Wolves advance four to finals in Levi Wisness Classic
By Neal A. Shipman
Watford City’s varsity wrestling team lost a dual match to Stanley/Powers Lake/Tioga-Ray last Thursday but came back to wrestle well at their own Levi Wisness Classic on Saturday.
This week, the Wolves will host Hettinger on Thursday night before traveling to New Salem for the East/West Tournament on Friday and Saturday.
Stanley/Powers Lake/Tioga-Ray 57, Watford City 21
The Wolves hit the road on Thursday evening for a dual in Tioga against the coop of Stanley/Powers Lake/Tioga-Ray with Watford City coming out on the short side of the scoring column 57-21.
The Wolves were able to get out to an early lead thanks to a 7-2 decision at 106 pounds by Jade Hepper, a pin at 126 pounds by Coleton Jore and a pair of back-to-back forfeit wins by Clay Jorgenson and Kyle Cook, respectively at 132 and 138 pounds.
After 138 pounds, the Wolves led 21-9, but the Blue Jays were hitting the heart of their order. Six of the final eight contested matches featured seniors for the home team and the Wolves were missing a pair of seniors of their own. The Blue Jays’ upper classmen had their way with the younger Wolves squad reeling off eight wins in a row and coming out on top, 57-21.
106: Jade Hepper decisioned Gaige Reep, 7-2.
113: Logan Gumke decisioned by Jayden Iverson, 5-4.
120: Marty Kueffler pinned by Kaden Evenson, 0:48.
126: Coleton Jore, WC pinned Derrick Erie, SPLTR (4:26).
132: Clay Jorgenson won by forfeit.
152: Keegan Thompson pinned by Chandler Meiers, 2:55.
160: Jayden Vaupel pinned by Cole Hysjulien 0:46.
182: Dakota Neether pinned by Summer Clayton, 1:26.
195: Hunter Olson pinned by Cole Orduay, 0:33.
220: Tyler Krabbenhoft pinned by Jaryn Rassmussen, 3:24.
285: Kye Bolken pinned by Ben Cullopy, 0:36.
Levi Wisness Classic
Half a dozen teams joined the Wolves in Watford City on Saturday for the annual Levi Wisness Classic Wrestling Tournament. Participating in the tournament was Watford City, Beulah/Hazen and Killdeer from Region IV, Des Lacs/Burlington, Velva, and Stanley/Powers Lake/Tioga-Ray from Region III, along with Dickinson’s Junior Varsity squad.
“We got off to a quick start as we qualified three wrestlers for the finals at 106A, 106B and 113A respectively, all with first period pins,” stated Mitch Greenwood, Wolves’ head coach.
Jade Hepper pinned Stanley’s Gaige Reep in the 1:13 in his semi-final bout, while Dakota Garmann recorded a pin in just 39 seconds in the other 106-pound bracket.
According to Greenwood, the 106- pound class was the largest weight class in the tournament with 12 competitors so it was split into two 6-man divisions. The 113 pound class had 10 competitors and was split into two divisions as well.
Logan Gumke was able to cruise to the finals in the 113A division with a pin over Des Lacs/Burlington’s David Ruby at the 1:37 mark of the first period.
Garmann was able to take it one step further as he picked up a pin at the 1:00 mark of the first period in the finals becoming the Wolves’ lone champion of the tournament.
Hepper wrestled Beulah’s Tyrel Mellmer for the third time this season. The first period was very exciting as Hepper made it a 2-2 tie after the first period, but Mellmer was able to pin Hepper in the second period of the finals bout.
Like Hepper, Gumke would face off with a familiar opponent in the finals in Stanley’s Jayden Iverson. Gumke defeated Iverson in the Velva Tournament early in the year, but dropped a 1-point match to him in the dual on Thursday night.
“It was another very tight match in the finals, but Iverson was able to come away with a 6-3 victory,” stated Greenwood.
Aside from the three lightweights, the Wolves had a fourth finalist in Austin Garmann at 145 pounds.
Garmann started off 3-0 on the day with a pin, technical fall and a decision in his round-robin bracket before reaching the final round against Stanley’s Rhett Wolter, also 3-0 on the day. Scoring came at a premium in this contest. The match remained 0-0 going into the third and final period and remained that way through most of the period as well before Wolter scored two points on a reversal with about 30 seconds remaining. Garmann was able to get away from his opponent to score a 1-point escape, but that would be the only scoring that took place as the bout ended 2-1 in favor of Wolter, who is currently ranked fifth in the state.
The Wolves had a handful of other place winners besides the four finalists as well.
Clay Jorgenson lit up the scoreboard with 16-2 and 16-1 wins, going 2-2 at 132 pounds and placing third for the Wolves, while at 138 pounds, Kyle Cook also finished third after collecting a win via injury default.
At 152 pounds, sophomore Keegan Thompson finished 3-1 on the day with two pins to collect third place honors, while senior Joe Nelson also added two pins to his total on the day on his way to a third place finish.
Dakota Neether earned a pin in his final match of the day to lock up fourth place in the tournament, while Tyler Krabbenhoft finished fourth as well at 220 pounds.
Watford City had a pair of fifth place finishers in Hunter Olson at 182 pounds and Coleton Jore, who notched a pin and a technical fall at 126 pounds.
Jake Rogness and Kye Bolken finished in 6th place at 106B and 285 pounds, respectively.
Levi Wisness Classic Wrestling Tournament Team Totals: 1. Velva, 182.0; 2. Stanley, 151.5; 3. Des Lacs, 117.5; 4. Watford City, 101.5; 5. Beulah, 93.5; 6. Kildeer, 79.0; 7. Dickinson, 34.0.