by Scott DCamp
Thief River Falls is continuing to exceed expectations on the wrestling mat despite having a team with more eighth and ninth graders than juniors and seniors in its starting lineup.
On Saturday, Dec. 19, the Prowlers concluded the two-day, 37-team Big Bear Tournament in Cass Lake with a ninth place team finish.
“We have a young, inexperienced team that so far, has continued to overachieve,” said Thief River Falls coach Kenny Geiser. “I am very excited with the improvements these guys have made and the work they have been putting in.”
Cade Lundeen led all Thief River Falls wrestlers with a 4-1 record and second place finish at 113 pounds. Lundeen suffered his first loss of the year to Jace Geving of Deer River in the championship match after surrendering an 8-6 lead on a tilt in the closing seconds of the match.
“Cade had a dominant tourney up until the last 13 seconds in the finals,” Geiser said. “He is offensive and has a great motor. I have to give Geving credit, he didn't quit and earned the win. Hopefully Cade can use the loss as motivation going forward.”
Other top-eight finishers for the Prowlers were Josh Bernier, third at 145 pounds; Jake Davis, fourth at 106; and Kyle Fowler, eighth at 138.
Bernier reached the semifinal round before falling 5-0 to eventual champion Tom Tellers of United North Central. He rebounded from that loss to defeat Jared Sunram of Park Rapids 10-5 in the consolation semifinal round and Nick Kaml of Badger/Greenbush-Middle River 6-3 in the third place match.
“Josh is doing a great job of getting to his offense,” Geiser said. “He is wrestling very strong and is fun to watch. In his one loss he ran into a kid who was tough to score on. I think Josh can learn from the loss and find more ways to score against better wrestlers.”
Davis reached the quarterfinal round before falling to eventual champion Nick Dunagan of Mounds View. He reached the third place match with three consecutive pins before falling to Spencer Miller of Staples-Motley by 8-3 decision.
“Jake had a breakout tournament; he continued to get better as the tournament wore on,” Geiser said. “He ended up with four pins, which really showed how aggressive he was. He has put in a lot of time in the off season and in the weight room, and it is paying off now.”
Fowler also had a breakout tournament of sorts, going 4-3 in an eighth place effort.
“Kyle had a great tournament,” Geiser said. “He has worked very hard the past couple of years and deserved a weekend like this. He is doing a great job of staying aggressive and the two pins he picked up in the wrestlebacks were against tough wrestlers. I’m very proud of him.”
Also competing for the Prowlers were Cole Johnson, 1-2 with one pin at 120; Kyle Miller, 1-2 with one pin at 152; Brenan Peralta, 2-2 with one pin at 160; Noah Hawkins, 2-2 with two pins at 170; Hunter Roller, 2-2 with two pins at 182; Connor Swanson, 1-2 with one pin at 195; Connor Jensen, 1-2 with one pin at 220; and Ethan Halvorson, 0-2 at heavyweight.
n Team totals – Hutchinson 214.5, Bemidji 176.5, West Central Area 159.5, Lakeville North 143.5, Mora 140, Mounds View 132, Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus 130.5, Aitkin 127.5, Thief River Falls 122, Hibbing 115, Staples-Motley 110, Badger/Greenbush-Middle River 109, Park Rapids 88, Detroit Lakes 81.5, Deer River 78.5, Big Lake 77, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 67, Osakis 63.5, Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale 61.5, Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena 60, MAHACA 57, Mahnomen-Waubun 56, Fertile-Beltrami 53, St. Cloud Apollo 50, Fosston-Bagley 46.5, Roseau 45.5, Fergus Falls 43, United North Central 43, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley/Nevis 42, Spectrum 39, Barnesville 38, United Clay-Becker 31, Wadena- Deer Creek 30, Virginia 22, Crosby-Ironton 17, Red Lake County Central 16, Crookston 9.
106 – Jake Davis, 5-2 (fourth) def. Garret Eiynck (Mahnomen-Waubun) fall 0:34; def. Bryce Bergerson (Red Lake County Central) fall 1:07; def. by Nick Dunagan (Mounds View) fall 1:25; def. Kaleb Getz (West Central Area) fall 2:06; def. Timmy Boone (Barnesville) 6-0; def. Trey Fairbanks (Deer River) fall 2:45; def. by Spencer Miller (Staples-Motley) 8-3.
113 – Cade Lundeen, 4-1 (second) def. Owen Bjerga (Staples-Motley) fall 5:32; def. Ryan Helgoe (Big Lake) fall 0:51; def. Dillon McGee (Walker-Hackensack-Akeley/Nevis) 12-4; def. Konrad Blood (Mora) 4-1; def. by Jace Geving (Deer River) 9-8.
120 – Cole Johnson, 1-2 (DNP) def. by Dasin Mateski (Hutchinson) fall 2:50; def. Connor Lomen (Fosston-Bagley) fall 2:24; def. by Michael Staples (Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena) fall 2:40.
126 – Cody Sele, 2-2 (DNP) def. Peter Koering (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) fall 5:19; def. Kaven Blazek (Crosby-Ironton) 11-4; def. by Jamaal Baird (Deer River) 11-0; def. by Tanner Hinzman (Virginia) 5-3.
138 – Kyle Fowler, 4-3 (eighth) def. Owen Gross (Roseau) fall 1:40; def. by Trenton Nelson (MAHACA) 4-1; def. Owen Lucas (Bemidji) fall 4:56; def. Ian Frenzel (Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena) fall 1:28; def. Austin Bacon (United North Central) 5-4; def. by Trenton Nelson (MAHACA) 10-3; def. by Cody Andersen (Hutchinson) 17-6.
145 – Josh Bernier, 5-1 (third) def. Ray Pierce (Hibbing) fall 4:53; def. Jarrett Lange (United Clay-Becker) fall 1:21; def. Keaton Long (West Central Area) fall 3:29; def. by Tom Tellers (United North Central) 5-0; def. Jared Sunram (Park Rapids) 10-5; def. Nick Kaml (Badger-Greenbush-Middle River) 6-3.
152 – Kyle Miller, 1-2 (DNP) def. by Nate Adkins (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) fall 0:39; def. Kael Snetsinger (Mahnomen-Waubun) fall 1:23; def. by Jack Graham (Mounds View) 8-1.
160 – Brenan Peralta, 2-2 (DNP) def. John Fairbanks (Blackduck/ Cass Lake-Bena) fall 1:01; def. by Kody Lefebvre (Mahnomen-Waubun) 9-6; def. Gabe Ryappy (Crosby-Ironton) 4-3; def. Devyn Richards (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) fall 4:14; def. by Benji Keillor (Mounds View) fall 3:00.
170 – Noah Hawkins, 2-2 (DNP) def. Shawn Moser (Fertile-Beltrami) fall 2:52; def. Mason Bradley (United North Central) fall 0:38; def. by Jeremy Miller (Staples-Motley) 5-0; def. by Steven Koehl (MAHACA) 2-1.
182 – Hunter Roller, 2-2 (DNP) def. by Johnathan Smid (Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena) fall 4:40; def. Zac Abramson (Fergus Falls) fall 0:37; def. Noah Olds (Detroit Lakes) fall 0:27; def. by Wyatt Beauchane (Fertile-Beltrami) fall 2:47.
195 – Connor Swanson, 1-2 (DNP) def. by Jake Worms (Mahnomen-Waubun) fall 1:49; def. George Lausten (United North Central) fall 2:39; def. by Kyle Lynn (Aitkin) fall 2:50.
220 – Connor Jensen, 1-2 (DNP) def. by Josh Bohmen (Mora) 10-9; def. Andrew Mack (Virginia) fall 2:25; def. by Johnny Tereault (Mounds View) fall 1:39.
285 – Ethan Halvorson, 0-2 (DNP) def. by Brody Wilander (Bemidji) fall 0:10; def. by Kyle Serich (Staples-Motley) 5-2.