by Scott DCamp
Two weeks after they were written off as an afterthought following a pair of lopsided losses to Perham and Bemidji, the Thief River Falls wrestling team made a statement with a fourth place finish in the Grand Forks Sertoma Invitational Tournament. The event was held Friday and Saturday at Grand Forks Central High School.
The tournament isn’t officially seeded, but the teams believed to be the top four are separated into different quarters. Thief River Falls was not considered a contender for the tournament title and was drawn into the same quarter as perennially solid Stewartville. After both teams notched lopsided first round wins – the Prowlers defeated Jamestown 56-20 and the Tigers defeated Grand Forks Central 48-24 – Thief River Falls won a physical battle with Stewartville to advance to the Sertoma semifinals for the first time since December 2009.
“The win against Stewartville was a turning point for these guys,” said Thief River Falls coach Kenny Geiser. “They won some close matches and really stepped up their intensity. We have turned into a scrappy young team that has some fight. Aaron Bruggeman had a huge win for us against Stewartville. He was down 14-2 when he came back for the pin.”
Saturday morning, the Prowlers won just three individual matches against eventual tournament champion Bismarck Century, losing 50-14.
“I thought we battled against Century,” Geiser said. “They are a tough team top to bottom but we didn't get intimidated. We focused on three things Saturday: eliminating mistakes, competing, and fighting in every match. I think the guys did that.”
The Prowlers rallied from their first loss of the tournament to defeat a strong Valley City squad 43-33.
“The win against Valley City was a dogfight, a physical battle,” Geiser said. “Hunter Roller had a great come from behind pin that helped a lot and Kyle Fowler
had an important last second win as well. The hard work in the practice room seems to be paying dividends.”
Thief River Falls’ bid for a top-three finish came up short as the Prowlers fell 45-27 to defending North Dakota state runner-up West Fargo.
Jake Davis, 4-1, Cade Lundeen, 4-0, Josh Bernier, 5-0, Kyle Fowler, 4-1, and Noah Hawkins, 4-1, led the way individually for the Prowlers. The 3-2 weekend record pushes the Prowlers season record to 6-4 overall.
TRF 56, Jamestown 20
106: Jake Davis, TRF, over Dominic Laber 12-1; 113: Aaron Bruggeman, TRF, by forfeit; 120: Cade Lundeen, over Noah Bruan 1:07; 126: Cody Sele, TRF, over Brandon Hatcher fall 3:31; 132: Tyler Sele, TRF, by forfeit; 138: Kyle Dupre, J, over Mason Iverson tech 4:21; 145: Josh Bernier, TRF, over Jakob Brunning fall 2:46; 152: Kyle Fowler, TRF, over Lucas Shirley 10-1; 160: Noah Hawkins, TRF, over Max Montana fall 0:43; 170: Paxton Mewes, J, over Brenan Peralta fall 1:29; 182: Hunter Roller, TRF, by forfeit; 195: Nathan Goodrich, J, over Connor Jensen 5-2; 220: Connor Swanson, TRF, by forfeit; 285: Jason Schulte, J, over Ethan Halvorson 2:47
TRF 36, Stewartville 29
106: Jake Davis, TRF, over Riley Schwictenberg 10-2; 113: Aaron Bruggeman, TRF, over Hudson Dyke fall 5:28; 120: Brady Olson, S, over Cole Johnson fall 2:56; 126: Cade Lundeen, TRF, by forfeit; 132: Will Scott, S, over Cody Sele fall 4:30; 138: Erik Sistad, S, over Mason Iverson tech fall 4:28; 145: Josh Bernier, TRF, over Tanner Prochaska tech fall 4:20; 152: Kyle Fowler, TRF, over Ryan Clark 19-17; 160: Kyle Miller, TRF, over Derek Woltman fall 1:43; 170: Noah Hawkins, TRF, over Shawn Curtis 4-2; 182: Hunter Roller, TRF, over Troy Bailey 4-3; 195: Shad Curtis, S, over Conner Jensen 3-1; 220: Travis Capelle, S, over Connor Swanson 1:43; 285: Adam Gehlig, S, over Ethan Halvorson 9-2.
Century 50, TRF 14
106: Alex Krohn, BC, over Jake Davis 7-6; 113: Izaiah Bitz, BC, over Cole Johnson fall 0:54; 120: Cade Lundeen, TRF, over Shane Fleck 13-4; 126: Mason Schultz, BC, by forfeit; 132: Matthew Rader, BC, over Cody Sele 14-2; 138: Trey Palimula, BC, over Teagan Kruckeberg 1:41; 145: Kyle Fowler, TRF, over Tanner Kress 1:09; 152: Josh Bernier, TRF, over Bo Bondeson 16-5; 160: Cameron Rants, BC, over Kyle Miller 9-0; 170: Jacob Rader, BC, over Noah Hawkins 6-2; 182: Tjaden Smith, BC, over Hunter Roller 6-4; 195: Aaron Werre, BC, over Connor Jensen 0:48; 220: Phil Walter, BC, over Ethan Halvorson 9-5; 285: Seth Braun, BC, over Connor Swanson fall 2:53.
TRF 43, Valley City 33
106: Jake Davis, TRF, over Justin Opatz fall 1:15; 113: Carson Bry, TRF, by forfeit; 120: Parker Carson, VC, over Cole Johnson fall 0:52; 126: Cade Lundeen, TRF, over Jared Undem 4-0; 132: Rylee Bjunk, VC, over Cody Sele fall 2:54; 138: Jakob Ashline, TRF, over Teagan Kami fall 2:29; 145: Kyle Fowler, TRF, over Jonathan Langer fall 4:15; 152: Josh Bernier, TRF, over Sage Keview fall 0:36; 160: Logan Erlandson, VC, over Kyle Miller 14-1; 170: Noah Haskins 10-1; 182: Hunter Roller, TRF, over Noah Kaber fall 5:15; 195: Jaden Vestein, VC, over Connor Jensen fall 1:48; 220: Jordan Magnuson, VC, over AJ Riddle fall 0:40; 285: Connor Swanson, TRF, over Drew Jacobson fall 0:56.
West Fargo 45, TRF 27
106: Jake Davis, TRF, by forfeit; 113: JJ Harms, WF, over Aaron Bruggeman fall 4:44; 120: Cole Johnson, TRF, over Declan Genova fall 2:11; 126: Jordan Gianakos, WF, over Cody Sele 6-4; 132: Dalton Schlichting, WF, over Tyle Sele fall 2:25; 138: Jared Franek, WF, over Mason Iverson fall 0:45; 145: Josh Bernier, TRF, over Jacob Franek 13-6; 152: Dante Genova, WF, over Kyle Fowler 11-5; 160: Cade Peterson, WF, over Kyle Miller; 170: Noah Hawkins, TRF, over Joe Masumbuko 2:52; 182: Jesse Shearer, WF, over Hunter Roller fall 1:30; 195: Chase Teiken, WF, over Connor Jensen fall 1:05; 220: Ethan Halvorson, TRF, over Jeremiah Rodriguez fall 0:17; 285: Brandon Metz, WF, by forfeit.