Pike, Ritter qualify for state wrestling tournament
Park Rapids' Danny Pike and Brandon Ritter were counting on runner-up finishes at the Section 8A wrestling tournament at Glyndon to earn trips to state.
Pike, who qualified for state as the section runner-up at 160 pounds last season, returned to state as a senior with a runner-up showing at 171 pounds Saturday while Ritter won a true-second match in the heavyweight bracket to earn his first state trip.
As the No. 2 seed, Pike opened the tournament by pinning West Marshall's Justin Haugtvedt in 3:37 in Friday's quarterfinals and followed with a 12-2 major decision over Greenbush's Timm Ingle in Friday's semifinals. In the finals, Pike dropped an 18-3 technical fall to top-seeded Shawn Johnson of Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton. The win gave Johnson, the No. 4-ranked wrestler in the latest state Class A poll, a 32-4 record while Pike, who is rated No. 10 at 171, fell to 34-4.
Despite the loss in the finals, Pike earned a return trip to state when Ingle edged Frazee's Nate Sandberg 3-2 in overtime in the third-place match.
Ritter had a tougher road to state.
The Park Rapids junior had the choice of wrestling at either 215 or heavyweight. The 210-pounder elected to move up to heavyweight despite having Greenbush's Alex Yeager (who was rated No. 1 in the state entering the section meet) and Mahnomen's Jordan McArthur (who was rated No. 4 in the state) as the favorites to earn the two state berths.
Ritter, the No. 3 seed in the section, pinned Frazee's Brett Gildersleeve in 1:47 in the quarterfinals before pinning McArthur, the No. 2 seed, in 4:55 in the semifinals. Ritter led 3-1 before a takedown set up a pin and a spot in the finals.
In the championship match, Yeager pinned Ritter in 56 seconds to back up his No. 1 seed and claim the section title.
When D-G-F's Jake Hanson pinned McArthur in 4:29 and defeated Gildersleeve 11-6 for third place, Ritter had to face Hanson in a true-second match for the other state berth.
Ritter ended Hanson's run by pinning the D-G-F junior in 1:05 to advance to state with a 23-7 record.
Despite seeing both wrestlers fall in the finals, Park Rapids head coach Matt Clark was happy to be sending two wrestlers to state.
"We thought Danny had a very good chance of advancing to state. He lost to (Johnson) before, but we believed he could beat everyone else in his bracket and he did," said Clark. "Brandon had a different situation. A few days before the section tournament we decided to put him at 285 rather that 215. We knew he would have to beat (McArthur) to make it to the finals. We were confident he could do it, and he did. He had a great tournament."
Pike and Ritter will open the state tournament Friday at the Xcel Energy Center. Pike faces Paynesville's Matt Doom while Ritter opens against LeSueur-Henderson's Aaron Bruihler. Doom is rated No. 2 at 171 while Bruihler is rated No. 8 at 285. Both Park Rapids wrestlers will be looking to advance to Saturday's finals.
"Danny has a tough draw, but he has been down to the state tournament before and if you are going to place, you will have to beat rated kids," said Clark. "Brandon is in a great situation. He is the unknown kid in his bracket. If he wrestles to his ability, he could have another great tournament."
Four other Panthers contend
The Panthers had a great section tournament as four other wrestlers also contended for state berths.
Zachary Steffen, the No. 4 seed at 140, lost his quarterfinal match but advanced through the wrestlebacks to earn a true-second match. Steffen had his state quest fall short with an 8-0 loss to Mahnomen's Garrett Hoffner.
Adam Branstrom also earned a true-second match at 145. Branstrom, the No. 5 seed, was pinned by Frazee's Casey Nunn in the semifinals and was pinned by Crookston's Blake Bergeron in the true-second match.
Forrest Drury also had a chance to qualify for state, but the No. 4 seed lost an 8-4 decision to Greenbush's TeJay Wojchowski in the semifinals and dropped a 3-2 decision to D-G-F's Scott Kern in the true-second match at 160.
Ben Baumgartner dropped an 8-2 decision to Frazee's Trevor Stilke in the semifinals and pinned Fertile-Beltrami's Quinten Desrosier in the third-place match. Baumgartner was denied a true-second match when Stilke lost to Greenbush's Isaac Novacek in the championship.
Three other wrestlers placed for the Panthers. Kevin Just, the No. 4 seed, finished fourth at 152; Cole Tretbar, the No. 5 seed, placed fourth at 189; and Laine Jensen, the No. 7 seed, placed sixth at 119.
Also competing for the Panthers at the section meet were Noah Schulz at 125, Zack Tretbar at 130 and Logan Schmaus at 215.
"We had a very good tournament. We wrestled at or above our section seeds," said Clark. "We had a bunch of other placewinners that were one move away from making it to the state meet. In that aspect we are frustrated, but then we did outwrestle our seeds in the section tournament. Overall we did have a very good section tournament."
Malone qualifies for UNC
United North Central also qualified a wrestler for state when Jake Malone claimed runner-up honors at 125. Frazee's Tanner Ellenberg defeated Malone 5-2 in the championship match.
The Warriors also had a couple wrestlers just miss qualifying for state.
Tommy Tellers lost a 6-3 decision to Greenbush's Ryan Bergeron in a true-second match at 103 while Sam Tellers dropped a 6-1 decision to D-G-F's Chad Johnson in a true-second match at 130.
Max Pajari finished third at 135, Mike Johnson placed fourth at 140 and Taylor Carlson placed sixth at 189 for UNC.
103: Isaac Schemerhorn, Frazee, minor decision over Ryan Bergeron, Greenbush, 1-0. True second: Bergeron minor decision over Tommy Tellers, United North Central, 6-3. 112: Isaac Novacek, Greenbush, major decision over Trevor Stilke, Frazee, 13-4. 119: Jordan Kohler, Frazee, major decision over Nate Merten, Crookston, 10-0. True second: Merten minor decision over Steven Henderson, Fertile-Beltrami, 9-4. 125: Tanner Ellenberg, Frazee, minor decision to Jake Malone, United North Central, 5-2. 130: Bruce Lemon, Frazee, pinned Chad Johnson, Dilworth, 5:53. True second: Johnson minor decision over Sam Tellers, United North Central, 6-1. 135: Myrel Schemerhorn, Frazee, major decision over Wyatt Hanson, Crookston, 13-4. 140: Rij Koehnen, Frazee, minor decision over Garret Hoffner, Mahnomen, 4-3. True second: Hoffner major decision over Zachary Steffen, Park Rapids, 8-0. 145: Casey Nunn, Frazee, minor decision over Blake Bergeron, Crookston, 7-3. True second: Bergeron pinned Adam Branstrom, Park Rapids, 2:38. 152: Anthony Caputo, Crookston, minor decision over Cody Piper, Frazee, 8-2. 160: TeJay Wojchowski, Greenbush, minor decision over Scott Kern, Dilworth, 5-0. True second: Kern minor decision over Forrest Drury, Park Rapids, 3-2. 171: Shawn Johnson, Dilworth, 18-3 technical fall over Danny Pike, Park Rapids, 5:40. 189: Kody Sorenson, Frazee, pinned Josh Edlund, Crookston, 3:48. 215: Brody Davidson, Crookston, minor decision over Rick Brandt, Frazee, 1-0. 285: Alex Yeager, Greenbush, pinned Brandon Ritter, Park Rapids, :56. True second: Ritter pinned Jake Hanson, Dilworth, 1:05.
Park Rapids results
Ben Baumgartner (112): pinned Shad Steer, Crookston, 1:12; lost minor decision to Trevor Stilke, Frazee, 8-2; pinned Wyatt Whiteaker, Dilworth, 1:50; pinned Quinten Desrosier, Fertile-Beltrami, :32 (3rd).
Laine Jensen (119): lost minor decision to Brandon Waage, Greenbush, 5-0; pinned Brody Benson, United North Central, :55; lost major decision to Steven Henderson, Fertile-Beltrami, 11-1; pinned by Alex Johnson, Dilworth, 4:23 (6th).
Noah Schulz (125): lost minor decision to Jeremy Duckstad, West Marshall, 22-20 (ot); pinned Sam Haugen, Fertile-Beltrami, 1:39.
Zack Tretbar (130): lost technical fall to Bruce Lemon, Frazee, 3:37; pinned by Ryan McArthur, Mahnomen, 1:36.
Zachary Steffen (140): lost minor decision to Mike Johnson, United North Central, 8-6; pinned Brendon Dostal, Greenbush, 4:06; won minor decision over Ryan Hamernik, Dilworth, 14-11; won minor decision over Johnson 8-1; lost major decision to Garrett Hoffner, Mahnomen, 8-0 (3rd).
Adam Branstrom (145): pinned Jonathan Hoffner, Mahnomen, 3:18; pinned by Casey Nunn, Frazee, 1:28; pinned Austin Fuchs, Dilworth, :28; pinned Hoffner 1:31; pinned by Blake Bergeron, Crookston, 2:38 (3rd).
Kevin Just (152): pinned Austin Hawk, Dilworth, 4:33; lost technical fall to Anthony Caputo, Crookston, 2:45; pinned Hunter Lindberg, Fertile-Beltrami, 1:53; lost technical fall to Tomm Ingle, Badger, 4:28 (4th).
Forrest Drury (160): won minor decision over Cody Osland, Crookston, 7-2; lost minor decision to TeJay Wojchowski, Greenbush, 8-4; pinned Skyler Bergeson, Red Lake County Central, 1:34; won minor decision over Brandon Vanwatermulen, Frazee, 2-0; lost minor decision to Scott Kern, Dilworth, 3-2 (3rd).
Danny Pike (171): pinned Justin Haugtvedt, West Marshall, 3:37; won major decision over Timm Ingle, Greenbush, 12-2; lost 18-3 technical fall to Shawn Johnson, Dilworth, 5:40 (2nd).
Cole Tretbar (189): won major decision over Tyler Johnson, Red Lake County Central, 15-7; pinned by Kody Sorenson, Frazee, 2:32; won minor decision over Taylor Carlson, United North Central, 8-5; pinned by Ben Evans, Greenbush, 1:38 (4th).
Logan Schmaus (215): pinned by Rick Brandt, Frazee, 1:36; lost minor decision to Mason Remund, Dilworth, 10-4.
Brandon Ritter (285): pinned Brett Gildersleeve, Frazee, 1:47; pinned Jordan McArthur, Mahnomen, 4:55; pinned by Alex Yeager, Greenbush, :56; pinned Jake Hanson, Dilworth, 1:05 (2nd).
United North Central results
Tommy Tellers (103): pinned Kyle Caputo, Crookston, 2:56; lost minor decision to Isaac Schermerhorn, Frazee, 7-0; pinned Ben Kolling, Red Lake County Central, :41; won minor decision over Mitchel Lundeen, Fertile-Beltrami, 2-0; lost minor decision to Ryan Bergeron, Greenbush, 6-3 (3rd).
Micah Aho (112): pinned by Trevor Stilke, Frazee, :54; won major decision over Gene Snelsinger, Mahnomen, 10-2; lost minor decision to Shad Steer, Crookston, 7-6.
Brody Benson (119): lost minor decision to Nate Merten, Crookston, 4-2 (ot); pinned by Laine Jensen, Park Rapids, :55.
Jake Malone (125): pinned Corey Hasbrouck, Greenbush, 1:04; won minor decision to Cody Weiland, Crookston, 7-5; lost minor decision to Tanner Ellenberg, Frazee, 5-2 (2nd).
Sam Tellers (130): pinned Ryan McArthur, Mahnomen, :34; pinned by Bruce Lemon, Frazee, 3:09; pinned Gunner Gust, Greenbush, 3:40; won minor decision over Zane Baranski, Crookston, 9-7; lost minor decision to Chad Johnson, Dilworth, 6-1 (3rd).
Max Pajari (135): pinned Tyler Hennen, Dilworth, :40; lost minor decision to Wyatt Hanson, Crookston, 5-4; won major decision over Dallas Lanoue, Mahnomen, 9-0; won minor decision over Hennen 3-2 (3rd).
Mike Johnson (140): won minor decision over Zachary Steffen, Park Rapids, 8-6; lost major decision to Rij Koehnen, Frazee, 16-4; pinned Cody Erickson, Crookston, 1:21; lost minor decision to Steffen 8-1 (4th).
Tristan Palmer (145): pinned Austin Fuchs, Dilworth, 3:19; pinned by Casey Nunn, Frazee, 1:03; lost minor decision to Jonathan Hoffner, Mahnomen, 4-2.
Dylan Huttonen (152): lost major decision to Tomm Ingle, Badger, 10-0; lost minor decision to Hunter Lindberg, Fertile-Beltrami, 11-6.
Teague Neuman (160): pinned by Scott Kern, Dilworth, 1:21; lost major decision to Skyler Bergeson, Red Lake County Central, 11-0.
Taylor Carlson (189): lost minor decision to Ben Evans, Greenbush, 4-2; pinned Colton Laymon, West Marshall, 2:00; lost minor decision to Cole Tretbar, Park Rapids, 8-5; lost by injury default to Tyler Johnson, Red Lake County Central (6th).
Bryson Vasey (285): lost minor decision to Jordan McArthur, Mahnomen, 8-2; lost minor decision to Brett Gildersleeve, Frazee, 10-6.
Nevis' Edelman qualifies
Nevis' Garrett Edelman also qualified for the state tournament with a runner-up finish at 215 pounds at Saturday's Section 8AA tournament at Fergus Falls.
Edelman advanced to the finals with an 8-0 major decision over Roseau's Ryan Karl, a pin over Fosston/Bagley's Josh Albright in 3:48, and a 9-3 decision over United Clay Becker's Mat Pepper.
After dropping a 6-4 decision to Perham's Cody Nylander in the title match, Edelman qualified for his first state trip by pinning Thief River Falls' Jon Erickson in 3:14 in a true-second match.
Edelman will carry a 29-6 record into his first-round match against Scott West's Michael Kroells, who is rated No. 1 in the state Class AA poll.
Walker-Hackensack-Akeley/Nevis qualified another wrestler for state when Christopher Zimmer finished second at 189. Zimmer was pinned by Staples-Motley's Chandler Trout in 4:51 of the championship match.
Just missing state berths for the Wolves were Devin Wicks, Blake Wiemann and Collin Huckbody. Wicks lost a 5-3 decision to UCB's Wyatt Wixo in the title match and was pinned by Fergus Falls' Derek Teberg in a true-second match at 140. Wiemann finished third at 145 while Huckbody finished third at 160.
Also placing for Walker-Hackensack-Akeley/Nevis at the section meet were Joe Anderson (fourth at 171), Devin Campbell (sixth at 135) and Brody DeHart (sixth at 285).