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Wrestlers win two and lose one

Defeat Marshall and New Ulm, but fall to No. 11-ranked JCC Huskies

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Feb 14, 2021

Nick Frank scored a reversal near the end of the second period in his 195-pound match against New Ulm and then pinned his opponent to help the Blue Earth Area Buccaneers go on to defeat the New Ulm Eagles 45-33 on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

Nick Frank won a pivotal match against his New Ulm opponent in the 195-pound match and the host Blue Earth Area Buccaneers went on to defeat the Eagles 45-33 in a Big South Conference meet held on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

“Nick’s win was huge,” BEA head coach Randy Wirtjes said. “He was on his back and if he gets pinned it ends up being a 12-point swing and we end up tied.”

Frank, who is the Class A No. 9-ranked wrestler at 195 pounds, was trailing 8-1 to New Ulm’s Caleb Arndt in the second period before he gained an escape to make the score 8-2.

With the clock winding down at the end of the second period, Frank scored a takedown and took Arndt straight to his back and scored a fall with less than two seconds remaining on the clock.

Frank’s pin put the Bucs up 42-30 in the team score with only two matches remaining.

BEA’s Logan Johnson lost by a 3-0 decision at 220 pounds to make the score 42-33 in favor of the Bucs. Although he lost, the fact he did not surrender a pin guaranteed the Bucs’ victory.

Caleb Langager’s pin over Kaden Wilson in the 113-pound match was the Bucs’ only victory in the first five matches of the night as New Ulm raced to a 24-6 lead.

But then the home team went on a roll.

BEA’s Ty Peterson began a run of five consecutive wins for the Maroon and Gold with a second-period pin of Wyatt Pollard at 138 pounds.

Parker Meyers tallied six more points for the Bucs when he pinned Ryan Wiltscheck in 3:31 at 145 pounds.

BEA’s Nick Nelson received a forfeit at 152 pounds to tie the team score at 24-24.

Max Ehrich, who is ranked No. 2 in Class A at 170 pounds moved down to 160 pounds and scored a fall in 59 seconds over Ty Frederick.

Kean Hicks only needed 42 seconds to put the Eagles’ Aaron Kauffmann’s shoulders to the mat to give the Bucs a 36-24 lead.

Class AA No. 8-ranked 182-pounder Cole Ranweiler of New Ulm defeated the Bucs’ Adam Schavey with a pin 29 seconds into the second period to make it 36-30 and set up Frank’s match.

“Our juniors and seniors really came through for us,” Wirtjes commented. “Once we get to the middle of our lineup our experience helps us out.”

The final match of the evening featured two unbeaten wrestlers in the heavyweight match. BEA’s Luke Mertens came into his match against Jaden Drill of New Ulm with a 9-0 record while Drill was 12-0.

Mertens, who had moved up from his normal 220-pound weight bracket, scored the first points of the match with a reversal in the second period to go up 2-0. Drill scored an escape before the period ended to cut Mertens’ lead to 2-1.

Drill began the third period in the down position and scored another escape to tie the match 2-2.

Neither wrestler could get an advantage until Mertens got behind Drill with about 30 seconds left and finally scored the takedown with one second showing on the clock to gain the 4-2 victory.

“It was a good win for Luke against a quality opponent,” Wirtjes commented. “Drill is a tough kid.”

The meet was supposed to have been a triangular meet. However, United South Central had to pull out of the meet due to concerns related to COVID.

Marshall Triangular

The Blue Earth Area wrestling team traveled to Marshall on Saturday, Feb. 6, to compete in a triangular meet with the host Tigers and the Jackson County Central Huskies.

Five Buccaneer wrestlers went undefeated for the day. Ty Peterson, Nick Nelson, Max Ehrich and Luke Mertens each went 2-0 for the day while Kean Hicks won the only match he wrestled in the triangular.

Ehrich gained his 125th career victory at the meet, Ty Peterson picked up his 70th career triumph and Nick Frank notched career win number 60.

BEA 40, Marshall 24

The first three BEA wrestlers came through with wins to help the Bucs take an early lead.

Cooper Peterson won by a major decision at 106 pounds while Caleb Longager and Carson Sturtz each decisioned their opponents to give the Bucs a 10-0 lead.

Marshall won by falls at 126 and 132 pounds to go on top 12-10.

Peterson’s first win of the day, a hard-fought 10-7 decision over Dylan Louwagie of Marshall at 138 pounds, put the Bucs back on top 13-12.

The Bucs’ lead did not last long. The Tigers won by a fall at 145 pounds to go back on top 18-13.

BEA fought back and rallied with four straight wins to regain the lead.

Nelson won by a second-period fall at 152 pounds followed by Max Ehrich pinning his opponent in 1:02 at 160 pounds. Hicks won by an 11-5 decision at 170 pounds and Adam Schavey received a forfeit at 182 pounds. The Bucs were now on top 34-18 with three matches to go.

The Tigers picked up decisions at 195 and 220 pounds before Mertens closed out the scoring for the Bucs with a fall in 38 seconds in the 285-pound match to give BEA the 40-24 victory.

JCC 43, BEA 25

The Huskies won the first five matches against the Bucs to take a 28-0 lead. JCC won by a pin at 106, 120 and 132 pounds and by technical falls in the 113 and 126-pound weight brackets.

BEA did not get on the board until Ty Peterson won by a 14-2 major decision at 138 pounds.

JCC then won by a decision at 145 pounds. Nick Nelson picked up six more points for the Bucs when the referee’s hand slapped the mat as the buzzer sounded to give Nelson the win by fall at 152 pounds.

The Huskies picked up another win with a pin at 160 pounds to take a 37-9 lead.

Max Ehrich won a close 7-6 decision at 170 pounds and Nick Frank won 3-1 at 182 pounds.

JCC won by a fall at 195 pounds. The Bucs’ Logan Johnson won by a forfeit at 220 pounds and Luke Mertens won by a 5-2 decision at 285 pounds to make the final score 43-25 in favor of the Huskies.