Jays happy to be homeJamestown wrestling coach Greg White is hoping for a big turnout of Blue Jay supporters today at Jerry Meyer Arena, and in return the home crowd might be awarded with a West Region champion or two.
Jamestown wrestling coach Greg White is hoping for a big turnout of Blue Jay supporters today at Jerry Meyer Arena, and in return the home crowd might be awarded with a West Region champion or two.
The Blue Jays have five ranked wrestlers heading into today’s West Region tournament. Though all have at least one West Region foe ahead of them in the rankings, White knows anything can happen on any given day.
“You can’t count anybody out,” said White. “Anyone can come out and have a great day.”
Zane Braun and Jaden Horsted are each ranked fourth, while Eathan Gumke is ranked fifth and both Paxton Mewes and Nate Purcell are ranked sixth.
Braun, with a record of 32-5 this season, will be wrestling at 152 and Horsted (29-7) will be at 120.
“They both have guys ahead of them that have beaten them, but that’s how you get to the top — you have to start beating people that you’ve lost to in the past,” said White. “You start beating them and all of a sudden you start getting seeded higher and it kind of snowballs.”
White is hoping that snowball rolls into the state tournament, which starts Feb. 17 in Bismarck.
“We are entering 14 wrestlers (today), with some alternates in there, and we would love to send all 14 to state,” said White. “But if we could send 10 we would be pretty happy.”
The double-digit mark would eclipse last year’s number of nine, and to do it with a core of young wrestlers would make it all the more impressive.
Mewes has been one of the most emergent young grapplers this season as an eighth-grader with an overall record of 26-7, but five others competing today are sophomores or younger, providing White with some optimism for the future.
For a handful them it will be their first region tournament, but White believes they should be pretty well prepared for the big stage after wrestling in the Bismarck Rotary — one of the biggest tournaments in the Midwest — earlier this year.
“You would hope that when you go to the Rotary and other tournaments like that, it would take away some of the starry-eyed look out of their eyes when they go into the region,” White said. “The Rotary is a pretty big event. They do go in there with eight mats set up with 27 teams, so they don’t always wrestle their best because they’re a little bit shocked. So, we’re hoping that things like that have them a little more calmed down for a thing like this.”
Ryan Hillerud (138), Reece Waldie (182) and Nate Purcell (220), as well as all the ranked wrestlers, have winning records.
Hillerud, a junior, will be entering with a bit of a chip on his shoulder after missing out on state last year because of an injured thumb. After injuring his thumb earlier in the year, Hillerud re-aggravated the injury while wrestling at last year’s West Region tournament, forcing him to have to wrestle with one hand for the remainder of the tournament.
Mitch Ova (132) will be looking to make another trip to state after qualifying last season, while Brandyn Harr (145), Caleb Ellingson (160), Pate Lane (190) and Mark Reynolds (285) will be looking for their first state-tournament appearance.
Horsted, Braun, and Gumke will also be looking to return to state after qualifying last year, and being able to attempt that run in their home gym only weighs in their favor.
“Anytime you don’t have to sleep in a hotel, that helps,” said White. “I hope we get a big group (of hometown fans) out there.”
Jerry Meyer Arena will have four mats set up with matches beginning at 9:30 a.m. The top eight individuals from each weight class advance to state next week.
Class A individual rankings
103 pounds: 1, Tommy Walton, Fargo North; 2, Marlo Bell, Fargo South, 3; Adam Blees, Bismarck; 4, Nate Humanny; Century; 5, Jesse Shearer, WF; 6, Paxton Mewes, JHS.
113: 1, Jordan Shearer, WF; 2,Curt Zachmeier, Mandan; 3, Grant Laducer, TM; 4, Kalik Battle, GFC; 5, Kael Knowlen, BHS; 6, Tate Barnhardt, St. Mary’s.
120: 1, Trevor Kringlie, WF; 2, Terry LaVallie, TM; 3, Devin Berger, Dickinson; 4, Jaden Horstad, JHS; 5, Lane Kaseman, BHS; 6, Rodell Johnson, GFRR.
126: 1, Keenan Ternes, Mandan; 2, Kollin Kragnes, WF: 3, Tanner Crissler, TM; 4, Tate Hoffman, BHS; 5, Sean Murphy, GFRR; 6, Mark Miller, VC.
132: 1, Cody Haugen, Minot; 2, Cole Mehring, Davies; 3, Isaac Neer, Century; 4, Weston Dobler, WF; 5, Christian Ramberg, WF; 6, Forrest Pifer, BHS.
138: 1, Ryan Blees, BHS; 2, Angelo Shepherd, WC; 3, Shane Undem, VC; 4, Alec Lindsey, DHS; 5, Austin Schall, DL; 6, Cole Alexander, Davies.
145: 1, Paul Michaelson, Williston; 2, Ricky Purtle, BHS; 3, Myrone Bell, South; 4, Billy Rerick, GFRR; 5, Reed Beckman, VC; 6, Kyle Kragnes, WF.
152: 1, Eddie Maisey, Williston; 2, Bryce Fish, GFC; 3, Eric Jones, GFC; 4, Zane Braun, JHS; 5, Anthony Pitner, Minot; 6, Ian Johnson, BHS.
160: 1, T.J. Poole, GFC; 2, Wyatt Azure, TM; 3, Zach Schuchard, BHS; 4, Andy Walton, North; 5, Shelby Schulz, WF; 6, David Rabe, Minot.
170: 1, Kip Jangula, BHS; 2, Tommy Moravek, Century; 3, Jacob Sargent, Williston; 4, Miles Scholl, WF; 5, Ethan Gumke, JHS; 6, Dane Haman, Minot.
182: 1, Preston Lehmann, WF: 2, Drew Kary, BHS; 3, Landon Schmidt, Century; 4, Jarrod Birtch, GFRR; 5, Adam Stevens, Williston; 6, Tom McCarty, Dickinson.
195: 1, Brandon Larson, VC; 2, Chris Sommer, DL; 3, Drew Johnson, WF; 4, Drew Brekhus, GFRR; 5, Briley Crissler, TM, Zach Corneliuson, Williston.
220: 1, Skylar Poitra, TM; 2, Derrek Crissler, Davies; 3, Demetreus Roby, Minot; 4, Steve Sola, WF; 5, Bret Sandberg, Williston; 6, Nate Purcell, JHS.
285: 1, Bryan Bjerk, GFRR; 2, Jacob LaGasse, DL; 3, Nick Nesdahl, Minot; 4, Justice Johnson, Century; 5, Josh Schlicht, South; 6, Steven Horner, VC.