Headed for state
The Blue Earth Area Youth Wrestling team is on their way to their first ever appearance in the state tournament.
The young Bucs placed fifth in the Region 2 Northern Youth Wrestling Association Tournament on March 28-29.
The top six teams advanced to the state tournament, being held April 4-5 in Rochester.
Region 2 covers schools from I-35 to the east, South Dakota border on the west, and from the Iowa border to State Highway 212.
The Buccaneer team includes kids from kindergarten through sixth grade. Five individual wrestlers also qualified for the state tournament.
The individual region tournament was on Saturday, while on Sunday the team competed. The No. 9 seeded Bucs wrestled in six straight duals on Sunday.
As a team the Bucs defeated Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove in a thriller, 37-33.
Next they faced the No. 1 seed – and eventual tourney champions – Adrian Dragons. The younger Bucs lost 63-9.
The team rebounded in their third dual, defeating Tracy/Milroy/Balaton 41-27.
The Bucs moved on to their fourth match of the day, facing the No. 5-seeded Saints from St. Peter, last year’s class B state runnerup. Down 32-22, the Bucs closed out the match with a 21-0 run and won it 43-32
The fifth match pitted the young Buccaneers against the No. 3-seeded Windom/Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin team. The Bucs fell to the older Wolverines 59-16.
In the final match of the day, the Bucs and the No. 6 seeded Knights from Lake Crystal/Welcome Memorial for fifth place.
Down 31-25 with four weights remaining, the Bucs again needed big things from the top of their lineup. They got it and won 43-35.
Qualifying for the state tournament on an individual basis were 50-pounder Maxwell Ehrich (2nd place), 60-pounder Cole Warmka (3rd place), 85-pounder Wyatt Tungland (2nd place), 97-pounder Mike Ankeny (1st place), and 115-pounder Martin Granados (3rd place).
The NYWA State Tournament took place this past weekend, April 4 and 5, with the medal rounds held on Sunday. All of the action took place at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester.
Buc coaches had high praise for their team. They say they are especially proud of all the young players they have.