SALEM – Flandreau will send a freshman, a sophomore and a junior to the State Class B wrestling Tournament this weekend.
Brayden Wiese (106 pounds), Tathan Headrick (152) and Kolby Peters (170) each placed fourth at the Region 2B tournament last Saturday to qualify.
“This is the best a team has performed at Regions in a long time,” said Head Coach Derek Genzlinger.
“We had 8 of 10 wrestlers still alive in the round to get to state. I’m proud of the teams’ efforts and growth this year. To have that many kids come that close to state, is quite the accomplishment from where we were at last year.”
Wiese received a first-round bye and then pinned Canton’s Zach Bartels in 46 seconds in the quarterfinals. He was pinned by Howard’s Tate Miller in 1:13. Wiese topped Elk Point-Jefferson’s Gunner Ewing in 4:22 in the consolation semifinals to qualify for state but dropped an 8-0 major decision to Marion/Freeman’s Riley Tschetter in the third-place bout.
Following an opening bye, Headrick majored Tri-Valley’s Tyler Groenewold 10-2. He fell 11-2 to the eventually 152 pound champion, Canton’s Seth Peterson, in the semifinals. Headrick earned a 5-2 decision over Parker’s Jack Even to make the state tourney but fell 10-6 to EPJ’s Grayson Jacobs in the third-place matchup.
Peters stuck Marion/Freeman’s Chris Kessler in 1:29 to get the day going. He fell 15-4 to the Hawks’ Luke Richardson, the 170 pound champion, in the semifinals. Peters qualified for state with a win by fall in 2:01 over Chester Area’s Layne Hess. He was pinned in 2:12 by McCook Central/Montrose’s Kade Grocott in the third-place match.
Caleb Dietrich (195) and Chase Reed (220) both ended up fifth.
Dietrich dropped a 6-2 decision in the match to go to state and Reed was pinned.
“Regions is always a roller coaster of emotions. I’m extremely excited for Brayden, Tathan, and Kolby. All are first time state qualifiers and really wrestled well,” said Genzlinger.
“We also got Caleb and Chase in as alternates for their weight class. I’m happy they get an outside chance of getting in the tournament, but know they are both disappointed they didn’t qualify outright,” he added.
Other Fliers participating and placing sixth were Karter Headrick (138), Tanner Christenson (145) and Caleb Pitsenberger (182).
Gary Moose (160), who received a pair of byes, and Dylan Christenson (113) both ended up 0-2.
With no seniors on his squad, Genzlinger should see all these athletes return next season. Hopefully by then, the Coronavirus will not be one of the players on the team.
“It has been a long up and down year with all the restrictions, injuries, and protocols,” Genzlinger said referring to the Covid-19 restrictions.
“We have had meets with only 4 or 5 wrestlers in them, to meets with up to 11. Having everyone available for Regions was awesome and wouldn’t have been possible without everyone following each schools’ guidelines to keep all the wrestlers safe and healthy.”
The Class B State Wrestling Tournament is this Thursday through Saturday at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City.
To open the state tourney, Wiese will face Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes’ Kasen Konstanz, Headrick will face Russell Sheets of Sioux Valley and Peters’ tourney begins against Caleb Rickenbach of Hot Springs.