February 9, 2016

Wrestlers to host Region IV Tournament

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

Watford City wrestlers came up just one place shy of advancing to the State Class B Team Tournament in Fargo as the Wolves took third place at the Region IV Dual Tournament on Saturday.
The Wolves entered the six-team tournament as the No. 4-ranked team in the region based on head-to-head matchups from throughout the season.
In the quarterfinal round, the Wolves matched up with New Salem-Almont, the No. 5-seeded team, and thanks to collecting a few more forfeits and scoring some bonus points, the Wolves came away with a 42-22 win in spite of only winning three of the seven contested matches.
Jade Hepper and Jackson Faller collected first period pins, and in the biggest matchup of the dual, Connor Dennis pinned New Salem’s Shane Forester. Dennis, who is ranked No. 7 in the state was pinned by Forester, the No. 6-ranked wrestler, last weekend at the East-West Tournament, but reversed that outcome at Killdeer.
The win advanced Watford City to the semifinals against top-ranked Hettinger-Scranton.
The Nighthawks cruised to a 60-12 dual win in which the Wolves only won two matches, both by pin, from Dakota Garmann and Connor Dennis.
“We wrestled a lot better than what the scoreboard showed,” stated Mitch Greenwood, Wolves’ head coach. “They’re a good team full of good wrestlers and we competed hard, but lost a lot of competitive matches to some really tough kids.”
Eight of Hettinger’s wrestlers are ranked in the top eight in the state, and all eight of them picked up wins against Watford City.
In the consolation bracket, Watford City took on Killdeer with all 10 contested matches ending with pins.
The Wolves came away with seven pins, while also collecting one forfeit to take the match, 48-18.
The highlight of the Killdeer match  was Jake Belland earning his 100th career win with a pin over Liam McFadden.
“For Jake to get to 100 career wins is pretty impressive,” stated Greenwood. “He’s only been wrestling since his sophomore year, so he did this in just three seasons. A lot of kids wrestle on the varsity for four to six years and struggle to get to 100 wins.”
In the battle for third place, the Wolves took on Bowman County with Watford City coming out on top, 43-35.
The Wolves started things on the right foot by picking up pins in four of the first five matches, including a 37 second pin by Liam Shannon over Bowman’s DJ Martian, who is ranked eighth in the state.
Jade Hepper also collected a win over a ranked wrestler in the dual as he defeated Matthew Carlson, 9-4, at 145 pounds. Hepper was a third place finisher at State last year at 126 pounds, while Carlson finished 3rd place at 138 pounds last year.
With Watford City winning the third place match, they became eligible to challenge Beulah/Hazen for a true second match since the two teams had not previously matched up in the tournament.
The two squads went blow for blow through the first four weight classes and were tied at 12-12, before Beulah-Hazen blew the score open by rattling off six consecutive wins.
Connor Dennis collected a forfeit at 182 pounds to end their win streak, but the Miners added to their lead with two forfeits and a decision to win the final three bouts of the dual, and cruise to a 52-24 win and advance to the State Class B Dual Tournament.
Next on tap for the Wolves will be the Region IV Individual Tournament, which will be held beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13, at the Watford City High School gymnasium.
The tournament will feature 52 wrestlers from eight schools who will be vying for a trip to the State Class B Tournament. The top four wrestlers in each of the 14 weight classes will qualify for the state tournament, which begins next Thursday in Fargo.
“I’m very excited for regionals,” states Greenwood. “I think we have a chance to qualify a lot of kids and get them to the state tournament.”
According to Greenwood, he expects as many as nine Watford City wrestlers will be ranked in the top four of their respective weight classes entering the regional tournament.
“Regardless of where we enter the tournament, we have to make sure we do our job on the mat and finish in the top four,” states Greenwood.
Region IV Dual Tournament
Watford City 42, New Salem-Almont, 22

195: Double forfeit.
220: Jake Belland won by forfeit.
285: Jackson Faller pinned Josh Erflie, 1:25.
106: Liam Shannon won by forfeit.
113: Braedon Gumke decisioned by Chauncey Dittus, 12-3.
120: CJ Thacker decisioned by Josh Irwin, 8-6.
126: Dakota Garmann won by forfeit.
132: Josh Wood decisioned by Tyler Selzler, 6-5.
138: Antonio Garcia won by forfeit.
145: Double forfeit.
152: Jade Hepper pinned Lane Doll, 1:46.
160: Watford City forfeit.
170: Carlton Turnquist pinned by Colby Mcgrath, 2:45.
182: Connor Dennis pinned Shane Forester, 2:20.

Hettinger 60, Watford City 12

220: Jake Belland decisioned by Colbey Steeke, 8-4.
285: Jackson Faller pinned by Jacob Schalesky, 3:45.
106: Liam Shannon decisioned by Mason Defoe, 7-1.
113: Braedon Gumke pinned by Kyle Burwick, 3:21.
120: CJ Thacker decisioned by Carlos Martinez, 12-6.
126: Josh Wood pinned by Braden Kline, 0:50.
132: Dakota Garmann pinned Chris Fisher, 3:37.
138: Antonio Garcia pinned by Ben Dalley, 4:55.
145: Jade Hepper decisioned by Alec Andress, 6-4.
152: Watford City forfeit.
160: Watford City forfeit.
170: Carlton Turnquist pinned by Damon Cornelius, 4:35.
182: Connor Dennis pinned Andrew Sulzman, 1:20.
195: Watford City forfeit.

Consolation Semifinals
Watford City 48, Killdeer 18

285: Jackson Faller pinned Curtis Hall, 0:49.
106: Liam Shannon pinned Ean Larsen, 0:25.
113: Jake Leppell won by forfeit.
120: Braedon Gumke pinned Levi Rychner, 0:57.
126: CJ Thacker pinned Dylan Tabor, 1:52.
132: Josh Wood pinned John Tomjac, 1:01.
138: Antonio Garcia pinned by Zach Andersen, 2:31.  
145: Jade Hepper pinned Stephen Westarp, 0:25.
152: Double forfeit.
160: Double forfeit.
170: Carlton Turnquist pinned by Derek Tabor, 0:55.
182: Connor Dennis pinned by Dillan Jepson, 6:00.
195: Double forfeit
220: Jake Belland pinned Liam McFadden, 1:12.

Third Place Match
Watford City 43, Bowman County 35

106: Liam Shannon pinned DJ Martian, 0:37.
113: Braedon Gumke pinned by Alex Madrigal, 1:20.
120: CJ Thacker pinned Tysen Mattern, 2:34.
126: Josh Wood pinned Cole Schmalz, 0:57.
132: Dakota Garmann pinned Mitch Stuber, 0:52.
138: Antonio Garcia pinned by Jacob Ruggles, 1:56.
145: Jade Hepper decisioned Mathew Carlson, 9-4.
152: Watford City forfeit.
160: Watford City forfeit.
170: Watford City forfeit.
182: Carlton Turnquist decisioned by Nate Boehm, 16-1.
195: Connor Dennis decisioned Beau Jeffers,11-1.
220: Jake Belland won by forfeit.
285: Jackson Faller won by forfeit.
Second Place Match
Beulah/Hazen 52, Watford City 24

106: Liam Shannon pinned Matthew Scheer, 1:35.
113: Braedon Gumke pinned Rylan Sago, 1:35.
120: Jake Leppell pinned by Jeremy Leintz, 0:34.
126: CJ Thacker won by forfeit.
132: Dakota Garmann pinned by Hunter Fritz, 0:55.
138: Antonio Garcia pinned by Jacob Scheer, 1:05.
145: Jade Hepper decisioned by Joshua Snyder, 2-0.
152: Watford City forfeit.
160: Watford City forfeit.
170: Carlton Turnquist decisioned by Damian Eslinger, 19-8.
182: Connor Dennis won by forfeit.
195: Watford City forfeit.
220: Watford City forfeit.
285: Jake Belland decisioned by Denzel Sanders, 5-3.