Posted 2/23/11 (Wed)
By Frank Fish
Watford City had a great showing at the State Class B Wrestling Tournament as the Wolves placed in sixth place with 108 points. Seven wrestlers placed at this year’s meet.
Brady Lund led the Wolves with a second place finish. Jake Thomas and Karson Knudtson took third place for Watford City, while Kalin Mogen finished in fourth place. Also placing for Watford City was Isaac Laris with a fifth place finish, Trevor Kalberer with a seventh place finish, and Nolan Kalberer with an eighth place finish.
Oakes won the tournament with 152 points claiming five champions and one eighth-placer, followed by Lisbon with 152 points. South Border, the Dual Meet Champions, was third with 143 points, and Region 2 Champion, Carrington, was fourth with 139 points. Rounding out the top-10 finishers was Napoleon, fifth, 113.5 points; Killdeer, seventh, with 103 points; New Salem, eighth, with 89 points; Central Cass, ninth, with 73 points; and Rolla, tenth, with 72 points.
Individual results for Watford City wrestlers were as follows.
At 112 pounds, Jake Scott had probably the worst luck of any of the local wrestlers. Scott drew the No. 8 seed Jaron Lunday, Grafton, and lost a close match, 8-4. In the wrestle- backs, his first opponent was the No. 1 seed Jerad Lee-Gay, Killdeer. Lee-Gay had a record of 34-1 but lost his first round match, so he, too, ended up in the wrestle-backs. Scott lost to Lee-Gay, 9-3, and nearly got a pin as time ran out in the match. Scott was eliminated from the tournament and did not place.
Isaac Laris, at 119 pounds, was not seeded and had to wrestle the No. 5 seed Jesse Schurman, North Border, in the first round. Laris defeated Schurman, a freshman with a 30-5 record, by major decision 12-2. In the quarterfinals, Laris was pinned by Justin Thomas, Des Lacs-Burlington, the No. 4 seed, in 1:54. In the wrestle-backs, he earned a 13-2 major decision over Joe Bakke, Carrington, and then beat Logan House, Central Cass, 2-0, before losing to Logan Schaper, Killdeer, the No. 3 seed, 6-1. In the fifth place match, Laris decisioned Andrew Leier, Linton, the No. 7 seed, 7-1. It was a great tournament for Laris. He had five wins and three losses in the three-day event.
At 130 pounds, Trevor Kalberer lost his first match to the eventual runner-up, Ryan Becker, Napoleon, the No. 2 seed, 8-2, and then came back in the wrestle-backs with a pin over Dylan Stewart, Rolla, in 2:39 and a pin over the Wyatt Morten, Larimore, the No. 8 seed in 3:28 before being pinned by the No. 4 seed Wyatt Aberle, Lisbon, in 3:45. Kalberer was awarded seventh place when his opponent, Derrick Cassey, the No. 3 seed, defaulted because of an injury in a previous match.
Brady Lund, the No. 1 seed at 135 pounds, started the tournament with two pins and a major decision on Thursday and Friday. His first-round win was by pin over Trae Kautzman, Kindred, in 2:28, and then he earned a 12-0 major decision over No. 8 seed Cody Idso, Mayville-Portland. He then pinned the No. 4 seed Brock Nagel, Linton, in the semifinals. Lund was then beaten in the finals by the No. 2 seed Cody Voegeli, Oakes, 5-2. Lund and Voegeli had wrestled once before in the New Salem Tournament with Lund winning that match.
Lund completed his wrestling career at Watford City High School with a 176-18 win-loss record, and placed at State five times. He was in the State Finals four times and was the State Champion once.
At 140 pounds, Jake Thomas had a great tournament. After losing a couple of close matches in the New Salem Tournament, Thomas was seeded fourth in the State Meet, and was headed for a repeat match with the No. 1 wrestler in the class, Sean Elkins, Hettinger. That match never came about as Thomas won his first match by fall over Nathan Schmaltz, Velva, in 1:30, but was then slightly upset by the No 5 seed Garrett Thompson, Rugby, 9-6. To come back for third, Thomas pinned Braden Overson, Kenmare, in 20 seconds and then Nicholas Becker, Napoleon, in 26 seconds, and then avenged one of his New Salem losses by beating Hunter Mairs, Lisbon, 5-3. In the third place match, he was up against Garrett Thompson, Rugby, again, and this time Thomas prevailed, winning by decision 2-1.
Thomas also has had a fantastic career, placing in seventh, eighth, third and third at State the last four years while amassing a 166-75 career record.
At 145 pounds, Austin Garmann, only a sophomore, ran into some tough guys, and did not place. In the first round, he was pinned by the eventual runner-up, Brandon Gussiaas, Carrington, in 1:48, and was pinned by the No. 3 seed Colten Lee, Velva, in 2:24. The tournament was a great experience for Garmann as far as his getting to see what a big tournament is like. Next year in Bismarck, he should not have all the big tournament jitters.
Karson Knudtson came in as the No. 2 seed at 152 pounds, and had not been beaten by a North Dakota Class B wrestler all year. His first two matches went as planned with a pin in 1:12 in the first round over Zach Todd, Mayville-Portland, followed by a pin over No. 7 seed Race Heitkamp, Kindred, in 5:59. In the semifinals, he ran up against a former State Champion and fourth-place finisher from last year, Sheldon Dewald, Napoleon. Dewald did not wrestle in the New Salem Tournament, so Knudtson did not have a chance to wrestle him. Dewald won the semifinal match, 7-4, and went on to place second in the tournament. Knudtson had to win two more matches to place third and did so by decisioning Andrew Jochim, South Border, 11-1, and then Heitkamp again, 9-4.
Knudtson also wrapped up a great career at W.C.H.S with a fifth place at State last year, and a third place finish this year. His leadership and his hard work ethics will be extremely difficult to match next season.
At 160 pounds, Nolan Kalberer had a great tournament. In his first round, he pinned McCrae Danks, New Town, in 5:44. Danks and Kalberer had split matches during the season, with Danks winning the last one. In the quarterfinals, Kalberer lost to the eventual runner-up Wilson Holloway, Rolla, by fall in 4:30. In the wrestler-backs, he pinned Trenton Ptacek, Oakes, in 2:26 before losing to Anthony Dukart, Killdeer, 8-3. In the seventh place match, Kalberer wrestled one of his best matches of the year but lost, 6-4, to the No. 5 seed Dalton Reinfeld, New Salem. Kalberer’s work ethics and great positive attitude will be noticeably missed next year.
Kalin Mogen, wrestling at 171 pounds, was the last place winner the Wolves had over the weekend. Because of an early season loss, he was seeded fourth and had to wrestle the No. 1 seed and eventual champion in the semifinals. In the first round, Mogen defeated Aaron Ponzer, Harvey, 13-1 and then beat Isaiah Krebs, Beulah, for the sixth time, 2-1. In the semis, he was pinned by the eventual champion Jordan Mittleider, Carrington, in 4:32. Mittleider ended the season with a perfect 32-0 record. In the wrestle-backs, Mogen pinned Mark Koble, Minot Ryan, in 56 seconds. Koble had beaten Mogen at the New Salem Tournament earlier this season. In the third place match, Mogen was decisioned 8-4 by the No. 2 seed Raymond Orwig, Ellendale-Edgeley. Mogen, who had wrestled for the Wolves since first grade, had two State Tournament top-five finishes in his career at W.C.H.S. and will be missed next year.
Branden Meuth, 189 pounds, had a tough draw in the first round, and lost, 4-2, to the No. 7 seed Austin Wolf, Carrington. In the wrestle- backs, he pinned Kevin Sandgren, Hettinger, in 1:56, before being decisioned 7-1 by Cole Carrier, North Border. Meuth did not place in the tournament.
At 285 pounds, Austin Haugen, who just started wrestling again near the end of the season, got some valuable experience for next year. He was pinned by the No. 4 seed Thomas Doeden, Hillsboro, in 49 seconds, and then was eliminated by Zach Andrus, Oakes, in the wrestle- backs.