.
"He got into a little bit of a scramble and got the kid on his back," Snobl said. "That was a big win for Jack to come back against a solid kid from MACCRAY. And that's a good weight class."
At heavyweight, Bursack put together a pinfall victory against BOLD's Nick Steffel at 1 minute, 58 seconds. Snobl said it was a bit of redemption for the Canby senior.
"The kid he faced majored him early in the year in our dual meet," Snobl said. "David caught him on his back and got him with two seconds left."
The Lancers had only one wrestler, Travis Longhenry, qualify for the state tournament last season. And while Longhenry lasted longer than any wrestler in the area, finishing second in the state at heavyweight, Snobl is hoping to bring a bigger group to St. Paul next week.
"The individual tournament is based on what you want to do," Snobl said. "It comes down to heart and desire, and just getting your hand raised. Sometimes it's pretty, sometimes it's ugly, but just get your hand raised."
Starting at 10 a.m. today, the Section 3A individual tournament finishes up at Canby High School.
"It'll heat up (Saturday) real quick," Skillings said. "Some of those guys on the mat know each other and they have familiarity. The other part is there is some rivalries there. There's just so many factors that kind of come to play. It should be fun."