Wolves claim 4th in State Dual Tournament
By Frank Fish
Watford City, the No. 1 seed from Region 4, claimed fourth place honors at the State Dual Tournament held in conjunction with the North Dakota State Wrestling Tournament in Fargo this past weekend.
The Wolves wrestled the No. 2 team from Region 3, Des Lacs-Burlington, in the first round of the tournament, and defeated the Lakers, 66-12, to advance to the semifinals.
The Wolves were able to get some younger wrestlers State Tournament experience in this dual as the Lakers had a very young team.
Isaac Laris started out the match with a pin in 2:28 over Jared Olonia. Trevor Kalberer, at 130 pounds, received a forfeit. This is unusual in the state duals as by rule, if a team has qualified a wrestler for the individual tournament, they must put a wrestler on the mat during the dual. However, DLB did not have a 130- pounder in the tournament, thus the forfeit. Jake Thomas pinned Keenan Browne at 140 pounds in 47 seconds, and that was followed by Dominic Seidel pinning Austin Garmann, at 145 pounds, in the same 47 seconds. Eighth-grader Keegan Thompson received a State Tournament win by way of a forfeit at 152 pounds, as did Clay Billing at 160 pounds.
Kalin Mogen wrestled the No. 6 seed in the tournament, Zach Staskywicz, at 171 pounds, and won by fall in 1:21. Branden Meuth then won by fall over Michael Preston in just 51 seconds. Another eighth grader got into the win column at 215 pounds as Logan Fettig won a State Tournament match by fall over Austin Moen in just 56 seconds. Austin Haugen, the Wolves’ heavyweight got his first tournament victory with a pin in 1:04 over Nick Munnell.
Coleton Jore and Clay Jorgenson, both eighth-graders, wrestled two of DLB’s best wrestlers, and gave great efforts before being pinned. Jore lost to Cole Peterson at 103 pounds and Jorgenson lost to Justin Thomas, who eventually finished fourth in the individual tournament at 119 pounds.
South Border 50, Watford City 27
In the semifinals, the Wolves wrestled the eventual state champions from South Border-Ashley-Wishek.
Watford City and the Mustangs were tied with four matches to go at 27-27, but the Mustangs won the next four matches to win the dual 50-27. The dual started out at 130 pounds as Trevor Kalberer wrestled the No. 5 seed Brayden Kuntz. Kuntz, only an eighth grader, won by major decision, 13-1, in a tough match. Brady Lund got the Wolves to a 6-4 lead with a pin over Taylor Ketterling in 1:07, and then Jake Thomas won by fall in 3:41 over Michael Wolf at 140 pounds.
Austin Garmann, 145 pounds, was pinned in 1:14 by Drew Dockter, the No. 5 seed in the tournament before Karson Knudtson, winning an 8-6 decision over Andrew Jochim, the No. 8 seed.
At 160 pounds, Nolan Kalberer pinned Tanner Meidinger in 2:28, and then Clay Billng was pinned in 28 seconds by No. 3 seed James Thilges. Kalin Mogen then moved up to wrestle at 189 pounds, and was pinned by No. 3 seed Justin Deede in 3:54.
Branden Meuth got the Wolves back on track with a pin in 4:39 over Tyler Meidinger, but the Mustangs countered with a pin in 28 seconds from the No. 1 215-pounder Devin Olson over Austin Haugen.
The next four matches all went to the Mustangs as the Wolves fell to outstanding opponents. At 103 pounds, Coleton Jore lost to the No. 7 seed Andy Nolz by fall in 3:54; Jake Scott was pinned by Tucker Meidinger, the No. 6 seed at 112 pounds; at 119 pounds Isaac Laris was teched by the No. 1 seed and undefeated Blake Bosch at 4:15; and at 125 pounds, Joe Nelson was pinned by Nash Bettenhausen in 1:46.
Third Place Match
Velva 36, Watford City 35
In the third place match, the Wolves nearly pulled of an upset win over the Velva Aggies, but came up one-point short, 36-35.
Trevor Kalberer was pinned by Dallas Osborn in 4:51 at 130 pounds to start the match with Brady Lund coming back with a win by injury default over Adam Dean at 135 pounds.
Jake Thomas pinned Nathan Schmaltz in 2:23 at 140 pounds before Keegan Thompson was pinned by Colton Lee in 52 seconds at 145 pounds.
Karson Knudtson won his match by injury default over Keil Werre at 152 pounds, and Nolan Kalberer, in one of his best matches of the season, upset Jimi Bridges at 160 pounds, 8-6.
Kalin Mogen got to wrestle a match that the Wolves’ coaches had wanted to see all season, but because of injury, never took place. Mogen took on Collin Kittleson, who had a shoulder injury from football and tried to help the Aggies’ cause, but after the first period could not continue with Mogen winning by injury default.
The Aggies were too much for the Wolves in the next three weight classes as Velva won all three by pin. Branden Meuth was pinned by Cody Lee in 2:36, Logan Fettig was pinned by Taylor Barstad in 1:18, and Austin Haugen was pinned by Jed Jesperson in 1:55.
Coleton Jore nearly pulled off the upset of the match, but lost in overtime to Leighton Nichols at 103 pounds. Jake Scott then got a 7-3 decision over Mason Brudevold at 112 pounds, and Isaac Laris won by tech fall over Nate Monk, 19-3.
In the final match of the dual tournament, Joe Nelson gave a great effort trying for the win, but fell short by a 7-1 score to Nathan Dean, a senior and veteran Aggie wrestler.