The Blue Earth Area Buccaneer wrestling team clinched the South Central Conference title on Friday, Jan. 31, with a resounding 50-22 win over the St. James Saints.
The Bucs were a perfect 5-0 in conference competition to claim the last-ever SCC championship trophy. Next year the SCC combines with the Southwest Conference (SWC) to form a new Big South Conference (BSC).
The SCC conference tournament, to determine individual conference champions, was held on Saturday, Feb. 8, after the deadline for this week's Faribault County Register and will be included next week.
The Buccaneers wrestling team poses after defeating St. James and clinching the SCC Championship. The Bucs were 5-0 in conference play and took the last SCC trophy before the team joins the newly created Big South Conference next year.
Against St. James, BEA fell behind early but dominated after that.
At 106 pounds, Adam Legred lost 9-1, putting the Bucs behind 4-0. After Zach Buseman won his match at 113 pounds by 8-6, BEA was still down by one, 4-3. St. James took the next match, at 120 pounds, when BEA's Wyatt Tungland was pinned. That put the maroon and gold squad behind 10-3.
Camden Bowers won a very close 7-6 match at 126 pounds, making the score 10-6, still in favor of the Saints.
Alec Huber was able to pin his opponent at 132 pounds, and for the first time all night, the Bucs had the lead at 12-10. They would never relinquish it.
Mike Ankeny pinned his man at 138 pounds in 42 seconds to put BEA up 18-10. That was followed by a Jordan Stelter 9-3 win at 145 pounds to cement the lead at 21-10.
The Bucs were far from done. Tannor Wolf pinned his man at 152 pounds and Gus Phillips did the same at 160 pounds, putting his opponent's shoulders on the mat just 32 seconds into the contest. David Franta added a dominating 20-5 major decision at 170 pounds.
BEA now led 38-10.
At 182 pounds, the Bucs' Kolt Gorg was pinned, but Jacob Johnson countered with a pin for the Buccaneers at 195 pounds, putting the score at 44-16.
Jared Armon suffered a loss by a fall at 220 pounds, but again the maroon and gold countered with a pin of their own when Martin Granados put his man's shoulders on the mat just 19 seconds into the 285 pound match.
Final score; Bucs 50, Saints 22.
Red Bull Invite
For the first time in several weeks, the Blue Earth Area Buccaneers traveled to a wrestling invitational tournament on a Saturday, and did not come back as the champions.
The Bucs took second place at the 2014 Red Bull Invitational Tourney hosted by Fairmont/Martin County West on Saturday, Feb.1.
Minneota took first place with 197.5 points, but BEA was right behind with 180.5 points to grab the runner up spot.
In third place was Pipestone Area with 127.5, host Fairmont/MCW was fourth with 109 points and in fifth was United South Central with 102.
Worthington was sixth with 97, Madelia/Truman/ Martin Luther seventh with 42.5 and Waseca eighth with 31.
"Our seniors really led the way for us," Buc coach Randy Wirtjes says. "They really came through."
Buccaneer seniors Alec Huber at 132 pounds, Gus Phillips at 160 pounds and David Franta at 170 pounds all were champions at their weights.
The Bucs also got a first place win at 285 pounds when junior Martin Granados pinned his opponent in the championship bout in 40 seconds.
The coach also had praise for Zach Buseman and Mike Ankeny, who both took second place but had some close hard fought battles to get to the championship match.
"Zach beat a kid who was ranked in state," Wirtjes says. "This was a great team effort the overall team balance was really good. But Minneota is a perennial powerhouse, and they showed why, taking first place."
During the tournament, the Buccaneers ended up facing their cross-country rivals, the Rebels of USC, numerous times.
Here is a rundown of each of the action in each of the weight classes:
BEA's Adam Legred lost in the opening round, 5-0 to USC's Domonic Alger.
Alger went on to take third place, winning 8-1 in his first match in wrestle-backs, then 9-2 in the third place match. Legred won his first match in the wrestle-backs with a pin, but lost the second one 5-3.
BEA's Buseman won his first match 14-2, then defeated a state-ranked wrestler from Pipestone 7-6. He lost the championship match 4-0 to take second place.
USC's Jesse Meyer was pinned in his first match, and lost 2-0 in the wrestle-backs.
BEA's Wade Tungland lost his first match when he was pinned and lost in the wrestle-backs.
USC's Keenan Biddle also lost his first match, a 12-2 major decision, and also lost in the wrestle-backs, 6-4.
Buccaneer Camden Bowers won his first match with a 7-2 decision, then was pinned in his second match.
In the wrestle-backs, he pinned his opponent to gain the match third place, but lost 4-2 and ended in fourth place.
USC's Mitch Harpestad was pinned in his first match and lost 4-3 in the wrestle-backs.
Huber won his first match by pinning his opponent, then defeated Adam Knutson of USC 4-0 in his second match. He downed a Minneota wrestler 8-4 in the championship match to claim first place.
Knutson had won his first match with a 15-4 major decision. After losing, BEA's Huber won his first match in the wrestle-backs 5-1, then won 4-0 in the second won to claim third place at 132 pounds.
BEA and USC claimed second and third at 138 pounds.
The Bucs Mike Ankeny got a pin in his match and defeated USC's Matt Harpestad with a 11-0 major decision in his second one.
He fell 5-0 in the championship match to end up in second place.
Harpestad had pinned his first opponent, but after losing to Ankeny, went into the wrestle-backs.
He first won with a 10-0 major decision then pinned his next opponent to claim third place.
USC's Dylan Herman cruised the weight class to take the championship.
He pinned his first opponent, won a major decision, 14-1, over his second one and won 3-0 in the third bout to take first place.
BEA's Jordan Stelter was pinned in his first match and lost by a technical fall, 16-0 in the wrestle-backs.
Tanner Wolf of BEA lost his first match 7-0 and was pinned in his first wrestle-back match.
There was no USC wrestler at this weight.
The Bucs' Gus Phillips, with a 28-3 record, was seeded first in this weight class and showed why.
He won his first match with a pin coming in under a minute, won his second one with an 8-5 decision and took the championship with a hard-fought, close 3-2 win over a Minneota wrestler.
USC's Seth Olson lost his first match 7-0 and one his first wrestle-back match 9-0. He had to forfeit the next one.
David Franta dominated his weight class, coach Wirtjes pointed out.
The Buccaneer, with a 27-3 record, had a bye in the first round. In the second round, he major decisioned Travis Brown of USC, 19-6.
Then he major decisioned a wrestler from Pipestone, 19-8, for the championship.
Brown had won a 3-1 decision in his first match.
After losing to Franta, he won his first match in the wrestle-backs with a pin, then won 4-1 in his next match to claim third place.
USC's Colten Carlson, with a 26-3 record, showed why he was seeded No. 1 at this weight.
He had a bye his first round and won by pinning his opponent in the second.
He won the championship by pinning BEA's Kolt Gorg who ended in second place.
Gorg had pinned his first opponent and then won by a forfeit in his second match.
It was an interesting match up for the third place crown at this weight.
BEA's Jacob Johnson won his first match with a pin, then lost his second one 8-2, putting him into the wrestle-backs. There he won his first match with a pin.
USC's Isaac Hernandez won his first match with a pin, then was pinned in his second match, putting him into the wrestle-backs. There he also won his first match with a 5-3 decision.
That put Johnson and Hernandez into the third place match against each other.
BEA's Johnson prevailed with a 10-0 major decision and claimed third place. Hernandez took fourth.
The Buccaneers' Jared Armon had a bye in his first round match, and lost in his second round match.
That dropped him down to the wrestle-backs where he won his first match and then defeated Trent Esping of Minneota to claim third place at this weight.
No USC wrestler was listed.
The Bucs' Martin Granados pinned his way to the championship in this weight class.
After having received the No. 1 seed and a first round bye, Granados pinned his second round opponent, Adrian Moscoffian from Fairmont/MCW, in 1:57.
He finished that with a pin of Derik Evans of Pipestone in 40 seconds.
He now has a record of 27-3.
No USC wrestler was listed at this weight class.