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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Jacket wrestlers knocked out of State Tournament

By John George - St. Paul, MN

Cody Nylander had a 20-5 Tech Fall for the Jackets against Milaca/Faith Christian. (John George photo)

Perham’s 6th trip to the State ended all too quickly as the Jackets were knocked out in the consolation semifinals by Milaca/Faith Christian, 32-26.

“We came here with hopes of coming home with a medal and winning our last match, so things didn’t go like we wanted,” senior heavyweight Jesse Hein said.  “If we would have wrestled like we did last weekend, we probably would have medaled.”

““We worked too hard to underperform like that,” head coach Robb Moser said.  “That’s a tough deal.”

The Jackets got off to a 3-0 start with a 7-6 win by Elliot Werner at 106 pounds.  M/FC picked up a pair of pins to go up 12-3 when Brandon Lueders earned his 2nd win of the day with an 8-2 decision at 126 pounds.

The Jackets had a couple of well fought losses at 132 and 138.  At 132, freshman Collin Nietzke hit the mat for his 4th varsity match and dropped a 6-3 decision to Mike Hoffman.  Josh Werner followed with a 10-5 loss to No. 2 Jonah Gahm at 138.

A pin by Luke Sailer at 145 cut M/FC’s lead to 18-12, but the Wolves followed with 3-straight wins to go up 28-12.  After Gio Garcia won for the Jackets at 182, No. 4 Justin Ladehoff picked up a major decision at 195 to secure the win for M/FC.

Cody Nylander and Hein capped the match with a pair of wins.

“It was a little bit mental and a little bit physical,” Moser said of the team’s two losses Thursday at State.  “We don’t cut like other teams.  And when we come down here everyone is bigger than us.  We are young.  That’s part of it.  But teams are bigger than us.  They cut more weight.  They lift more weights in the off-season.  To compete down here, our athletes have to make a commitment to get stronger in the off-season.

“That being said, mentally we weren’t ready,” Moser added.  “We set a goal just to get here.  So we achieved that goal.”

The Jackets finish the regular season 21-7.

“It was a great season,” Moser said.  “Nobody.  Nobody would have predicted us to get to State this season.  A lot of people thought we wouldn’t even get close.  So to achieve this was really neat.  But I’m disappointed for this kids.  All of us, coaches included, could have done a better job to prepare us for down here.  That’s not the kind of performance we’re used to.

“I hope that our 8th graders and 9th graders can use this and learn from it,” Moser added.  “That when they are working out and get that little boo-boo or owwie, they won’t slow down.  They can’t let it.  They have to get tougher.  It’s a good way to whet their appetite.  The thoroughbreds will rise to the challenge.  The Shetland ponies will fall to the wayside.”

It was the last match for one of the Jackets seniors, Garrett Biegler.  The 3 other seniors, Lueders, Ty Haverland and Jesse, along with juniors Sailer and Nylander will compete in the Individual Tournament starting Friday.

“It gives me extra determination to go out and do my best.” Lueders said.  “It’s my last shot out here, so I have to give it my all.”

Lueders (35-8) will face No. 2 Eric Madson of Hutchinson (39-3) in Friday’s 1st round, which starts at 1 p.m.

“Individually, nobody got beat up,” Moser said.  “They all got in a couple of good matches here today that should help them be ready tomorrow.

It will be the 1st of many tough draw’s for the Jackets.  Sailer, ranked No. 6 with a 35-7 record, will face No. 1 Nte Lynn of Adrian (31-1).  Haverland (32-13) will face No. 1 Jake Short of Simley (42-1) at 145 pounds. 

Nylander, ranked No. 1 at 220 pounds, will take on No. 6 Riley Trnka of Waconia (36-2).  He would face a potential 2nd round match against No. 2 Tyler Petit of Plainville-Elgin-Millville (36-2).

Hein, ranked No. 4 at heavyweight, goes against No. 7 Brandon Schmidt of D-B/LPV (37-6) in the 1st round.  He could potentially face Sam Stoll of Kasson-Mantorville in the 2nd round.  Stoll (42-1) handed Hein his 1st loss in the team quarterfinals, 5-3.

“I got in a few different positions that I hadn’t been in before,” Hein said.  “But hopefully I can get a few things figured out if I see him again.”

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Click HERE for Class AA Individual Brackets.

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