Broncos sweep ‘B’ titlesNone of Lisbon’s wrestlers were alive the last time the school’s grapplers lifted a state championship trophy. The Broncos got to lift two at the Bismarck Civic Center this weekend.
By: Kerry Collins, The Forum, The Jamestown Sun
BISMARCK — None of Lisbon’s wrestlers were alive the last time the school’s grapplers lifted a state championship trophy.
The Broncos got to lift two at the Bismarck Civic Center this weekend.
One day after winning its first state Class B dual title, Lisbon claimed its first individual team title since 1983.
“After we won the dual title, we said we wouldn’t feel as good about it if we didn’t win them both,” Lisbon coach Joe Kern said. “This is a great accomplishment to get them both.”
Lisbon scored 151 points to win the crown. Oakes was second with 125, and Napoleon was third at 121.
The Imperials had won the last six individual team titles, and the last six dual crowns.
Broncos senior Jacob Anderson, who finished second at 145, said having Napoleon in the same region lent to Lisbon’s success this season.
“Going against them has made everybody in the region better, because you know you have to raise your level just to get to state,” Anderson said. “We poured our heart and soul into this, and this is where it paid off.”
The Broncos had four finalists, but came away with just one individual champion.
Michael Nord earned a late 9-8 decision over Oakes’ Josh Kelly for the 119-pound championship.
Nord won the state title at 103 last year, and Kelly was the defending 112-pound champ. The two had wrestled three times already this season, with Kelly winning all three.
Kelly led 8-6 late in the third period, but gave up a point when he was whistled for stalling with 11 seconds left. Nord scored a takedown with five seconds to go for the win.
“I knew I was going to have to keep going until the end or I would lose,” Nord said. “Winning this title was a lot tougher.”
The last three finalists all lost to top seeds.
At 135, Hillsboro-Central Valley’s Anthony Von Ruden beat Wells Johnson with a 5-4 decision. At 140, Napoleon’s Evan Gross edged Patrick Nord, 6-4; and Jacob Anderson dropped an 8-6 decision to Watford City’s Rowdy Lund at 145.
Von Ruden, Gross and Lund were a combined 120-8 on the season.
“It would’ve been nicer if we didn’t lose three matches in a row to end it, but it’s still a good accomplishment,” Kern said. “They were all so close. All three came down to the final minute.”
Losing three of four title matches was a downer for the Broncos, but the two state championship trophies definitely helped lift the spirits – especially after a 25-year wait.
“Knowing that it was a total team effort is the best feeling,” Anderson said. “We know it’s a long time to wait, and I don’t think we realize how long it’s been.
“But when we get back home, I’m sure they’ll let us know how much they appreciate it. We know it means a lot.”
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Deven Loepp might only be in his first year as a full-time varsity wrestler, but the 103-pounder from Oakes is sure of one thing.
Even undefeated wrestlers can’t do much when they’re on their back.
Loepp dominated top-ranked Garrett Thompson of Rugby one the way to a 12-0 major decision in the 103-pound title match. It was the first loss of the season for Thompson (37-1).
“I expected him to come right after me, so I thought I’d better go at him,” Loepp said. “I knew I had to get him down because he’s better on his feet than I am.”
Loepp scored a takedown in the closing seconds of the first round. The Oakes freshman kept Thompson on the mat for almost the bulk of the final two rounds – nearly pinning him twice.
Loepp finishes the season 39-6. His 30 pins are the most ever by an Oakes wrestler in a single season, regardless of class.
“I just wanted to place this year – nothing big,” Loepp said. “This definitely raises the bar for next year.”
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Kriss McCleary won a 5-1 decision over Beulah’s Marshall Krebs for the 215-pound crown. It was McCleary’s fourth state title, all at 215. … Watford City senior Rowdy Lund won his third state title, edging Lisbon’s Jacob Anderson 8-6 for the 145-pound crown. Lund’s brother, Brady, won at 112 pounds. … Central Cass’ Ryan Heisler was pinned at the 2:58 mark by Beach’s Brad Steele in the 125-pound title match. It was Heisler’s third straight title match, but his only title came at 112 in 2006. … McCleary was the Class B wrestler of the year, and Joe Kern of Lisbon was the coach of the year.
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