Photo 1: Dakota Petersen gets two points from the referee after a takedown of first round opponent Dylan Rouzer of Garretson.
Photo 2: Jace Christiansen throws down first round opponent Kaleb Haas of Howard. Photo 3: Kyle Scofield controls his second round opponent Spencer Oeltjenbruns of Luverne.
Held every year but one since 1973 - Pipestone Area dominates team division
The Flandreau Flier wrestling team got their season underway with the 40th Booster Club Tournament held in Flandreau.
The Fliers performed well throughout the day but the Pipestone Area wrestlers stole the show with a dominating team victory with four individual champions and seven runners-up.
Jace Christiansen picked up right where he left off from last year’s state championship season - taking first place in the 145 lb. division for the second straight year. He dominated Walker Kor of Pipestone for the title.
Five Fliers took home runner-up honors. Eighth grader, Dylan Rice was defeated by Pipestone’s Garrett Ploeger in the 106 lb. division. Casey Johnson was also beaten by a Pipestone wrestler in the championship of the 132 lb. class. Jake Scofield continued the trend of falling short to a Pipestone wrestler by losing to Brady Bos in the 152 lb. class. Kyle Scofield fell short of winning his fifth straight Booster Club Championship by falling to James Jungwirth of Howard in the 170 lb division and Dakota Petersen fell to Wyatt Aubert of Luverne to take runner-up honors in the 182 lb. class.
Carter Ziebarth and Logan Barboza both took home fourth place honors in their respective weight classes. Dylan Erickson and Trevor Heinemann both competed in their first wrestling meets, neither wrestler placed. Si Flatten, Saud Alhschlager, and Brock Belkham also competed for the Fliers but failed to place.
Pipestone accumulated 219 team points to take the team victory over second place Howard who scored 151 team points. Flandreau finished fourth with 115 team points.
Although it was the Fliers first time on the mat this season, Head Coach Travis Ahrens knows that his team could have performed better.
“Like any year, the list gets long with things that need to be worked on after you wrestle for the first time. I was disappointed in the results of some of our matches. Despite being the first time out, we are still better than what we showed at times.”
The Fliers did face some steep competition during the tournament that Ahrens believes will help in the long run.
“We were measured by the competition and that will help narrow our focus as we build towards the end of the year. We will be better as we get some of the new guys more mat time and hone and sharpen our older guys.“
A few wrestlers stood out to the sixth year coach.
“Jace Christiansen, really picked up from where he left off last year. He had two tough kids in his bracket that he wrestled and just went to work. He had a great tournament. Dylan Erickson and Trevor Heinemann both first year wrestlers, really showed a lot of grit and at times did some good things in their first wrestling competition ever.”
The Fliers have yet to win the Booster Club Tournament in its 40-year existence but Pipestone took home their fourth straight Tournament win. The Fliers will hit the mat again tomorrow night for the Flandreau Triangular at 6:00 p.m.