Jamestown High School wrestler Ethan Bowman has spent plenty of time on the road over the past few days.
The senior was in Brookings, S.D., Thursday night watching South Dakota State University men's wrestling defeat Utah Valley 26-16. After the match, Bowman signed his letter of intent to continue his career collegiately with the Jackrabbits beginning in 2019-20.
"It's relieving knowing the recruiting process is over," Bowman said. "It's kind of stressful, but I'm glad it's over."
Bowman picked up two victories Friday at Jerry Meyer Arena, helping the Blue Jays defeat Bismarck Legacy 47-27 and Valley City 44-27. Jamestown (16-6) recorded its second-most dual wins in program history.
Bowman visited SDSU back in October, but was also being recruited by North Dakota State University and others. The senior said the decision came down to the Jackrabbits and Bison.
"I had a few colleges reach out to me, but (SDSU's) coaching staff there is incredible," Bowman said. "They're building a strong program there and that was kind of a major factor. I always dreamed of wrestling Division I and when they reached out to me it was relieving."
Bowman and his father, Shawn, both talked about how Jackrabbits' wrestling coach Damion Hahn liked Bowman's drive to recover from a serious back injury that sidelined the senior for his freshman and sophomore seasons.
"It was pretty interesting to find out (from SDSU) that they thought with that injury and the adversity I faced, it drew them towards me," Bowman said.
For Friday night, Bowman picked up a 10-0 major decision over Bismarck Legacy's Jakob Blumhagen and pinned Valley City's Nic Pfeifer just before the first period ended.
"I started off kind of slow in my first match. I wasn't feeling the best," Bowman said. "Once I started to roll, loosen up, I felt like I came out really strong in my second match. Overall, I thought it was a good day."
Jamestown won seven of nine contested matches against Bismarck Legacy, overall. Aden Braun (106 pounds), Joel Bowman (113), Colton Mewes (138), Noah Braun (152) and Aaron Mack (285) won via pin.
The Blue Jays' Colton Mewes, who returned after a back injury, won the opening match over Weston Snyder with a pin at 1:49. Two matches later, Noah Braun broke a 6-all tie with a pin and Jamestown never looked back.
"He's been battling a bad back and this was his first match back," Eslick said. "We're just bringing him back slowly and that was the perfect match to get some confidence and knock the rust off.
"We missed Colton in the lineup and we've been struggling to fill that void."
Jamestown's senior trio of Mack, Samuel Krebs (195) and Paul Vandal (220) all picked up pins over Valley City to give the Blue Jays a 28-9 lead in the nightcap.
"Sam was out most of the week with the flu and he wasn't sure if he'd wrestle tonight," Eslick said. "It was a game-time decision and if he didn't want to wrestle he just had to let me know."
The postseason awaits the Blue Jays as they travel to Turtle Mountain for the West Region tournament on Saturday, Feb. 9. The state tournament follows at the Fargodome (Feb. 14-16).
"Our goal is to be top three in the region as an individual team and that's same for state," Eslick said. "We have the firepower to place kids in high places and that's our goal."
Jamestown 37, Bismarck Legacy 27
106: (2) Aden Braun, J pinned JJ Thompson, 1:36.
113: Joel Bowman, J pinned Blaize Burtness, 1:53.
120: (6) Tim Kamrmas, BL dec. over Jackson Walters, 7-2.
126: Tanner Nagel, BL won by forfeit.
132: Ethan Bowman maj. dec. over Jakob Blumhagen, 10-0.
138: Colton Mewes, J pinned Ethan Mitchell, 1:49.
145: Draken Stugelmeyer, BL pinned Preston Gall, 3:40.
152: Noah Braun, J pinned Riley Martin, 1:11.
160: Johnny Browning, J maj. dec. over Bryce Gartner, 14-6.
170: Coty Huebner, J dec. over Hunter Sabot, 6-1.
182: Bismarck Legacy won by forfeit.
195: Jamestown won by forfeit.
220: Jamestown won by forfeit.
285: Aaron Mack, J pinned Matt Kaylor
Jamestown 47, Valley City 27
106: (2) Aden Braun, J dec. over Koye Grebel, 6-3.
113: Joel Bowman, J maj. dec. over Bennett Rogelstad, 10-1.
120: Espen Kunze, VC won by forfeit.
126: Jackson Walters, J maj. dec. over Austin Rogelstad, 13-6.
132: (5) Ethan Bowman, J pinned Nic Pfeifer, 1:45.
138: Parker Larson, VC won by forfeit.
145: Noah Braun, J pinned Ezra Hanse, 0:44.
152: Tyson Hovland, VC dec. over Reese Horsted, 5-0.
160: (6) Johnny Browning, J maj. dec. over Jonah Schuldheisz, 7-1.
170: (4) David Peterson, VC pinned Coty Huebner.
182: (4) Aaron Mack, J pinned Jonathan Redfearn, 3:08.
195: (6) Samuel Krebs, J pinned Cade Powers, 3:55.
220: (5) Paul Vandal, J pinned Ethan Langemo, 0:49.
285: (2) Jaden Oestern, VC won by forfeit.