DAWSON - Disappointed after falling to Windom/Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin in the Section 3AA team championship, the Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley wrestling team pushed to bring as many individuals as it could to the individual tournament.
With the home crowd by their side, the United sent six wrestlers to the state tournament, including three section champions, during Day 2 of the Section 3AA individual tournament at the Dawson-Boyd Community Center.
"It's always nice to go down there with a full squad," said United senior Sam Haas. "It always helps the nerves being with your buddies."
Photo by Joe Brown
Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove’s Brad Schmidt gets his hand raised after winning the 195-pound championship match over Adrian Area’s Adam Garms during Day 2 of the Section 3AA individual tournament Saturday in Dawson. Schmidt heads to state for the first time after pinning Garms in 1 minute, 16 seconds.
Spearheading D-B/LQPV's charge on Saturday was the experienced group of Haas, John Weeding and JD Struxness, who won their weight classes at 160, 126 and 220 pounds, respectively. With Saturday's results, the trio has 10 state appearances combined, with Haas heading to St. Paul for the fifth time.
"The Xcel is a great place, awesome atmosphere," said Haas, who defeated Adrian's Mitchell Sieve in a 9-1 decision.
"Hopefully, we can go down there this year and get some hardware."
Marshall Individual Results
106-6. Kesmond Willert 1-3; 113-Nick Erbes 2-2; 120-4. Brent Breczinski 2-2; 126-5. Riley Roth 2-2; 132-Ramzi Gregoire 1-2; 138-Matt Facile 0-2; 145-Garrett Maxwell 0-2; 160-6. Jarrett Louwagie 1-2; 182-2. Campbell Hofstetter 3-1 ; 195-4. Jared Holland 2-2; 220-4. Justin Varpness 3-2; HWT-4. Austin Nath 2-2.
Dawson-Boyd/LQPV Individual Results
106-4. Jordan Bothun 4-2; 113-Action Herman 0-2; 120-2. TJ Fulton 4-1; 126-1. John Weeding 4-0; 132-Jalen Baldwin 1-2; 138-3. Keith Abraham 4-2; 145-Wyatt Ireland 0-2; 152-2. Garth Ochsendorf 4-1; 160-1. Sam Haas 3-0; 170-Joe Weeding 0-2; 182-3. Jordan Staab 3-2; 195-3. Jared Roiland 3-2; 220-1. JD Struxness 3-0; HWT-Brandon Schmitt 4-1.
TMB/WWG Individual Results
106-5. Logan Axford 3-2; 113-5. Caleb Christian 3-2; 120-5. Brandon Schroeder 3-2; 138-4. Joe Ruppert 3-2; 145-5. Cody Christian 2-2; 152-5. Austin Peterson 2-2; 160-Tanner Michelson 2-2; 195-1. Brad Schmidt 4-0.
Fulda/Murray County Central Individual Results
106-Ben Blanchette 0-2; 113-Clayton Hartle 1-2; 120-Tate Meyer 0-2; 126-Dalton Keeler 0-2; 132-Austin Kluis 4-0; 138-6. Jordan Clarke 2-3; 145-Tanner Nelson 0-2; 152-Alex Sandhurst 1-2; 170-2. Ben Loosbrock 3-1; 182-Dylan Nelson 0-2; 220-5. Brian Behrends 3-2; HWT-6. Arron Benson 1-3.
The Minnesota state individual wrestling tournament gets underway on Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Three other United wrestlers qualified for the state tournament by taking second place in their weight class with TJ Fulton (120 pounds), Garth Ochsendorf (152) and Brandon Schmitt. Fulton and Schmitt qualified by winning in true second-place matches, with Fulton topping Morris Area/Hancock/Chokio-Alberta's Evan Nelson in an 8-5 decision, while Schmitt defeated Fairmont/Martin County West's Colton Hines in a 3-0 decision.
Coming into the individual tournament at 34-3, Sturxness ran the 220-pound bracket to cement his second-straight trip to state. Winning all his matches by pinfall, Struxness ended the tournament with an exclamation point, pinning Fairmont/MCW's Jovan Ramos in 1 minute, 33 seconds.
"I just wanted to wrestle hard and get them done as quick as I could," Struxness said. "That's what I was gunning for."
Defeating Adrian Area's Nate Loosbrock in a 7-2 decision to clinch a third-straight trip to state, Weeding has his sights set high after medaling twice at state (3rd as a sophomore, 5th as a junior).
"I'm going to push it even harder in practice this week," Weeding said. "Hopefully I can get to the top and hopefully bring home a state championship."
At 132 pounds, Fulda/Murray County Central senior Austin Kluis secured his third trip to state, picking up a decision over Adrian Area's Ben Mulder. Elated after the win, Kluis stormed the stands, getting hugs from family and high-fives from the Warrior faithful.
"I've wrestled (Mulder) every year in this section tournament since ninth grade," said Kluis, who is ranked sixth at 132 pounds. "I knew he had a good outside low single and he's good on his feet, so I did what I could to overcome that."
Ben Loosbrock will also represent Fulda/MCC at state after taking second place at 170 pounds.
With a 33-5 record gaining him the top seed at 195 pounds, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove senior Brad Schmidt had a dilemma in practice this week. The Panthers have been slim at the heavier weights, and Schmidt was usually stuck wrestling coaches. But in preparation for this week, Schmidt said former TMB/WWG wrestler Matt Wakefield came back from college to help his friend train. Wakefield qualified for the state tournament last year at 220 pounds.
"He set the bar high for me so I could make it down (to St. Paul) this year," Schmidt said.
The extra bit of preparation paid off for Schmidt, who won the 195-pound bracket with a pinfall over Adrian Area's Adam Garms at 1:16.
"I'm so excited right now," Schmidt said after the match. "I worked hard all season to get to the big show, and I'm so happy right now."
It was also a unique week of preparation for Marshall's Campbell Hofstetter, who moved up to 182 pounds for the section tournament.
"I wrestled some of my best friends on the team who are up higher at 195, 220 and up to heavyweight," Hofstetter said. "Getting ready for this week getting up to 182, I got to wrestle bigger guys to get used to the feel and get used to how much more weight they had on me."
Winning his first match in an 11-5 decision over D-B/LQPV's Jordan Staab, Hofstetter qualified for the 182-pound championship match. He fell by pinfall against No. 10-ranked Vincent Johnson of Windom/MLBO.
Finishing second at 182 pounds, the junior Hofstetter will head to state for the first time.
"I've been working for this since seventh grade," said Hofstetter, who enters the state tournament with a 28-13 record. "Now, I'm just happy to get to the state tournament. It's one of my goals that I set at the beginning of the year and I'm really glad I reached it."