Monday, February 18, 2019

Region 3A Tournament

     It's hard for me to believe the season is winding down but here we are already talking about the Regions and the upcoming state tournament. Aberdeen is in Region 3A which was held in Huron this year. Coach Bowden had the team ready to go as they looked good and wrestled well. In fact, I thought it was the best we've looked all year. The past couple years the team has peaked at the end of the season and it looks like that is the case again this year. The excitement in the air and the nerves of the parents were apparent Saturday in Huron. Fans were vocal early as some first round matchups had big time implications on individuals qualifying for the state tournament.
     As a team Aberdeen finished in 2nd place behind Pierre. We qualified 10 wrestlers for the state tournament. We had 3 individual champions (Salfrank, Moore, Baker) and 4 Runner Up finishers. We lost a couple heartbreakers but also won some matches I think other schools didn't think we would win. Below is a synopsis of each individual wrestler.

106: Brenden Salfrank. Brenden continued his undefeated season winning the Region title. He had a bye in the opening round followed by a 1st period pin over Trey Neilan from Chamberlain before he beat Brock Sparks from Mitchell 10-3 in the finals. Brenden goes into the state tournament as the top seed. He will wrestle Josh Hoffman from Spearfish in the opening round.

113: Brock Martin. Brock was the 3 seed in the tourney and came out firing on all cylinders. He pinned Cheyenne Eagle Butte Isaac Halfred in the first period before facing the 2 seed, Barrett Schneck in the semi finals. The Milbank kid was not ready for the type of aggressiveness Brock displayed. Brock won by a major decision 13-4 to send himself to the region finals. He lost to Chamberlain's Max Donovan to earn a Runner Up finish. Brock will face Jacob Vogel from Dell Rapids in the state opening round

120: Ethan Allen. Ethan was also the 3 seed but took a different route to qualify for the state tourney. He lost his opening round match so had to come through the wrestlebacks. He beat Chamberlain's Dominic Santiago 10-3 in the blood round to qualify. He then pinned Bryce Palmer from Mitchell for a 3rd place finish. It was nice to see him wrestle well after that first round loss. Ethan has been out most of the year so it's good to see him get back to the state tourney. Ethan will see the top seed Jacob Wood from Sturgis in the opening round of state.

126: Jacob Moore. "Crash" is our other #1 ranked wrestler in the state and received an opening round bye. In the semi's he pinned Kaden Krause from Milbank in just over a minute. Jacob has the ability to throw kids and that's what he did here to send himself to the finals. His foe was the #2 ranked kid in the state, Collin Powell from Chamberlain. The match was tied 1-1 late in the third period when a scramble ensued and Jacob ended up putting Powell on his back for a 6-1 decision. Crash is the top seed in the state tournament. He faces Rapid City Central's Zack Soderlin in the opening round.

132: Calvin Beadle. If Calvin could have won his opening round he would have been guaranteed a spot in the state tournament. It wasn't meant to be, however, and his season is over. I saw a lot of improvement in Calvin this year, you can tell he works hard and never gives up during a match. Wrestling varsity this entire year will help him in the future.

138: Logan Beadle. Logan also has improved throughout the year, he lost a close opening round match where he would have had a couple takedowns if the mat was just a little bit bigger. He bounced back to earn a pin over Ben Harstad from Milbank before falling to Cody Skustad of Chamberlain. Just like his younger brother, Calvin, the experience Logan has gained this year should help him next year.

145: Garrett Mitzel. Coming off his tournament title last week in Huron Garrett opened the tournament with a pin in just 56 seconds over Chamberlain's Garret Ristau. a lost in the semi finals sent him to the blood round where he earned another pin. This time over Gabe Halfred of Cheyenne Eagle Butte. Garrett would end up in 4th place after losing to Daynon Huber from Huron. Garrett will face the 3 seed, Tyson Stoebner from Lennox in the opening round of the state tourney.

152: Samuel Calvert. Sam came out aggressive against the top seed, Tyson Lien, from Huron and scored some points but couldn't pull off the upset. Samuel bounced back to pin the 4 seed Dillon Schneck from Milbank in just under 4 minutes. This left him one win away from qualifying for the state tourney. He was wrestling a great match taking Lee Snyder from Pierre down and controlling him, however a late headlock proved to be too much to overcome. I never saw Samuel quit in a match, the kid is a hard worker and you could see the improvement as the season went on. Look for him to make big strides next year.

160: Will Jarrott. Will came into the tourney as the top seed and the #2 ranked kid in his weight class. he opened up with a first period pin over Jaret Clarke from Pierre and followed that with a major decision over Alec Bien from Milbank. In the finals was a familiar foe in Huron's Jenkins-Harris. This time Jenkins-Harris got the better of Will taking him down in over time. Jarrott is the 3 seed at the state tourney. He faces Wyatt Knudson from Beresford and if he wins that he will more than likely face Jenkins-Harris in the quarters. I'm confident the senior can work his way to the finals.

170: Dillon Stoebner. Dillon has also been out most of the year due to injury, he recently made his way back to the lineup and has been getting back into wrestling shape. This was the best I have seen Dillon wrestle as he was aggressive and smart on his feet. Dillon faced the 3 seed, Toby Schneck from Milbank in the opening round. A late takedown earned him the 4-3 decision. in the semi finals he would face Huron's Matthew Katz, who is ranked 7th in the state. some more late scoring from Dillon got him a 7-4 decision and a trip to the finals. There he would lose to Raske from Pierre to earn a runner up finish. Dillon opens up the state tournament facing Katz again and if he wins that he sees Raske again. An odd thing you wouldn't have seen years ago before the state tournament was seeded. By the way, they seed the top 10 this year and Dillon is the 10 while Katz is the 7 seed.

182: Brock Baker. An opening round bye for the 3 seed saw Brock face Max Schoenfelder from Mitchel in the semi's. A hard fought 5-4 win got him to the finals where he would square off against Pierre's Garrett Leesman. Brock dominated Leesman, shutting him out 6-0 to earn Aberdeen's 3rd Region title. Brock Goes into the state tournament as the 4 seed. He will face Caleb Dumke from Sioux Falls Lincoln in the opening round.

195: Alex Hopfinger. Alex was the 2 seed. His opening round foe was Will Mahnke from Chamberlain. Alex pinned him in the 3rd period sending himself to the semi finals. There he would face the 3 seed Brodie Holtquist from Milbank. Alex was in control of the match before Holtquist put him to his back for the pin. Hopfinger bounced back to earn a 7-1 win over Devyn Balster from Huron to punch his ticket to the state tournament. I, for one, was nervous about this match. Alex had to get a late takedown to beat Balster two weeks earlier in the dual against Huron so I thought this would be a close match. However, Alex handled him easily. In the 3rd place match Alex beat Blake Fredericks out of Mitchel 10-3. His first round foe is Andrew Jensen from Beresford.

220: Richard Steuck. Richard spent most of the season on the JV but a late season call up will prove beneficial to him later on in his high school career. The sophomore battled hard but with 4 ranked wrestlers in the state out of this region it was going to be tough to qualify. I'm looking forward to watching him the next two years and seeing his improvements along the way.

285: Kaden Johnson. An opening round bye for the 2 seed sent him to the semi finals where he would face Beau Foote from Mitchell. Kaden would earn a hard fought 3-2 decision and a trip to the finals where he would face Nash Hutmacher. Kaden would fall to the top ranked kid in the state to earn a Runner Up finish. Kaden's first round match is against Michael Streeter from Belle Fourche. Kaden is the two seed at the state tournament.

    For those of you who can't make it to the state tournament it will be streaming on line. Below is the link. Good luck to the 10 wrestlers who qualified, hopefully we bring back a lot of hardware!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Huron, a Dual and a Tournament

Friday night was the ESD dual against Huron, the dual had been rescheduled to this date due to the weather a few weeks ago. It was Senior Night, the team recognized 4 seniors, Jacob Moore, Will Jarrott, Brock Baker and Kaden Johnson. All 4 are having a really good year and have had great careers for Aberdeen. Also, Aberdeen recognized the long time head coach of Huron, Dan McCarty. He is retiring at the end of the season so this was his last ESD dual.
     The dual was expected to be a close one so some juggling of the lineup was going to occur and it started at 106, Huron had an 8th grader in the lineup so Aberdeen bumped up top ranked Brenden Salfrank to 113 and brought in Logan Opitz. Opitz got the pin then Salfrank followed suit at 113. Brock Martin went up to 120 and earned a major decision. Right away Aberdeen was up 16-0. Next up was Senior Captain Jacob Moore returning to action after 5 weeks. Huron forfeited to Jacob. It was disappointing to him because he didn't get to wrestle a match on his home mat his senior season. Another forfeit at 132 and Aberdeen was up 28-0. Huron's Chipper Shilingstad would end the streak and start one for Huron. Huron rattled off 6 straight wins and what looked like a blowout for Aberdeen turned into a tight dual. Alex Hopfinger ended the streak by getting a late takedown to beat Devyn Balster 5-3. Kaden Johnson solidified the dual with a second period fall to give the Eagles the win 37-28.
     The following day was a trip down to Huron for their 11 team tournament. Aberdeen only had 10 wrestlers competing due to various conflicts. however, 7 of those 10 placed and 3 earned titles.

106 Brenden Salfrank: Another strong performance for the top 106 pounder in the state. He had no problems winning this tournament earning a major decision in the finals over Webster's Cael Larson 16-7.
113 Brock Martin: Brock had a good day, he lost a close one in the semi finals but battled back to pin Sammons from Huron to get 3rd place.
126 Jacob Moore: If folks thought the 5 weeks off were going to affect Jacob we didn't see it Saturday. A pin at the 1:01 mark in the finals over Minneota's Kade Lozinski earned him the title. It was a good return to action for him.
145 Garrett Mitzel: Garrett had a great tournament and appears to be peaking at the end of the season. A pin in the opening round followed by a 7-0 decision in the quarters put him against Rausch from Webster in the semi's. a hard fought 3-2 win over the #6 ranked wrestler put him in the finals where he would face another ranked kid, Gilchrist form Winner. It was a tight match before Mitzel reversed Gilchrist and put him on his back and stuck him midway through the second period. This was Garrett's first ever tournament title including AAU, middle school and high school. Congrats Garrett!
160 Will Jarrott: In the semi finals Will had to face Jenkins-Harris from Huron. Will lost to him the night before but this time around Will dominated him getting a 6-1 decision. This put the #2 wrestler at 160 into the finals where he would face another tough foe in Winner's Sam Krueger. Krueger beat Jarrott in the finals at the Lee Wolf and although this match was a lot closer Krueger still came out on top. Will earned 2nd place in this tournament, Will has been in the finals of every tournament the team has been in this year. A real nice accomplishment.
Brock Baker 182: Brock lost a tough one in the semi's to top ranked in the B's Caleb Oris from Clark. Baker bounced back to earn 3rd place by beating Buysse from Minneota.
Alex Hopfinger 220: Alex lost a close on in the semi finals to Webster's Tristan Bent. Hopfinger would also go on to get 3rd place beating Minneota's Jackson Epsing. I don't know why Alex was at 220 instead of 195 but he has improved throughout the year and it was evident this weekend.

Aberdeen goes into the Region tournament with 5 kids ranked in the top 3 in the state. From what I can tell we will have 13 kids participating in it and Coach Bowden believes all 13 can qualify for the state tournament. Region 3 action begins at 10:00 Saturday in Huron.

Go Eagles!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Triangular and the Lee Wolf

     Last weekend was a busy one with Aberdeen hosting both Harrisburg and Watertown in a triangular dual at the old Civic Arena. Injuries and sickness has been an issue lately with the team causing them to have 5 opens. Spotting any team 30 points makes it difficult to win a dual and that proved to be the case Thursday night. Harrisburg handed us a 24-48 setback. Kaden Johnson and Will Jarrott won by fall, Brenden Salfrank by tech fall, Brock Martin earned a major decision and Sam Calvert won by decision. For the Watertown dual Aberdeen fell 18-58. Pins for Aberdeen were Salfrank, Jarrott and Johnson. The next dual will be Thursday, January 31 in Brookings.
     On Saturday was the annual Lee Wolf Invite, this year had 18 teams and several top ranked kids in ND and SD. Aberdeen, still short several wrestlers, had a good showing finishing in 7th place. It would have been nice to see how they would have done with a full lineup. The top ranked B school in SD, Canton, won the tournament followed by Winner then Watertown.
     106 Brenden Salfrank. The top ranked A wrestler in South Dakota dominated the #2 ranked B wrestler, Andy Meyer, from Canton winning 11-1. Brenden pinned his way to the finals before capping off the win against Meyer to earn the Title at the Lee Wolf. Salfrank remains undefeated this year with a current record of 29-0 while recording 19 pins along the way.
     106 Logan Opitz went 0-2
     113 Brock Martin is currently sitting at a record of 17-14 and earned an 8th place finish. He had a nice win shutting out Mobridge-Pollocks Isaac Aman winning by major decision 8-0.
     113 Drew Salfrank went 1-2 earning a win over Huron's Will Radke.
     132 Calvin Beadle went 1-2 earning a 4-2 decision over Bismarck Legacy, Caedmon Marx.
     132 Caden Rush went 0-2
     138 Logan Beadle went 0-2
     138 Braydon Steuck went 1-2. He earned a tough fought overtime victory over Preston Gall from Jamestown.
     145 Garrett Mitzel is 15-18 on the year and finished in 6th place. He beat a couple kids that had beaten him earlier in the year. Garrett went 3-3 on the day earning two pins and a decision. The win over Huron's Daynon Huber was a big one for him and will help in the region seedings.
     152 Sam Calvert went 1-2 beating Riley Martin from Bismarck Legacy 6-1
     160 Will Jarrott's record on the year so far is 26-4. He is ranked #2 and had a good tournament losing in the finals to the top ranked kid in the B's, Sam Kruger, to earn a Runner Up finish. He had two pins and a 6-0 decision to get to the finals.
     195 Alex Hopfinger is 16-14 on the year. Alex has been picking up nice wins as the year goes on and is real close to breaking out and getting those big wins. He went 3-2 on the day for 5th place at the Lee Wolf collecting two pins along the way.
     220 Richard Steuck went 0-2
     285 Kaden Johnson is 25-5 this year. He earned another pin en-route to the finals where he fell victim to Nash Hutmacher of Chamberlain to get a Runner Up finish. Kaden collected a pin in the quarter finals over Sebastian Cardona from Huron.

     You'll notice Aberdeen had some JV wrestlers participating in the tournament. That is some valuable experience they gained. The Lee Wolf is a tough one day tournament with a really cool atmosphere. Wrestling in this tournament will pay dividends down the road.

     The next tournament for the Eagles in in Huron on Feb 9. That is the last regular season event for the team, the following Saturday is the Region 3 tourney also being held in Huron. The state tourney, is in Rapid City Feb 22-23.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Triangular and two tournaments

     The past two weeks have been busy for the Golden Eagles. On the 11th they made a trip to Yankton for a triangular against the Bucks and the Lynx from Brandon Valley. We started off against Yankton defeating them 46-25. Aberdeen earned pins from Brenden Salfrank, Garrett Mitzel, Will Jarrott, Alex Hopfinger and Kaden Johnson. Ethan Allen, wrestling at 120, also made his season debut recovering from an injury he received before the first meet of the year. His debut was successful earning a first period fall. Also receiving wins were Logan Beadle with a Major decision and Brock Baker with a forfeit.
     The next dual against Brandon Valley was a different story. The Lynx took it to us handing us a 15-53 defeat. Salfank, Baker and Hopfinger were our only wins. 2 pins and a major decision. The following day the Eagles attended the 12 team Harrisburg Invite. Still shorthanded we finished in 3rd place behind Harrisburg and Madison. Aberdeen had 3 champions; Brenden Salfrank, Will Jarrott and Kaden Johnson. Runner up finish for Brock Martin, 3rd place for Brock Baker, 4th place finish for Alex Hopfinger, Garrett Mitzel and Logan Beadle and a 6th place for Ethan Allen.
     The following weekend was the River City Rumble in Chamberlain. Again shorthanded, we finished in 4th place trailing Mitchell, Chamberlain and Huron. We had two champions, Brenden Salfrank and Will Jarrott, two runner up finishes as well with Alex Hopfinger and Kaden Johnson. Finishing in 3rd place were Brock Martin, Ethan Allen and Brock Baker. Rounding out the placers was Garrett Mitzel in 4th.
     This week the team has a home triangular Thursday night against Harrisburg and Watertown, It's hopeful that Dillon Stoebner will be back in the lineup but Jacob Moore is still out. His return is not known yet. The following Saturday is the Lee Wolf tourney at Golden Eagles Arena. There is also a wrestling reunion over the weekend, A social Friday night at The Wakeside Bar and Grill and another gathering Saturday after the tournament at the AmericInn. Hope to see you all there.

Go Eagles!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Bismarck Rotary

     The Bismarck Rotary tournament has a long tradition as a highly competitive one. This year was no different as 34 teams from ND, SD and MT participated. Each weight class had plenty of ranked wrestlers. Aberdeen was still short a few due to injuries. Additionally, some others moved down a weight class which I believe will make us a better team at the end of the year. Overall the team finished in 6th place which is pretty good considering we didn't have a wrestler at 120, 170 and 220. Those kids should be in the lineup soon.
     Sidney MT won the tourney with 213 pts followed by Bismarck High 212, Rapid City Central 155, Rapid City Stevens 151, Watertown 136, Aberdeen 134.5. It's encouraging to see how high of a finish we had knowing there are a lot of points out there that we can get when we are all healthy. We had 4 kids place, and 3 lose out in the blood round. Below is a tournament synopsis of those 7.

     Brenden Salfrank at 106: Brenden totally dominated this weight class. 4 straight pins to get him to the finals. In the finals he faced #1 ranked in ND Tristan Tanefeu from Bismarck. One would think the top kid from ND and the top from SD would make for a good match but it wasn't. Brenden man handled him beating him 10-0 and keeping his undefeated season in tact. Salfrank is having an incredible run this year. He is 18-0 with 10 pins. The next test for him will be this coming weekend in the Harrisburg tournament where #2A kid in SD from Tea Area will be there. Earlier this year Brenden beat the former #2 from Sturgis, that kid has since lost to the Tea kid and has dropped to #3 in the rankings.
     Brock Martin at 113: Brock dropped a weight class from 120 and he looked good. He lost his first match to the #2A ranked in ND but bounced back with 3 straight wins in the wrestlebacks earning two pins and a tech fall along the way. In the blood round match he was up against the ND #4A from Dickinson. Martin was down early but came storming back earning 3 takedowns in the last period. I believe if he had about 20 or more seconds left he could have gotten him. Look for Brock to make some noise in this weight class the rest of the year.
     Jacob Moore at 126: Jacob started out the tournament with 3 straight first period pins getting him to the semifinals where he faced a familiar foe in ND State Champion Laken Boese. this is the 6th meeting these two have had throughout the years, all of which were close matches with Jacob besting him 4 times. However, Jacob lost this one 5-4 and suffered an injury during it. He finished the match but had to default out of the tournament. The kid is not happy about these 3 losses on his record but his health and the rest of the season is more important than a higher placing at the Rotary.
     Will Jarrott at 160: Will dropped down a weight class this weekend as well and the results were similar to what he was doing at 170 which was beating kids and placing high at tournaments. Will earned 2 pins, a major decision then a decision against #6A in ND in the semi finals to earn a trip to the Rotary finals. There he would run into the #1B in ND from Napoleon, Nathan Weigel. a couple small mistakes cost Will and he dropped a close one to end up as the runner up. Talking to him after the match he knows what to correct and said he felt good at this weight. It's unusual to see a top ranked kid at a particular weight class drop down a weight but Will knows this makes the team better. I imagine the other 160 pounders in the state aren't too thrilled about this move.
     Brock Baker at 170: Brock decided to drop down a weight class as well which will then move Dillon Stoebner to 182 when he returns to the lineup. Brock looked good at this weight. He suffered from some sickness later in the day and it cost him a spot on the podium. Brock started out with a pin then faced #2A from RCC Jungclaus who beat Brock. I imagine Brock will study the film and make some adjustments. Baker answered with a pin and a major decision before succumbing in the blood round.
     Alex Hopfinger at 195: Alex had a first round loss but worked his way to the blood round on the back side earning a pin and a major decision along the way. Needing to win his last match of the day to place he faced #2A from Turtle Mountain in Louis DeCateu. Alex wrestled a good match but came up short. You can see as the season goes on that Hopfinger is getting closer to winning these matches. He had a good tournament losing to a highly ranked opponent at the end.
     Kaden Johnson at 285. After receiving a first round bye the #2 seed Kaden earned a couple pins to get to the semi finals where he faced #2A from ND, Jaeden Oestern, a throw attempt in the first period put him in a bad position which ended the match and put Kaden in the wrestle backs. There he got a 29 second pin to wrestle for 3rd place. He finished off the day with a 8-2 decision over a kid from Glasgow MT.
     One of the nice things about this two day tournament is on day two they have a JV tourney and a Second Chance tourney for those that lose out early in day one.  This gives a lot of kids opportunities to get more matches in. Aberdeen had 9 kids enter this tournament which they break up into several 8 man brackets for each weight class. This is different than in the past when they did a 4 man round robin. I like the change they made here. All 9 of the wrestlers placed in their respective brackets, a real good showing from those guys.
1st place: Braydon Steuck at 138
2nd place: Drew Salfrank 113, Weston Stippich 120, Calvin Beadle 132, Sam Calvert 152
3rd place: Garrett Mitzel 145, Richard Steuck 195
4th place: Logan Opitz 106, Caden Rush 132

     The next action for the Eagles will be a triangular in Yankton against Brandon Valley and Yankton. Brandon Valley has several highly ranked kids and the current #1 at 160 Damian Schunke who Will Jarrott will be facing. This, by far, will be the marquee matchup of the night. The following day we are in the Harrisburg tournament so a busy weekend of wrestling is ahead.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Meet The Eagles Night

     The dual against Mitchell brought a good crowd as it was the first home dual of the year, the only one held at Golden Eagles Arena this year. The two other home dates will be at the old Civic Arena. It was also Meet the Eagles Night where the wrestlers take turns signing team pictures after the dual for the young fans. It was a great atmosphere and a good crowd.
     The team is currently ranked 2nd in the state behind Rapid City Stevens. You would think with that high of a ranking that we would have no problem in a dual against an unranked Mitchell Kernels team but that is not the case. Having 5 kids ranked one or two can earn a lot of team points in a tournament but in a dual format you need contributors across the board. Although everybody wrestled tough The Kernels picked up 8 wins, 7 of which were via bonus points. This lead to the 40-29 victory for Mitchell.
     Much like the dual against Pierre last year, the coin toss played a major part in the outcome. Mitchell won the toss which made Aberdeen show the wrestler first in a few key weight classes. Both coaches juggled their lineups around and held back some JV wrestlers to try to gain any advantage possible. Had Aberdeen won the flip I believe they would have won the dual.
     The night started out with #1 ranked Brenden Salfrank dominating his opponent earning a tech fall and putting the Eagles up 5-0. Mitchell would counter that with a pin at 113 before Brock Martin would earn a 4-1 decision at 120 pounds. At 126 this is a spot where the coin toss worked to Mitchell's advantage. #1 ranked, Jacob Moore had to report first, Mitchell weighed in state placer, Kyler Bauder who has been hurt all year. Unbeknownst to Aberdeen, they had no intentions of wrestling him, just if we decided not to send anyone out then he would step out to take the forfeit. This forced us to send Jacob out thinking Bauder would come out. He didn't and they forfeited the weight class. I would assume if they had to report first they wouldn't have sent anyone out then we would have bumped Jacob up a weight. These are some of the reasons why a dual can be so exciting. Not only does every match count in a big way but there can be a quite a lot of strategy that you don't find in a tournament setting.
     After this move Mitchell rattled off six straight wins before #1 ranked Will Jarrott earned a pin for his 100th career victory. Aberdeen's slim hopes of winning the dual stayed alive as #2 ranked Brock Baker also secured a pin. This brought the Eagles within 10 points with 2 matches to go but Mitchell's #1 ranked Carter Max won at 220 lbs putting the dual out of reach. That left one match to go where #2 ranked Kaden Johnson found himself in an unexpected position. Down by a point late in the 3rd period he couldn't seem to find an opening to get a takedown. They wrestled out of bounds with 3 seconds to go. On the restart Johnson bull rushed Mitchell's Beau Foote, taking him down as time expired to finish the night in exciting fashion.
     A little about Jarrott and his 100th win. A nice accomplishment for the Senior. He is a two time state place winner and a 3 time state qualifier who has been in the program through youth and middle school. He's hoping to add a state high school title to his two state youth titles. He is a physical wrestler who is tough to score on. Congratulations Will!
     Aberdeen's next action will be the incredibly tough Rumble on the Red tournament held in the Fargo dome on Dec 28 and 29. There will be a total of 85 teams competing in both the varsity division and the junior varsity division representing the states of MN, ND, SD, NE, WI, AZ. It is not uncommon for a weight class to have over 20 ranked kids from their respective states! Last year Aberdeen placed 3 kids, Jacob Moore got 3rd, Collin Haar earned 7th and Kaden Johnson 8th in the varsity division. I would expect Aberdeen to have 5 or so in the varsity division and the rest in the JV portion. Hopefully a lot of kids can put together a good weekend and find the podium.
     One more thing, a great Christmas present for these guys is the 2 pound allowance they get on the 25th. Most, if not all, of these guys are pretty happy to get those two pounds.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Pierre Dual

     On Thursday. Dec 13th the Eagles traveled to Pierre for an ESD dual. This dual features the #2 ranked Aberdeen Golden Eagles against the #3 ranked Pierre Governors. Aberdeen has 6 kids ranked in the top 8 with 3 of them at #1. Pierre has 11 ranked kids with their highest ranking wrestler at #3. In a dual setting, bonus points play a huge factor in determining the outcome and this one was no different. Pierre took advantage of 6 pins, a tech fall and a forfeit to soundly defeat Aberdeen 45-29. If those pins were just regular decisions, Aberdeen wins the dual. Sometimes not giving up bonus points can be as big as winning a match when it comes to a dual.
     The dual started off with top ranked Brenden Salfrank facing #5 Blake Judson. Salfrank got a quick takedown and 3 back points to go up 5-0. A reversal and 3 more back points in period 2 put him up 10-0 heading into the 3rd. The Eagles bench thought he had a pin on a few different occasions but the official didn't comply. Salfrank ended up earning a tech fall late in the third period to put the Eagles up 5-0.
     Drew Salfrank faced #7 Kahlor Hindman at 113. Drew wrestled a determined match showing some great defense. He was close to winning a few situations which could have changed the entire outcome of the match.  He ended up losing by a major decision but I'm sure Pierre was hoping to see a pin here. These are the types of efforts that can win a team dual. Those were extra bonus points Pierre was hoping for that they didn't get.
     Brock Martin at 120 faced #8 Hayden Schaffer. The Pierre kid seemed to have a size advantage over Brock finding a fall late in the first period.
     Aberdeen sent out the top ranked wrestler at 126 in Jacob Moore. This match was to have #6 Jace Bench-Bresher for Pierre but, for some reason, he didn't weigh in. Jacob pinned their JV kid in the second period putting the Eagles up 11-10. That lead was short lived as Pierre earned a tech fall and two pins in the next 3 matches.
     Garret Mitzel, ranked #7 at 152 stopped the Pierre winning streak. He got a takedown in each of the first two periods to defeat Jaret Clarke by a score of 5-1. Garret has quietly put together a nice start to the season and continues to be a force in the middle of the lineup.
     Samuel Calvert at 160 wrestled against Lee Snyder of Pierre. Sam is small for this weight class. He has weighed in at 152 all year but bumps up to 160 for these duals. The much bigger Snyder was able to pin him to make the team score 33-14.
     The next two duals were the premiere matches of the night. At 170 was #1 ranked Will Jarrott against #3 ranked Maguire Raske. After a scoreless first period Will earned a reversal and a take down in the second period followed by another takedown in the third to win 6-3. Following Will was #2 Brock Baker for Aberdeen and his opponent was #3 Garrett Leesman. Brock pinned Leesman at the Rapid Invite last weekend and the result would be no different this time around with a 1st period fall.
     Aberdeen forfeited at 195. At 220 was Alex Hopfinger against #5 Gage Gehring. A scoreless 1st period gave us an idea this would be a close match but the Pierre foe appeared to have more in the tank and got a fall late in the third period. I'm sure this is something Alex can learn from and will improve upon.
     The final contest of the evening featured two more ranked wrestlers. #2 Kaden Johnson who has pinned all but one opponent this year was facing #6 Preston Taylor. Kaden was dominant early getting three takedowns before pinning Taylor with 8 seconds to go in the first.
     The next action for the Eagles will be Thursday, Dec 20 at Golden Eagles Arena. It is "Meet the Eagles" night so come down and watch the Eagles take on the Kernals of Mitchell. JV starts at 6:00, Varsity at 7:00