A lot of drama and a little heartbreak. And, some success, as well.
One of the four Blue Earth Area entrants at the State Wrestling Tournament and two of the three United South Central wrestlers placed in the top six spots at the tourney held on Feb. 28 and March 1.
USC Rebel Colten Carlson had the highest finish, taking second place at 182 pounds. His Rebel teammate, Dylan Herman, battled through six matches and took fourth place at 145 pounds. BEA Buccaneer Martin Granados got onto the medal stand with a sixth place finish.
"It was a good year for the Bucs," coach Randy Wirtjes says. "Sending four guys to the State Tournament was a very good accomplishment and three of the four will be back on the team next year."
Here is how all seven wrestlers fared, going from the smaller weights up to the heaviest.
Adam Legred - BEA
BEA's Adam Legred lost his first round match when he was pinned by Skylar Hieronimus of Adrian at 2:45. Hieronimus went on to be state champion at 106.
Legred lost his match in the wrestle-backs, losing by a fall at 2:18 to Willie Meine of Fertile-Beltrami.
Zach Buseman - BEA
Buccaneer Zach Buseman lost his first round match when he was pinned by Le Sueur-Henderson's Austin Anderly. Buseman lost 7-0 to Michael Suda of Pipestone Area in the wrestle-backs.
"Adam and Zach were fortunate enough to get two matches each and that will be very valuable down the road," coach Wirtjes says. "They each had a great year and their hard work paid off."
Dylan Herman - USC
USC's Dylan Herman started his long battle at state by pinning Ethan Kimball of Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale in 1:36. But in the championship quarterfinals he lost 10-5 to Hunter Retzlaff of Sibley East.
In the wrestle-backs, Herman defeated Noah Landers of Aitkin by a 12-5 score.
In the consolation quarterfinals, the Rebel 145-pounder pinned Alec Engler of Minneota in just 56 seconds.
He went on to pin Devin Barthel of Wadena-Deer River in just 23 seconds in the consolation semifinals.
That put Herman into the match for third place where he once again had to face Sibley East's Retzlaff who he had lost to earlier by a 10-5 score.
This time the Rebel lost in a much closer match, 5-3, putting him in fourth place at State.
Derek Herman - USC
Rebel Derek Herman opened up State Tourney play with a loss by a pin at 2:55 to Harvey Friederichs of Chatfield. He bounced back with a 6-4 win over Dietrich Balsbaugh of Trinity at River Ridge in the wrestle-backs.
In the consolation quarterfinals he lost by a fall at 2:23 to Devin Meagher of Paynesville Area.
David Franta - BEA
BEA senior David Franta lost his first round match at State in a close 6-3 battle with Sam Swanson of Trinity at River Ridge. Franta lost out on a chance to go on in the wrestle-backs when Swanson lost his next match.
"David had a great season and career and we are going to miss him a ton next year," Wirtjes says. "Not only because of his wrestling ability, but for his great leadership and his example he set for our guys in the wrestling room 100 percent every day."
Colten Carlson - USC
USC's Colten Carlson ended up just one point shy of a state championship.
He started things off by pinning Ari Harnitz of Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial in 3:38 in the first round.
In the championship quarterfinals he defeated Kody VanDenEykel of Frazee by a 10-3 score. He followed that up with a pin at 1:06 of Nathan Brinker of Holdingford in the semifinals.
In the championship match, Carlson lost a 4-3 heartbreaker to Niko Anderson of Fillmore Central/Lanesboro/Mabel-Canton to take the second place position on the awards stand.
Martin Granados - BEA 285 pounds
The Bucs' heavyweight, Martin Granados, started off his first round by pinning Curtis Brisk of Pierz in 3:21. He followed that up with a 7-1 decision over Nick Meixell of Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial in the championship quarterfinals.
But, Granados lost to Alex Schroepfer of Wabasso/Red Rock Central by a fall at :51 in the semifinals. Schroepfer went on to be state champion.
Granados went on to the fifth place match where he lost a 1-0 heartbreaker to Tanner Welsh of Dover-Eyota to end up in sixth place.
"Martin had a super year with 38 wins and 24 pins," coach Wirtjes says. "With another year remaining to be on the team, I think he can do some great things next year and he will be counted on to be a team leader."
Overall, coach Wirtjes says having the wrestlers all at the State Tournament will help the team in the future.
"The guys all really enjoyed the atmosphere there," he says. "They all want to go back next year."