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Perham wins third straight Sertoma title

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Thief River Falls' Mason Iverson tries to break Perham wrestler Dawson Kellogg's hold during the 200-pound weight class championship match of the Sertoma Wrestling tournament on Saturday afternoon in Grand Forks. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald2 / 3
220-pound weight class wrestlers Mason Iverson (Thief River Falls, left) and Dawson Kellogg (Perham, right) compete during the Sertoma Wrestling tournament championship match Saturday afternoon at Central High School. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald3 / 3

Team is the emphasis in the annual Grand Forks Sertoma high school wrestling tournament. No individual awards are given. It is dual competition.

Sometimes, however, individual can become a priority.

"It's about team if the score is close,'' Thief River Falls junior Jake Davis said. "You want to win for the team. But if it isn't (close), you're out there more for yourself.''

The Prowlers made it to the championship of the Sertoma. But it didn't go well in the final, as Perham capped a dominant tournament performance by beating Thief River Falls 56-12 in the championship.

Davis, however, picked up a significant win. For the second time in a week he beat Leighton Rach, scoring a 5-1 win at 145 pounds against Rach, who is the No. 9-ranked Class AA 132-pounder.

"It's a big win for me,'' Davis said. "We've always gone back and forth. I don't really care about the rankings that much. I beat him in the section final last year. I'm looking to get better, to beat people by more points every time I meet them.

"I like beating Perham. They're always the measuring stick in our section.''

The Prowlers also got wins from Cody Wienen (126 pounds) and Cade Lundeen (138). That couldn't come close to offsetting the Yellowjackets’ powerful lineup.

Perham received pins from Aaron Lorentz (106), Jack Fudge (152), Dylan Fudge (160), Brian Ramos (170) and Zachary Peterson (182), in the final, as well as picking up two forfeit victories.

Perham went 4-0 in the tournament, beating every opponent by 44 or more points. It was the third straight Sertoma title for the Yellowjackets, beating TRF in the final in each of those seasons.

"This team has the potential to be exceptional, one of our better teams,'' said Perham coach Robb Moser. "And we've gone to state 11 times since 2004.

"This is more of a veteran team than we've had. We have five guys with more than 100 wins. We have five guys who have been state placers. And it's an exceptional senior class.''

While Thief River Falls has nurtured a team philosophy, Prowlers coach Kenny Geiser said Davis' attitude isn't one of selfishness. "In the sport of wrestling, that's just common,'' Geiser said. "You're out there for yourself, by yourself. Nobody is going to do it for you. You’re alone out there.

"Jake is looking great right now. He's on a role. He's not ranked, but I think he's flying under the radar.''