Bucs go 2-2 at Swalla Team Duals
The Blue Earth Area wrestling team traveled to Kasson on Saturday, Jan. 25, to compete in the Bob Swalla Memorial Team Duals.
Seven of the nine teams participating in the meet were ranked at the state level.
“It is a good tournament with a number of quality squads,” BEA head coach Randy Wirtjes said.
The Class A No. 6-ranked Bucs came into the tournament with four wrestlers ranked in the top 10.
Davis Sunken holds the number sixth ranking at 126 pounds. Jaxen Klinkner, Koby Nagel and Max Ehrich are each ranked fifth in their respective weight classes, Klinkner at 145 pounds, Nagel at 152, and Ehrich at 160.
Ellsworth, Wis. 16
The Buccaneers first opponent was from Ellsworth, Wisconsin. The Panthers are ranked sixth in Division 2 in Wisconsin. BEA was victorious in 10 of the 14 matches to win the contest 40-16.
“I thought we controlled this match right from the start,” Wirtjes said. “The boys were ready to go.”
Caleb Longager gave the Bucs a 3-0 lead with his 7-5 sudden victory decision over Cale Ekholm at 106 pounds.
Ty Peterson pinned Isiah Hanson in 3:27 in the 113-pound match to put BEA on top 9-0.
Davis Sunken scored a 15-3 major decision over No. 11-ranked Cole Nelson at 110 pounds to make it 13-0 in favor of the Bucs.
At 126 pounds, BEA’s Jacob Beeler won an 8-1 decision over Jack Voelker.
Caleb Beeler added three more points to the Bucs’ total with a 3-2 decision over Bailey Poellinger. BEA now led 19-0.
The Panthers’ No. 3-ranked Charlie Stuhl pocketed a 15-3 major decision over Jaxen Klinkner at 138 pounds to make the score 19-4 in favor of the Bucs.
Koby Nagel got BEA back in the win column with his 8-7 win over Braden Matzek at 145 pounds.
No. 5-ranked Carter Huppert of Ellsworth downed Adam Schavey 6-1 at 152 pounds to make the score 22-7 with the Bucs on top.
Max Ehrich scored a fall in 5:00 over Eli Rohl at 160 pounds to increase BEA’s lead to 28-7.
The Panthers’ Ryan Matzek outpointed Kean Hicks 4-3 in the 170-pound match but the Bucs still held a 28-10 advantage.
BEA then reeled off three straight victories to seal their triumph over Ellsworth.
Nick Frank pinned Mike Hines at the 5:18 mark at 182 pounds. Luke Mertens followed with an 8-4 decision over Ian Matzek at 195 pounds and Nick Lawrence beat Kyle Anschutz 10-4 at 220 pounds.
With the Bucs leading 40-10, Ellsworth’s No. 2-ranked Logan Peterson pinned Ian Cornelio in the 285-pound match to make the final score Bucs 40, Panthers 16.
Kasson 44, BEA 27
Next up for the Bucs was the Class AA No. 3-ranked Kasson-Mantorville KoMets.
“I was happy with the way we competed against Kasson-Mantorville,” Wirtjes commented. “They are an exceptional team.”
The KoMets took a 5-0 lead courtesy of a 16-0 technical fall by Devan Andrist over Caleb Langager at 106 pounds.
Ty Peterson’s pin of Joseph Kennedy at the 1:27 mark of the 113-pound match put the Bucs on top 6-5.
BEA increased their lead to 12 -5 when Davis Sunken scored a fall in 1:34 over Keyan Laganiere at 120 pounds.
The KoMets used consecutive major decisions to take a 13-12 lead.
The first major came when Giovanni Ruffo won 8-0 over Jacob Beeler at 132 pounds. Next Class AA No. 4-ranked Logan Vaughan defeated Caleb Beeler 15-1 at 138 pounds.
BEA retook the lead courtesy of Jaxen Klinkner’s win at 138 pounds. The senior grappler pinned Henry Paulson in 1:13 to give the Bucs an 18-13 lead.
The KoMets made it 18-16 when No. 10-ranked Tanner Paulson won a 7-3 decision over Koby Nagel at 145 pounds.
KM took the lead for good when No. 1-ranked Carlos Ruffo pinned Adam Schavey in 1:44 in the 152-pound match to go ahead 22-18.
Max Ehrich brought BEA to within one point of their opponent with a 7-6 decision over No. 4-ranked Kail Wynia at 160 pounds. The KoMets were still on top 22-21.
The next two matches featured two No. 1-ranked wrestlers for KM.
Bennet Berge pinned Kean Hicks in 1:07 at 170 pounds and Patrick Kennedy won by fall over Nick Frank in 3:00 at 182 pounds to increase the KoMets lead to 34-21.
Jackson Kennedy extended KM’s lead to 38-21 with his 13-0 major decision win over Luke Mertens at 195 pounds.
Nick Lawrence picked up six more points for the Bucs when he pinned Owen Badford at the 5:47 mark of the 220-pound match.
The KoMets picked up the final points of the dual when No. 7-ranked Anthony Moe-Tucker earned a fall against Ian Cornelio in 3:47 of the 285-pound match to make the final score 44-27 in favor of KM.
The third match of the day for the Buccaneers was against the Warriors from Caledonia-Houston. It was filled with delays from clock malfunctions and featured some controversial calls.
The Warriors are just outside of the top-10 ranking having been named honorable mention in Class A.
The teams traded technical falls in the first two matches
CH’s Owen Denstad won a 19-2 technical fall over Caleb Langager in 5:53 at 106 pounds.
In the 113-pound match it was BEA’s Ty Peterson scoring a 16-0 technical fall over Simon Seymour at the 4:04 mark. The team score was tied 5-5.
Davis Sunken put the Bucs on top 9-5 when he scored an 11-3 major decision over Brandon Ross at 120 pounds.
Tucker Ginther defeated BEA’s Jacob Beeler 4-3 at 126 pounds. The Bucs lead was now 9-8.
The Bucs increased their lead to 14-8 when Caleb Beeler won the 132-pound contest with a 16-0 technical fall over Isaac Blocker in 5:03.
Jaxen Klinkner added to BEA’s total with a fall over Bronson Knutson in 1:04 at 138 pounds to put the Bucs on top 20-8.
Koby Nagel’s pin over Eric Mauss in 48 seconds at 145 pounds extended the Bucs’ lead to 26-8.
It was 30-8 in favor of BEA following Adam Schavey’s 15-4 major decision victory over Aiden Goetzinger at 152 pounds.
The 160-pound match featured Max Ehrich of the Bucs, who is ranked fifth at 160 pounds, against Isaac Denstad, the sixth-ranked wrestler at 152 pounds.
Ehrich held a 3-2 lead but was called for stalling near the end of regulation time to send the match into overtime. Neither wrestler scored a point in the sudden victory first overtime period. Each wrestler earned an escape during the second and third overtime periods to knot the score at 4-4.
The match moved into the fourth overtime period. It was a 30-second period and if either wrestler scored, they would win.
Ehrich started in the bottom position and got to his feet but had not gotten away when Denstad picked Ehrich up and did an illegal body slam thus giving Ehrich a penalty point and a 5-4 victory. BEA now led 33-8. Ehrich’s shoulder was injured and he was out for the tournament.
The excitement and controversy continued in the 170-pound match. Thirty seconds into the match the referee ruled the Warriors wrestler, Jack Strub, had been injured and unable to continue due to an illegal move by BEA’s Kean Hicks. The Warriors got six points and the score was now 33-14 in favor of the Bucs.
Nick Frank received a forfeit in the 182-pound match. The victory by Frank gave the Bucs a 39-14 lead and secured the win for the Maroon and Gold.
The controversy was not over, however.
BEA’s Luke Mertens was leading in his match against Jed Kasten at 195 pounds when he rolled through a move near the end of the second period. However, the referee called it a pin for the Warrior wrestler to make the score 39-20 with the Bucs on top.
“I was not happy with some of the calls in the Caledonia match,” Wirtjes remarked. “But the refs are not going to change their minds.”
Nick Lawrence won his match at 220 pounds with a fall over Dameriz Davis in 4:52.
The Class A no. 8-ranked wrestler at 285 pounds, Alec Francis of the Warriors, pinned Ian Cornelio to make the final score 45-26 in favor of the Bucs.
“Caledonia is well-coached. You know it is going to be a battle when you wrestle them,” Wirtjes commented. “So I was very pleased with the way the boys competed.”
Forest Lake 36, BEA 25
Blue Earth Area’s final match of the day was against the Class AAA No. 6-ranked Forest Lake Rangers.
Forest Lake took a 6-0 lead when No. 8-ranked Jeremiah Vanacker pinned Caleb Langager in 1:01 at 106 pounds.
Ty Peterson scored three points for the Bucs with a sudden-victory 4-2 decision over No. 8-ranked Jacob Aho at 113 pounds.
At 120 pounds, Davis Sunken earned a 7-1 decision against Cayden Christenson to tie the team score at 6-6.
The Rangers took a 12-6 lead on the strength of No. 9-ranked Dan Vanacker’s pin over Jacob Beeler at the 2:50 mark of the 126-pound match.
Caleb Beeler dropped a 17-2 technical fall to the No. 1-ranked Derrick Cardinal at 132 pounds. Forest Lake was ahead 17-6.
Jaxen Klinkner scored a reversal in the third period to win a 4-2 decision over Cole Decker at 138 pounds. The Rangers lead was now 17-9.
Koby Nagel came through with a 10-1 major decision victory over Mark Rendl at 145 pounds to narrow Forest Lake’s lead to four points at 17-13.
Adam Schavey of the Bucs suffered a first period fall to Mason Arrigoni at 152 pounds to put the Rangers on top 23-13.
Nick Nelson filled in for the injured Max Ehrich and lost a 9-2 decision to Logan Collins in the 160-pound match.
Wyatt Nelson of Forest Lake earned a fall against Kean Hicks in 5:28 at 170 pounds. The Rangers lead increased to 32-13.
Nick Frank picked up three points for BEA with a 2-1 decision over Jacob Schurrer at 182 pounds.
Luke Mertens added to the Bucs total with a pin over Jordan Silvera in 4:29 at 195 pounds. The score was now 32-21 with Forest Lake in the lead.
The Class AAA No. 4-ranked Pedro Castillo earned a 14-4 major decision for the Rangers over Nick Lawrence at 220 pounds to guarantee a Forest Lake victory.
Ian Cornelio won a 3-0 decision over Travis Wiese at 285 pounds to add three more points to BEA’s score and make the final 36-25 in favor of the Rangers.