SUTHERLAND — The surprise team at the District D4 Wrestling Tournament will be taking an inaugural trip to Omaha next week for the State Wrestling Tournament.
Stapleton-McPherson County is in its fourth season of wrestling and had never sent any wrestler to the state event prior to this season. Now the Cyclones have six wrestlers after SMC finished third as a team in the tournament.
“It really is gravy,” said SMC head coach Tim Negley. “I couldn’t be prouder of the way the guys wrestled in this tournament.
“It will be new territory for all of them. Hopefully, we’ll have some place finishers to cap it off.”
The Cyclones put four wrestlers into weight class finals, with all four taking a runner-up position. Colt Lewis at 132 pounds suffered a third-period pin loss to Joey Johnson of Hay Springs in their final.
SMC also had three finalists in the three heaviest weight classes. Clay Seifer at 195 pounds suffered a third-period pin loss to Bayard’s Tanner Willey. Levi Peterson, the Cyclones 220-pounder, lost a close 8-4 decision to Stevin Horrocks of Hay Springs. Peterson was down 6-4 late and tried to get a tying takedown, but Horrocks sprawled and got the takedown just before the buzzer.
SMC’s Isaac Ascherl was third at 152 pounds and John Sonnenfeld was fourth at 182 pounds.
At 285 pounds, Vinny Ross of Perkins County pinned Justin Cosler of SMC in the first period. Ross improved to 39-1 with the victory, but realized the district competition wasn’t as tough as next week’s will be at state.
“I knew I had the class beat here,” Ross said. “I just tried to work on my conditioning some on the mat, not try and pin everyone too fast.
“No offense to the guys who made it from this district, but the real competition will be state.”
Of five varsity wrestlers on the Perkins County team, four advanced to state and three with district titles. Joining Ross as district champions was Austin Thelander at 106 pounds and Mark Hanson at 132 pounds. The Plainsmen’s 126-pounder, Trey Johnson, took third in the tournament.
“We had a good tournament,” said Plainsmen head coach Dean Friedel. “Vinny and Austin did what I thought they would do and win, but Mark Hanson winning 132 was great.
“To take four of our five is wonderful.”
One of the better finals of the day was at 120 pounds where Chris Ray of Hay Springs defeated Collin Fleecs of Sutherland 9-8. The match had a little controversy as Fleecs appeared to turn Ray to his back, but got no near-fall points.
Sutherland’s Chandler Tyan continued his stellar season season, winning the title at 126 pounds with a 4-2 decision over Levi Ray of Hay Springs. It was the second straight district title for Tyan.
“It was about the same as last year, as far as competition,” Tyan said. “It will be tough at the state tournament. There are four wrestlers who are all ranked ahead of me who will be there and I haven’t seen any of them.”
Joining Tyan and Fleecs at the state tournament for Sutherland will be Zachary Blake, third at 160 pounds; Landon Fear, second at 170 pounds; and Nathaniel Foster, third at 195 pounds.
Bayard won the team title with 186 points, followed by Hay Springs with 103, SMC with 98.5, Morrill and Perkins County each with 91, Sutherland with 86, Mullen with 67.5, Garden County with 48.5, Banner County with 44, Hyannis with 36, Hemingford with 32, Crawford with 31.5, Hitchcock County with 28, Minatare and Sioux County with 17, Creek Valley with 8 and Wauneta-Palisade with 4.
Hitchcock County’s Levi Baughman defeated Mullen’s Dalton Zimmerman 6-2 to win the 113-pound championship. Baughman will be the Falcons only representative at the state tournament.
Zimmerman is one of four Mullen wrestlers to qualify for the state tournament. Joining him are Kory Phillips, third at 120 pounds, Garrett Cox, fourth at 152 pounds; and Gideon Monette, second at 160 pounds.