PREP WRESTLING: Grand Forks Central ties single-season record
BISMARCK — Grand Forks Central tied a school single-season record with seven placers at the North Dakota Class A high school wrestling tournament.
The top finishers for the Knights on Saturday as the tournament concluded were Tyler Keener at 113 pounds and Kyle Terrill at 182, both placing third.
“We think four or five placers is usually a good year,’’ Central coach Matt Berglund said. “To be honest, we didn’t expect seven at the start of the year.
“The kids showed a lot of dedication in the offseason to get better. They proved they’re tough individuals.’’
Other Knights in the top eight were: Spencer Oen, fifth, 152; Jesus Flores, sixth, 132; Garrett Litzinger, sixth, 145; Brandon Hanson, seventh, 126; and Blake Brandon, eighth, 160.
Central finished eighth in team standings with 80 points. Bismarck edged West Fargo 254-252 for the title.
“We had a great last day,’’ Bergund said. “We weren’t ranked in the top 10 in the final coaches’ poll and we cracked the top 10.’’
Murphy leads Riders
Sean Murphy was Grand Forks Red River’s top placer. The senior placed third at 126 pounds, his second straight top-three finish at state.
Other Red River placers were: Dawson Zerr, seventh, 120; Malek Larimer, seventh, 138; and Colt Goulet, seventh, 220.
DL’s Schall second
Devils Lake’s Austin Schall took the No. 4 seed at 145 pounds to state. The senior wound up one win from a state title.
Schall was runner-up, losing in the championship round 3-2 to Bismarck’s Adam Blees.
Also placing for Devils Lake was Kamron Matejcek, who was third at 285.
West Fargo rolls
When West Fargo junior Jordan Shearer stepped off the mat following his Class A 132-pound championship match, he experienced a feeling only three other North Dakota prep wrestlers have known.
Shearer was a state champion for the fifth time in his career.
“I am very proud,” said Shearer, who finishes the year 50-3. “All of the hard work pays off, and this goes to show that. I have the confidence because I know I put in the work. I knew I was going to go out there and do it. I just had to wrestle hard.”
Shearer scored a 13-2 major decision over Bismarck’s Lane Kaseman on Saturday during the Class A state wrestling tournament at the Bismarck Civic Center. He joins Dave Hillard (Lakota), Levi Haugen (Minot Ryan) and Scott Glasser (Bismarck) as the only wrestlers in state history to win five individual state championships.
“My strategy was to score bonus points,” Shearer said. “That is what I was looking for. I scored bonus points in every match at this tournament. My goal was to go out there and dominate and score some bonus points for the team.”
No wrestler in state history has won six titles – a feat Shearer could accomplish next season.
“(Jordan) has been a tough competitor all season for us,” West Fargo head coach Kayle Dangerud said. “He is one of our leaders, and he sets a good example for the rest of the wrestlers on the team.
West Fargo had eight wrestlers reach the finals, but only Shearer secured a state title.
Bismarck snapped the Packers’ recent streak of team individual state championships posting 254 points for its first team title since 2011. West Fargo finished a close second with 252 points. Fargo Davies posted 110.5 points for fourth place.
“We lost a few close matches in the finals,” Dangerud said. “Bismarck wrestled well and you have to give them credit, but I thought our guys gave a great effort like they have all season.”
North’s Hanson repeats at 220 pounds
Fargo North senior Olaf Hanson’s road to a repeat was somewhat rocky, but Saturday the Spartans standout stood alone at 220 pounds.
Hanson (37-9) collected a 9-6 decision over Turtle Mountain-Belcourt’s Waylon DeCoteau for his second straight title.
“After winning last year, I knew I would have a big target on my back,” Hanson said. “The climb to the top this season was a lot more difficult, but that makes this win all that much better.”
Hanson built an early lead, but DeCoteau scored a takedown in the final period to make it a wild final minute. Hanson responded with two takedowns.
“It was a tough match that went back and forth,” Hanson said. “I had to keep the score in my head and stay mentally focused at the end.”
Bismarck senior Ryan Blees (48-0) won the 160-pound state title – his fourth career individual state championship. … Blees, who is ranked No. 1 nationally at 160, was named Class A wrestler of the year. … Derrick Dixon of Turtle Mountain-Belcourt won Class A coach of the year honors. … Valley City senior Zach Doty (36-6) won the 182-pound championship. … “It feels good to finish out on top,” Doty said. “It feels like a big boulder has been taken off my shoulders and there is no more pressure.” … Jamestown senior Eathan Gumke scored a 3-0 decision to win the 195-pound championship.