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Wrestlers claim championship title at Levi Wisness Classic

Posted 1/27/15 (Tue)

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

The Watford City Wolves had a full slate of wrestling action this past weekend as they hosted a triangular on Friday and the Levi Wisness  Classic on Saturday.
In Friday night’s triangular, the Wolves hosted two regional opponents, with Watford City picking up wins over Bowman and Beulah/Hazen.
The dual against Bowman featured two very evenly matched teams and came right down to the end as each team won seven of the 14 bouts. In the end, the Wolves squeaked out a one-point, 39-38, victory.
The Wolves picked up five pins from CJ Thacker, Dakota Garmann, Jade Hepper, Coleton Jore, and Connor Dennis, along with a forfeit from Jake Belland and a decision by Clay Jorgenson.
“This was a total team effort,” stated Mitch Greenwood, Wolves’ head coach. “We knew we had to pick up as many pins as possible to give ourselves the best chance to win this match. We did our job there. But the other part that we stressed to our kids was not getting pinned or giving up bonus points.”
Greenwood gave a lot of credit for the team win to a couple of the wrestlers who did not win their individual matchups.
“Liam Shannon lost 2-0 in a matchup against one of the top wrestlers in the state,” stated Greenwood. “He got pinned by that same kid a couple weeks ago. Losing 2-0 versus getting pinned saved us three team points.”
Justin Schwartzenberger showed tremendous heart as well as he fought off of his back three or four times. He ended up losing by technical fall which gave Bowman five team points.
“A pin is worth six so he saved us a point,” stated Greenwood. “In a one-point dual, those types of things are the difference between winning and losing.”
The Wolves stayed hot in their second contest as they matched up with Beulah/Hazen.
Thanks to four pins and two wins by forfeit, it was 36-0 before Beulah/Hazen put any points on the scoreboard. The Wolves would eventually pick up three more pins to close out the match, 54-27.
“I would have never guessed that the score would have ended up like it did. I was expecting a much tighter match,” stated Greenwood. “Beulah/Hazen was a little banged up and had a few starters out of the lineup, but they are a good team and it was a big win for us.”
The pair of dual wins gives the Wolves a 7-5 dual record on the season. They are now 3-0 against Regional opponents and improved to 4-0 at home.
The Wolves have two regular season duals left, both at home, against Hettinger on Thursday and New Salem a week from Thursday.
The Wolves will compete in the Region IV Dual Tournament on Feb. 7 in Hettinger to determine the two teams from Region IV who will advance to the North Dakota Class “B” State Dual Tournament.
Watford City 39, Bowman County 38
106: Liam Shannon decisioned by Alex Madrigal, 2-0.
113: CJ Thacker pinned Andrew Narum, 0:34.
120: Dakota Garmann pinned Jacob Ruggles, 3:00.
126: Jade Hepper pinned Cole Schmalz, 1:42.
132: Logan Gumke lost by DQ to Tyler Longland.
138: Watford City forfeit.
145: Coleton Jore pinned Brayden Jorgensen, 3:47.
152: Clay Jorgenson decisioned Tel Lardy, 3-0.
160: Justin Schwartzenberger  decisioned by Kamrin Madrigal, 17-2.
170: Carlton Turnquist pinned by Troy Steele, 0:47.
182: Austin Huseby pinned by Sterling Lee, 0:15.
195: Connor Dennis pinned Beau Jeffers, 0:29.
220: Jake Belland won by forfeit.
285: Jackson Faller pinned by Jason Schade, 1:31.

Watford City 54, Beulah/Hazen 27
106: Liam Shannon decisioned by Jeremy Leintz, 12-5.
113: CJ Thacker pinned Brandon Snyder, 0:55.
120: Cameron Taylor won by forfeit.
126: Dakota Garmann pinned Jacob Scheer, 3:33.
132: Jade Hepper pinned Ethan Lagge, 1:39.
138: Logan Gumke won by forfeit.
145: Coleton Jore pinned Tyler Erickson, 3:56.
152: Clay Jorgenson pinned Damian Eslinger, 5:48.
160: Justin Schwartzenberger  pinned by Kaden Sago, 2:55.
170: Austin Huseby pinned Thomas Leintz, 3:35.
182: Connor Dennis pinned Skyler Meyer, 3:54.
195: Watford City forfeit.
220: Jake Belland pinned by Isaac Ripplinger, 1:30.
285: Jackson Faller pinned by Denzel Sanders, 5:14.
Levi Wisness “Classic” Tournament
Team Scores: 1. Watford City, 192; 2. Bowman County, 182.5; 3. Stanley/Powers Lake, 174; 4. Velva, 173; 5. Beulah/Hazen, 171; 6. Des Lacs/Burlington, 79.5; 7. Dickinson JV,  54; 8. Mondak Thunder, 20; 9. Tioga/Ray, 19.
On Saturday, the Wolves hosted the second leg of their home stand as they put on the Levi Wisness “Classic” Tournament, which featured nine area teams wrestling in an individual bracketed tournament.
Watford City got off to a slow start in the first round, but came storming back and finished the day very strong as the Wolves won the tournament team championship while crowning two individual champions, to go along with four runner-up finishes and a handful of other place winners.
In the varsity portion of the tournament, the Wolves had 13 place winners.
Liam Shannon finished in fourth place going 3-2 overall at 106 pounds, while Cameron Taylor also went 3-2 at 106 pounds finishing in sixth place.
At 113 pounds, CJ Thacker dropped his opening bout, 17-11, to Velva’s Austin Schreiner, and then pinned all of his remaining opponents, including a rematch with Schreiner to come back and claim third place.
Dakota Garmann received a bye to start the tournament, and then won his semifinal match by a score of 11-3. In the finals he faced a familiar opponent in Velva’s Aaron Dean, who had defeated Garmann last week in the Rugby Tournament and also defeated Garmann in the championship match of the New Town Tournament earlier this season. Garmann was determined that he could win, and built a lead going into the third period, before pinning Dean and earning the 120-pound tournament championship, which was his first varsity tournament win.
Jade Hepper used the momentum that Garmann got going to earn himself a tournament championship as well. Hepper, wrestling at 126 pounds, defeated Velva’s Elijah Hackman, 3-0, in the finals. The win was Hepper’s fifth tournament championship this season.
At 132 pounds, Logan Gumke pinned his first two opponents to reach the championship match against Velva’s Jeseb Mogen. Mogen proved to have too much offense in the finals and defeated Gumke, 14-3.
Like Gumke, Coleton Jore won his first two bouts and reached the finals where he would take on one of the state’s best in Stanley’s Brad Ladwig. Ladwig controlled the match from the onset and picked up a first period pin, making Jore the tournament runner-up at 145 pounds.
At 152 pounds, Clay Jorgenson earned a pin before dropping a 4-2 decision to Bowman’s Tel Lardy in the semifinals. Jorgenson came back strong and pinned his next two opponents to claim third place.
At 160 pounds, Justin Schwartzenberger took seventh place for the Wolves, while Austin Huseby went 1-1 on the day at 170 pounds in a three-man, round-robin bracket to take second place.
Connor Dennis, who was giving up about 20 pounds to compete at the 195-pound weight class, finished the event 2-1 overall and took third place. Dennis went 4-1 on the weekend with four pins.
“Connor has been working extremely hard this year. He’s a first year wrestler, but you would never know that now to watch the kid on a mat,” stated Greenwood. “He’s very coachable. He’s like a sponge that just soaks up everything we show him.”
Jake Belland received a first round bye in the tournament, and then pinned his semifinals opponent to reach the championship match at 220 pounds. In the finals, Beulah/Hazen’s Isaac Ripplinger pinned Belland in the third period.
Jackson Faller, who manned the heavyweight position for the Wolves,  lost his first two bouts, but made short work of his opponent in the fifth place match, notching a first period pin.
“Jackson is in a tough spot. He’s wrestling in the heavyweight weight class, and he’s a young kid as just a freshman,” stated Greenwood. “He’s also very light at just 230 pounds. He’s going up against a lot of juniors and seniors weighing anywhere from 260 to 285 pounds. He’s doing a lot of great things and he’s improving from day to day. He’s going to be one of the best heavyweights in the state by the time he’s an upperclassman if he keeps doing what he’s doing.”
Jake Leppell competed at the 95-pound JV division, where he picked up three pins en route to a third place finish. Carlton Turnquist was 1-2 overall in his round-robin bracket, which also netted him a third place finish in the event.
The Wolves will be back in action this weekend as they host Hettinger/Scranton in a dual that will most likely determine the top seed in the Region IV Dual Tournament. The wrestling team will then travel to New Salem on Friday and Saturday for the East/West Tournament, which features 24 North Dakota Class B teams.