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USC’s Bonsack strikes gold

By Staff | Mar 10, 2008

Jake Bonsack (above) of United South Central defeated Alex Kontz of Canby to win the 140-pound State title March 1 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. To see more photographs of this event, log on to http://cu.faribaultcountyregister.com

He may have had difficulty describing how he felt after winning the Class A 140-pound championship.

But, United South Central’s Jake Bonsack took the time to thank his wrestling partners, coaches, family, friends and fans.

“My coaches did a good job and everyone else with their support. It feels like a dream. It doesn’t even feel like it is true,” Bonsack said to a group of reporters in a warm-up area underneath the bleachers at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

With less than 10 seconds left in the match, Bonsack took Alex Kontz down for two points, then let the Canby wrestler up for an escape and a 3-2 win.

The Rebel coaches weren’t too surprised about the slim one-point win. In fact, head coach Eric Wegner says they discussed how the match would probably be decided at the very end.

” We thought it was going to be a 3-2 match, and we’d like to think we are going to win,” says Wegner. “We thought it was going into overtime. We kind of got into a little bit of a scramble there on our feet, but that’s where we’re best at. When we create a lot of motion.”

Bonsack had a relatively easy time getting into the finals. He opened the tournament with a 9-3 win over Erik Cole of Zumbrota-Mazeppa and then defeated No. 3-rated Zach Pesch of LeSueur-Henderson 7-3 in the quarterfinals.

In the semis, Bonsack shutout ninth-ranked Trey VanOrsdel of Wadena-Deer Creek 3-0 to set up a showdown against Kontz.

In the finals, Bonsack entered the match with a 36-3 record and ranked No. 1. Kontz was ranked No. 2 with a 43-2 record. It wouldn’t be the first time the two wrestlers have met on a mat. Last year, Bonsack earned a 3-2 decision over Kontz for third place at 140 pounds.

The Rebel senior says even though he had defeated the Canby senior before, he wasn’t going in to the finals over confident.

“I just wanted to look at it as one match. I didn’t want to look back at anything. I know people improve a lot over a year,” he says. “I didn’t want to change my match just because of who I was wrestling. I just wanted to go out there and wrestle my match the whole time.”

Bonsack’s title is a first for the USC program. Kenny Sandt won a title a few years ago when USC and Alden-Conger were together. There also was a champion when the school was known as Wells-Easton.

Two other wrestlers competed at the State Meet, but they had a short-lived tournament.

USC’s Mike Linder dropped his opening match at 215 pounds.

Linder lost 2-1 to Troy Longtin of Barnesville. The Rebel senior was knocked out of competition when Longtin lost his next match in the quarterfinals. Linder finished the season with 27 wins and 11 losses.

BEA’s heavyweight Jake Lee had his hands full in his first match.

The Buc junior lost a 3-0 decision to No. 8-rated Tyler Lindhart of Zumbrota-Mazeppa.

After two scoreless periods, Lindhart scored a quick escape at the start of the third period for a 1-0 lead. With time running out in the match, Lee’s desperation move for a takedown was countered by Lindhart for a takedown of his own to make the final 3-0.

Lee stayed alive in the tournament when Lindhart won his second match 5-2 over No.1-ranked Nick Mackenthun of Norwood Young America.

Mackenthun defeated Lee 3-1, but it took a takedown as time ran out in the final period to secure the win. Lee ended the season with a 32-8 record.