Wolves go 2-1 at Beulah quadrangular
The Wolves wrestlers traveled to Beulah this past weekend for two different events in two days. The Wolves kicked off their weekend with a Region IV quadrangular featuring Beulah/Hazen, Bowman County/Beach and New Salem/Almont.
Watford City 42, Bowman/Beach 39
The first round featured the Wolves vs. Bowman County/Beach, a newly formed co-op this season. The match started at 120 pounds where the Bulldogs would pick up a pin to take a 6-0 lead before Coleton Jore and Clay Jorgenson picked up back-to-back pins to put the Wolves ahead.
“Those pins were really big for us,” stated Wolves’ head coach Greenwood. “We were just hoping to win those matches, I wasn’t counting on getting six points out of both of those matches.”
The lead was short-lived, however, as Bowman picked up another pin of their own at 138 pounds setting up a 145-pound showdown between Austin Garmann and Bowman’s Troy Steele. This would be the third time the pair have wrestled this year, each winning one apiece. The match was every bit as exciting as one would expect as it went back and forth, but in the end, Steele came out on top with a 7-6 decision and a 15-12 lead for Bowman.
But Watford City came back as Keegan Thompson and Joe Nelson rattled off two pins in a row for the Wolves followed by Jayden Vaupel taking a forfeit at 170 pounds and giving the Wolves a 30-15 lead with six matches to go.
Bowman wasn’t about to go away though as they picked up a first period pin at 182 pounds. Watford’s Hunter Olson answered back at 195 in what was the dual saving match. Olson was taken down early and things were not looking good when his opponent made one slip and Hunter capitalized in a big way. He pounced on his opponent finding himself chest-to-chest with his opponent’s back to the mat. He squeezed as tight as he could with time running low in the period and picked up the victory by pin with just eight seconds remaining.
The win gave the Wolves a 36-21 lead with just four matches remaining. This meant that Bowman would have to win every remaining match to have a chance at winning the dual. The first match was uncontested as Bowman picked up a forfeit win at 220 pounds. Then at 285 pounds, Tyler Krabbenhoft battled Mac Stuber in a back-and-forth match before Bowman’s Stuber finally got a turn in the third period that resulted in a pin. Wrapping around to the lightweights, the 106-pound match featured two of the top ranked wrestlers in the region as Watford’s Jade Hepper would battle with Bowman’s Talon Nielson. Hepper bested Neilson just a week ago in the Hettinger Tournament, but the tides would turn this night as Nielson secured a pin late in the third period, and more importantly, a 39-36 lead for the Bulldogs with just one match to go.
At 113 pounds, Logan Gumke was the last chance for the Wolves. A win would tie the match, but a win with bonus points would win it. Gumke responded to the situation very well. He quickly took down his opponent and locked up a pinning combination in the first period to secure a 42-39 win for the Wolves.
Beulah 42, Watford City 39
Round two of the action would be no easier for the Wolves as they battled host school, Beulah.
The action started at 126 pounds where Coleton Jore picked up his second pin in as many matches followed by a 6-4 decision by Clay Jorgenson which would end up being one of the key matches in the dual.
After a 9-0 lead, Beulah responded with a pair of pins before Watford City reeled off two pins of their own and a forfeit victory to take a 15-point lead. Beulah responded by flexing their muscle in the upper weights picking up three pins in a row and regaining a three-point lead with four matches remaining.
Again, the lead would switch hands as Kye Bolken claimed six points for the Wolves with a forfeit win at heavyweight, but again the lead would be surrendered a match later as Beulah’s Tyrel Mellmer earned a pin late in the third period of a very close match with Jade Hepper at 106 pounds.
Once again, the lead changed after the 113-pound match as Logan Gumke picked up another timely pin for the Wolves, giving them a 39-36 lead with one match to go. Experience prevailed as Beulah’s Josh Snyder picked up the match-clinching pin at 120 pounds and the match ended exactly as the one before had, 42-39, except this time the Wolves were on the wrong end of the scoreboard.
“We preached in practice all week long the importance of not getting pinned in these duals this weekend,” stated Greenwood, “We gave up too many pins this time and it cost us.”
Watford City 54, New Salem 17
The final dual of the evening pitted Watford City against New Salem/Almont. New Salem/Almont was very low on numbers as they only had six wrestlers on their squad for the evening. However four of the six have been state place winners in the past.
The Wolves ran into two of those place winners right off the bat as Kyle Cook and Austin Garmann both wrestled opponents who have placed as high as third in the past. Neither of them gave up pins, but the Holsteins did win both matches and jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the dual.
Keegan Thompson picked up his third pin of the night and Jayden Vaupel picked up his third forfeit of the evening as well and put the Wolves ahead 12-9. Senior Joe Nelson dropped an 11-2 decision to last year’s state runner-up, Taylor Heins, making it 13-12 before the Wolves picked up a handful of forfeits and one more pin from Logan Gumke, making it three on the night for him as well as Watford City won by a final score of 54-17.
The same four teams that competed on Friday night got back together on Saturday for the annual Beulah Miner’s Invitational. Weather kept a handful of other teams from joining in on the fun, but Bismarck High was able to make the trip and added quite a bit of depth to the tournament.
Jade Hepper avenged one loss from the night before and won three matches on the day en route to a third place finish at 106 pounds, while Logan Gumke picked up where he left off the night before picking up a semi-final pin at 113 pounds before losing in the championship to Bismarck’s Jaden Fettig by a score of 8-0.
Austin Garmann went 3-1 on the day placing third with his only loss coming in the semifinals to eventual tournament champion Tate Hoffman by a score of 6-4. Garmann’s three wins puts him at 20 wins for the season which currently leads the team.
At 152 pounds, Keegan Thompson was outstanding all weekend long. He was 3-0 on Friday with three pins, then picked up a technical fall and two more pins on Saturday including a first period pin in the championship match over Bismarck’s Isaac Walth. Thompson has won nine matches in a row dating back to Dec. 14 at the Dickinson Tournament.
Joe Nelson, Tyler Krabbenhoft, and Kye Bolken all finished the day in third place in their respective weight classes of 160 pounds, 220 pounds, and Heavyweight.
The next action for the Wolves will be on Thursday when they travel to Tioga for a dual against Stanley/Powers Lake/Tioga/Ray and then are at home this coming Saturday as they host the “Levi Wisness Classic” wrestling tournament which will feature Watford City, Beulah, Stanley, Des Lacs Burlington, Velva, and the Dickinson JV.