UNC's Hendrickson finishes sixth in state wrestling debut

United North Central's Ethan Hendrickson brought home a medal in his first trip to the state Class A wrestling tournament. Hendrickson placed sixth in the 106-pound bracket Saturday (March 2) at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul to cap off a 37-...

United North Central's Ethan Hendrickson brought home a medal in his first trip to the state Class A wrestling tournament.

Hendrickson placed sixth in the 106-pound bracket Saturday (March 2) at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul to cap off a 37-6 freshman season.

During the opening rounds on Friday (March 1), Hendrickson used a second-period reversal for a 2-0 minor decision over Border West's Eli Larson in his first match before being thrown into the wrestlebacks with a 13-3 loss to Zumbrota-Mazeppa's Michael Majerus, the No. 1 seed. Majerus used a pair of takedowns to take a 4-1 lead in the first period, added a takedown for a 6-1 lead in the second period, and sealed the win with a pair of takedowns and a nearfall in the third period.

In the consolation bracket, Hendrickson posted a 15-5 major decision over Medford's Alex Helgeson to stay alive. Hendrickson used a pair of takedowns in the first period to build a 4-1 lead, followed an escape with two takedowns in the second period for a 9-2 advantage and added three more takedowns in the third period.

The UNC freshman earned a spot on the podium with a 3-0 minor decision over Jackson County Central's Logan Butzon in a consolation quarterfinal match Saturday morning. A first-period takedown and third-period escape gave Hendrickson the win. Hendrickson then lost his final two matches to finish in sixth place. In the consolation semifinals, a first-period escape, second-period takedown and third-period point for stalling gave Hendrickson a 4-2 advantage before Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa's Walker Bents recorded a nearfall with 12 seconds remaining for a 5-4 victory. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City's Cole Holien then defeated Hendrickson 9-4 in the fifth-place match. Hendrickson, who was the No. 8 seed and rated No. 3 in the state Class A poll, finished the season with a 38-6 record. Hendrickson, who started the season rated No. 5 in the state and was ranked as high as No. 2, advanced to state by winning the Section 8A title.


Sibley East's Drayden Morton defeated Majerus 6-2 in the title match. Morton, who was the No. 2 seed and rated No. 1 in the state poll, ended the year with a 44-1 record while Majerus ended at 40-10. Bents defeated Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg's Coy Gunderson 4-2 in the third-place match. Bents, who was the No. 6 seed and rated No. 2-rated in the state, capped off the season with a 45-6 record while Gunderson (who was the No. 4 seed and rated No. 6 in the state) finished at 41-5. Holien, who was rated No. 7 in the state, posted a 37-10 record this season.

Clark, Dravis denied medals

Park Rapids' Ashton Clark and Cody Dravis were looking to cap off their senior seasons by returning to the podium at the state Class AA wrestling tournament.

Both saw late leads disappear in the closing seconds of their early matches and were eliminated on Friday.

Clark, the No. 3 seed and the state's No. 4-rated wrestler at 120 pounds, held a 4-0 lead in his first-round match before Mankato East sophomore Spencer Ruedy used a reversal and nearfall in the final 20 seconds to rally for a 5-4 minor decision. Clark was denied a second match when Ruedy dropped a 9-2 decision to Big Lake's Rocco Visci in the quarterfinals. Clark, who recovered from a fractured fibula in time to win the Section 8AA title, ended his senior season with a 19-1 record. This marked Clark's fifth trip to state. Clark qualified for state at 106 as an eighth grader, placed fifth at 106 as a freshman, was the state runner-up at 106 as a sophomore and was the state runner-up at 113 last season as a junior.

Dravis opened with an 8-0 major decision loss to Simley senior Jacob Hageman, the No. 3 seed and the state's No. 3-ranked wrestler. Dravis, who was rated No. 7 in the state, received another match when Hageman pinned Fairmont-Martin County West junior Nathan Simmonds in 3:35 in the quarterfinals. In the first round of the consolation bracket, Dravis built an 8-2 lead with a pair of nearfalls and a reversal in the second period and held an 11-6 lead with three escapes in the third period before Simmonds rallied for a 13-12 decision with a takedown with 14 seconds to go and a takedown and nearfall with :01 remaining. Dravis, who qualified for his fourth state meet as the Section 8AA runner-up, ended his senior season with a 36-6 record. Dravis was a state qualifier at 145 as an eighth grader and at 152 as a freshman before placing third at 170 as a sophomore.

Simley freshman Chase DeBlaere defeated Fairmont-Martin County West sophomore Jaxson Rohman 7-5 in the title match at 120. DeBlaere was the No. 1 seed and rated No. 1 in the state while Rohman was the No. 2 seed and rated No. 2. DeBlaere capped off a 50-2 season while Rohman finished 47-4. Princeton's Landen Parent, who was rated No. 4 at 113, defeated Kasson-Mantorville's Robby Horsman, who was rated No. 3 in the state, 11-3 in the third-place match. Parent ended with a 24-4 record while Horsman finished at 35-11. In the fifth-place match, Big Lake's Rocco Visci (who was rated No. 7) pinned Delano's Reier Sjomeling (who was rated No. 6) in 5:31 as Visci capped off the season at 25-7 and Sjomeling ended at 25-9.

In the 160-pound bracket, Kasson-Mantorville's Bennett Berge (the No. 2 seed and No. 2-rated wrestler) edged top-seeded and top-ranked Cade Mueller of Waconia 3-2 in the title match. Berge finished at 42-4 while Mueller ended at 50-2. Scott West's Jace Demmers (who was rated No. 6) defeated Hageman 4-3 for third place as Demmers ended a 44-9 season while Hageman ended at 35-11. In the fifth-place match, Litchfield's Logan Nelson (who was rated No. 5) defeated Pierz's Reese Kapsner (the No. 4 seed who was rated No. 4 in the state) 6-2. Nelson had a 32-4 record this season while Kapsner, who defeated Dravis for the section title, finished with a 38-6 record.


UNC's Tellers, Ness ousted

UNC's Isaac Tellers lost both his matches while Eion Ness went 1-2 in their state debuts.

Ness opened the 145-pound bracket with an 11-3 loss to Caledonia's Kyle Cavanaugh, the No. 1 seed. Ness received another match when Cavanaugh pinned Aitkin's Tyler Spolarich in 2:39 in the quarterfinals. In the consolation round, Ness overcame a 4-1 deficit by pinning Spolarich in 4:02 to stay alive. Ness had his freshman season come to a close with a 9-0 loss to Goodhue's Baxter O'Reilly during Saturday's consolation quarterfinals. Ness ended the season with a 33-14 record. Cavanaugh captured the state title while O'Reilly placed sixth.

Tellers saw his senior season come to an end with a pair of losses. Kenyon-Wanamingo's Jeron Matson, the No. 1 seed at 120 pounds, pinned Tellers in 1:17 and followed with a 5-4 win over Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City's Kelvin Andrade-Ponce in the quarterfinals to give Tellers another match. Andrade-Ponce used two takedowns and a reversal to build a 6-0 lead in a 7-3 decision to eliminate Tellers in the consolation round. Tellers concluded the season with a 9-7 record while Matson went on to win the state title.

1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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