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Blue Jay wrestling finishes fifth in Grand Forks

Members of the Jamestown High School wrestling team pose with its fifth-place banner on Saturday at the Sertoma Duals at Grand Forks Central High School. Submitted photo

Seventh-ranked Jamestown High School should be moving up in the North Dakota Class A Wrestling Coaches' Poll, when the second ranking is released on Thursday, Dec. 13.

The Blue Jays finished fifth at the Sertoma Duals on Saturday after defeating No. 5 Valley City 52-24 at Grand Forks Central High School. This is the second time they've beaten or finished higher than the Hi-Liners, after doing so at the Knights of Columbus tournament in Jamestown.

"We felt like we matched up well with Valley City since we saw them last week, but to beat them in a dual is huge," said Jamestown coach Larry Eslick. "We're accomplishing things we haven't done before."

The Blue Jays started the tournament off Friday with Badger-Greenbush-Middle River, a very difficult Class A team out of Minnesota. The Gators' Avery Augustson broke a 26-all tie with a 12-7 decision over Colton Mewes and Owen Novacek pinned Jamestown's Braden Hatcher to win the dual 37-29.

"We had a tough start against B-G-MR," Eslick said. "They're one of the toughest teams in Class A Minnesota."

The Blue Jays bounced back in Friday's nightcap with a 64-15 victory over Wahpeton.

Jamestown defeated West Region foe Turtle Mountain 48-28 on Saturday morning and beat Valley City later that afternoon.

"We defeated Turtle Mountain, which is nice, because we see them this week (Friday, Dec. 14)," Eslick said. "It feels good to knock off one of the top teams in the West, because facing the Braves at their place will be difficult."

Senior Aaron Mack won three of four matches over the weekend. Eslick said Mack's best match was defeating Turtle Mountain's Levi LaFountain in a 6-3 decision, after losing to the 195-pound senior three straight times.

"The kid that stood out the most was Aaron Mack," Eslick said. "Aaron is bigger, better, stronger and is wrestling really well right now."

Jamestown is 4-3 on the season, with two of its losses coming against No. 6 Bismarck Century (37-34) and No. 1 Bismarck High (44-17). Eslick thinks the Blue Jays will make it into the top five in the second poll.

"We'll at least be top five," Eslick said. "Hopefully we'll be ranked the third or fourth team in the West. We'll be getting some respect from the coaches and should finish ahead of all the teams in the East."

Eslick said Paul Vandal, a 220-pound senior, will be making his season debut next week after suffering a broken hand during football season. The return will allow Samuel Krebs to return to 195 and Mack at 182.

"That's going to be huge," Eslick said. "If we're winning like this without a full lineup, it's going to be scary for opposing teams."

Jamestown will have a triangular dual at Fargo North High School on Tuesday against Devils Lake and the Spartans.

The marquee matchup Tuesday evening will be a rematch between the Blue Jays' Aden Braun and the Firebirds' James Fisk at 152 pounds. Braun's knee popped at the Knights of Columbus tournament, which allowed Fisk to pin the junior.

"Noah is looking to prove that match was a fluke and he wants to get his respect back," Eslick said. "We also finished ahead of Devils Lake at the tournament."

Sertoma Duals, Grand Forks

Consolation semifinals

Jamestown 48, Turtle Mountain 28

106: Aden Braun, J pinned Craig Bercier, 0:53.

113: Joel Bowman, J dec. Frank Chapman, 6-2.

120: Talor Huebner, pinned Josiah Marcellais, 2:37.

126: Wyatt Goulet, TM won by forfeit.

132: Ethan Bowman pinned Keon Laducer, 2:42.

138: Tate Laducer, TM won by forfeit.

145: Clay LaRocque, TM pinned Braden Hatcher, 0:42.

152: Noah Braun, J won by forfeit.

160: Johnny Browning, J won by forfeit.

170: Austin Kessler, pinned Isaac Short, 2:25.

182: Aaron Mack, J dec. Levi LaFountain, 6-3

195: Louis DeCoteau, TM maj. dec. over Coty Huebner, 13-2.

220: Samuel Krebs, J pinned Hunter Harviell, 4:39.

285: Seth Baker, TM pinned Damien Krebs, 4:28.

Fifth place

Jamestown 52, Valley City 24

106: Aden Braun, dec. Koye Grebel, 6-1.

113: Joel Bowman, J maj. dec. over Bennett Rogelstad, 12-1.

120: Talor Huebner, J tech fall over Austin Rogelstad, 18-3.

126: Espen Kunze, VC won by forfeit.

132: Ethan Bowman, pinned Nic Pfeifer, 4:32.

138: Colton Mewes, J tech fall over Evan Mielke, 21-4.

145: Parker Larson, VC pinned Braden Hatcher, 1:32.

152: Noah Braun, J pinned Ezra Hanse, 0:50.

160: Johnny Browning, J tech fall over Tyson Hovland, 17-2.

170: Austin Kessler pinned Jonathan Redfearn, 1:10.

182: David Peterson, VC pinned Coty Huebner, 1:14.

195: Aaron Mack, J pinned Ethan Langemo, 3:18.

220: Samuel Krebs won by forfeit.

285: Jaden Oestern pinned Damien Krebs, 2:33.

Mitchell Johnson

Hometown: Enumclaw, WA; College: Central Washington University

(360) 918-1853