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Jays put up fight against Braves

Jamestown’s Caleb Ellingson works the arm of Turtle Lake’s Brandon Rodriguez during their 182-pound match on Thursday. Ellingson posted an 11-4 win. John M. Steiner/The Sun

Coaches are looking for improvement early in the season, and Jamestown wrestling coach Larry Eslick witnessed a large heap of that on Thursday night.

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After falling to Bismarck Century 54-18 on Tuesday, the Blue Jays rolled up their sleeves and hosted a tough Turtle Mountain team at Jerry Meyer Arena on Thursday. It didn’t result in a win, but there was plenty for the first-year head coach to be proud of.

The Braves were able to produce seven pins in the lighter- to middle-weight classes, but the Jays came up with three of their own to fall by the final of 53-24.

“They’re tough up and down the lineup,” Eslick said of the Braves. “They’re probably at least the No. 3 team in the state, and I’m proud of our effort against those guys.

“If we wrestle like that against anyone else in the conference, we’re fine.”

Jamestown was again paced by a strong effort put forth by their senior captains. Down 36-6, Caleb Ellingson (182 pounds), Triston Shipley (195) and Eathan Gumke (220) got the ball rolling for the Jays.

Ellingson notched an 11-4 decision over Brandon Rodriguez, while Shipley snuck past Waylon DeCoteau 12-10. After that, Gumke and junior Kyle Anderson (285) rifled off back-to-back pins to get the Jays within 12 at 36-24.

Gumke stuck Trajan LaRocque with 34 seconds remaining in the first.

“I’m just really proud with or seniors coming through like they’re supposed to,” Eslick said. “Caleb didn’t place in state (last year), and he just beat a state-placer. Same with Triston Shipley, he beat a state-placer.

“You know, those are huge wins that will resonate for the rest of the season. They fought and they didn’t give up.”

Anderson tossed Jesse Rodriguez to the mat with 49 ticks left in the second period at heavyweight, and he pinned his opponent just 9 seconds after the solid take down. Once again, Rodriguez is a returning state-placer for the Braves.

“That’s just a situation there where I told Kyle, ‘You gotta wrestle tough, and you’ve just got to wrestle like you can and be patient,’” Eslick said. “He was looking for a throw and was wrestling like a smart heavyweight.”

Turtle Mountain, however, showed its muscle in the lighter classes. After recording consecutive pins at 152, 160 and 170 earlier in the dual, the Braves sealed the deal with pins at 106 and 113, to go along with a technical fall at 120 to produce the 53-24 final score.

“As a coach we like to see pins, but there were some guys that we thought should have stepped up a little bit better,” Turtle Mountain coach Derrick Dixon said. “I saw some things that we need to go back in and fix. Other than that it was a good, hard dual.

“Jamestown, hats off to them, they wrestled pretty tough,” Dixon added. “They came ready to wrestle.”

Jamestown’s fifth victory of the dual — and third pin — came from sophomore Paxton Mewes at 145. Mewes was able to collect the six points with 46 ticks left in the third after he led 6-4 to start the final period.

Mewes wrestled at 138 against Century and collected a 3-point decision. Mewes, Ellingson, Shipley and Gumke all moved to 2-0 on the young season.

“We wrestled a lot more aggressively and wrestled tough in situations where they had out-gunned us in some weights, but we didn’t give up,” Eslick said. “We went out there and stuck our nose in it. I was really proud.”

Jamestown, still in search of that first victory, hits the road to face Bismarck St. Mary’s on Tuesday.

“Well, if we go in there and wrestle with this kind of intensity against St. Mary’s,” Eslick said, “we’re going to get a win.”

Turtle Mountain 53, Jamestown 24

126: Dillon Dionne, TM won by forfeit

132: Clifton Vivier, TM pinned Kyle Dupre, 2:55

138: Grant Laducer, TM pinned Jakob Browning, :43

145: Paxton Mewes, JHS pinned Eugene Fleetwood, Jr., 5:14

152: Tanner Crissler, TM pinned Lucas Shirley, 1:58

160: Geraldo Fox, TM pinned Drew Topp, :33

170: Brek Laducer, TM pinned Nathan Goodrich, :38

182: Caleb Ellingson, JHS dec. Brandon Rodriguez, 11-4

195: Triston Shipley, JHS dec. Waylon DeCoteau, 12-10

220: Eathan Gumke, JHS pinned Trajan LaRocque, 1:26

285: Kyle Anderson, JHS pinned Jesse Rodriguez, 3:20

106: Easton Crissler, TM pinned Dominic Laber, :44

113: Trevis LaRocque, TM pinned Kane Barnick, 1:00.

120: Christopher Longie, TM tech. fall over Josh Chupp, 17-1 (4:23)

Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at 701-952-8461 or by email at