Posted 12/11/13 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
The temperatures may have been frigid this past week, but the Watford City High School varsity wrestling team was hot as the Wolves picked up a dual win over New Salem/Almont and then placed third at the Velva Invitational.
After the Watford City vs. Killdeer dual was postponed on Tuesday due to inclement weather conditions, the Wolves braved the cold on Thursday to travel to a triangular dual meet in New Salem where they matched up with Napoleon and host school, New Salem.
Napoleon had its way with Watford City in the first dual of the evening coming away with a 57-16 win.
“They’re a great team,” stated Mitch Greenwood, Wolves’ head coach. “They don’t fill their line-up, but they don’t put anyone on the mat who’s not a top caliber wrestler. I think they have eight to nine wrestlers who are ranked highly in the state.”
The Wolves turned the tables in the second dual of the night with a 55-13 win over regional foe, New Salem/Almont.
Watford City received 30 points from five forfeits by New Salem/Almont, but also came away with five wins in the eight matches that were wrestled. The Wolves were paced by Clay Jorgenson, Kyle Cook, and Dakota Neether who all recorded pins in the dual.
The Wolves carried the momentum they built on Thursday night into Saturday as they traveled to compete in the Velva Aggies Invitational.
“We started hot and set the tone,” stated Greenwood. “The wrestlers built some momentum early and then continued to ride it throughout the event.”
In all, seven of the 10 wrestlers who competed in the event reached the placing rounds.
Jade Hepper, wrestling at 120 pounds, may have had the biggest day of all for the Wolves. Hepper was the third-seeded wrestler entering the event. He secured two pins to reach the semifinal round where he matched up with Carrington’s Matthew Neumiller. Neumiller, a fifth place finisher in the state tournament last season, pinned Hepper in the first period in last year’s state tournament. The rematch featured little scoring. Hepper scored the only point with a second period escape to notch a 1-0 victory.
Hepper’s win secured him a spot in the finals against another familiar foe, Minot Ryan’s Aaron Sandy, a sixth place finisher at State last year. Sandy was 2-0 vs. Hepper last year, including a pin in the Velva finals.
Hepper went on the attack in the first period hitting an early five-point throw. Sandy chipped away at Hepper’s big lead in the second and third periods getting to within two. In the final seconds of the match, Hepper countered a takedown attempt and scored a takedown to come away with a 9-5 victory.
Logan Gumke had a stellar tournament for the Wolves as well where he made his season debut at 126 pounds. He opened the Velva tournament with a pin in the third period. In the semifinals round, Gumke defeated Kenmare’s Tanner Egeberg, a three-time State qualifier, 8-6, in overtime. Gumke was then defeated by Carrington’s Bryce Carr 5-0.
Coleton Jore found himself in a semifinal battle against Carrington’s Keenan Kvamme, who placed sixth in last year’s state tournament. Jore decisioned Kvamme 6-4 to move to the finals against Kvamme’s teammate, Patrick Freeman. Freeman employed a different strategy against Jore, building a lead by scoring most of his points from takedowns before securing a second period pin.
A fourth W.C.H.S. wrestler, 170-pound Keegan Thompson, also found his way into the finals of the Velva Tournament.
Thompson picked up a first period pin in the quarterfinals setting up a match with a very familiar opponent against Velva’s Hunter Schreiner. Thompson and Schreiner wrestled three times last season with Schreiner winning the first two matches, while Thompson picked up a pin the third time they met.
At Velva, Thompson jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the semifinal bout, before Schreiner had to withdraw from the match due to injury. The win propelled Thompson to the finals where he faced Kenmare’s Alex Giese, a seventh place finisher at the state tournament last season. Thompson struck first with a takedown. But Giese countered with a reversal to tie the match at 2-2 at the end of the first period. During a second period scramble, Thompson countered a take-down attempt from Giese and threw him to his back in a neck-wrench, and got into a position that would allow him to win his bracket via pinfall.
The four finalists racked up 90 points for the Wolves, but all five of the other wrestlers contributed as well.
Clay Jorgenson added 16 points to the team total via two pins and a very big win in the third place match. Jorgenson battled Carrington’s Chaz Bauer in his final match of the day. Bauer, a former State Runner-up, built an early lead, but Jorgenson was relentless in the third period scoring two late takedowns to tie the match. He picked up a third takedown in the overtime period to secure the victory.
Kyle Cook and Dakota Neether both got one pin apiece in the tournament. Cook ended up placing sixth in his weight class. Heavyweight, Jake Belland also finished sixth in his bracket. Belland wrestled five matches on the day picking up a 7-3 decision in the first round and later adding a 1-0 decision to get into the placing rounds.
The Wolves finished third overall in the 12-team tournament.
“We definitely took a huge step in the right direction,” stated Greenwood. “This was a completely different team from two weeks ago in New Town. We placed ahead of four teams today that beat us in New Town.”
New Salem Triangular
Napoleon 57, Watford City 16
106: Braedon Gumke pinned by Braydin Jangula, 3:05.
113: Liam Shannon pinned by Jacob Bitz, 1:16.
120: Dakota Garmann dec. by Reed Edwardson, 13-2.
126: Logan Gumke won by forfeit.
132: Jade Hepper won by forfeit.
138: Clay Jorgenson dec. by Jonathan Grunefelder, 19-4.
145: Coleton Jore dec. by Austin Becker, 11-0.
152: Kyle Cook pinned by Dalton Jangula, 3:46.
160: Napoleon won by forfeit.
170: Dakota Neether pinned by Alec Mann, 0:45.
182: Double Forfeit.
195: Hunter Olson pinned by Matthew Gross, 2:32.
220: Napoleon won by forfeit.
285: Jake Belland pinned by Dalton Beine, 2:28.
Watford City 55,
New Salem/Almont 13
106: Liam Shannon pinned by Chauncey Dittus, 1:02.
113: Braedon Gumke dec. by Josh Irwin, 8-6 OT.
120: Dakota Garmann dec. Seth Johnson, 13-3.
126: - Jade Hepper, won by forfeit.
132: Logan Gumke won by forfeit.
138: Clay Jorgenson pinned Noah Thiel, 1:02.
145: Coleton Jore dec. by Cullen Seeger, 11-0.
152: Kyle Cook pinned Shane Forster, 3:21.
160: Dakota Neether pinned Colby McGrath.
170: Hunter Thompson won by forfeit.
182: Double Forfeit.
195: Hunter Olson won by forfeit.
220: Jackson Faller won by forfeit.
285: Jake Belland dec. Andrew Hinkel, 7-3.
Velva Invitational Wrestling Tournament
Team Scores: 1. Carrington 279, Bishop Ryan 202, 3. Watford City 122, 4. Des Lacs Burlington 115, 5. Stanley 112.5, 6. Velva 106, 7. Rugby 61.5, 8. Kenmare 55, 9. Harvey 46, 10. Rolla 43, 11. New Town 28, 12. Grenora 0.
Watford City individual results.
120: Jade Hepper, 1st, (4-0).
120: Dakota Garmann, DNP (0-2).
126: Logan Gumke, 2nd, (2-1).
138: Clay Jorgenson, 3rd, (3-1).
145: Coleton Jore, 2nd, (2-1).
152: Kyle Cook, 6th, (1-3).
160: Dakota Neether, DNP, (1-2).
170: Keegan Thompson, 1st, (3-0).
195: Hunter Olson, DNP, (0-2).
285: Jake Belland, 6th, (2-3).