FLANDREAU – Madison scored 209 points to win the team title at Saturday’s Flandreau Wrestling Tournament as the Bulldogs’ 145-pounder Nolan Johnson was named Most Outstanding Wrestler.
The host Fliers placed sixth with 36 points.
Michael Witte’s second-place finish at 145 pounds led the Fliers while Chase Reed placed third at 220 and Brendan Ten Eyck placed fourth at 152.
It was the first wrestling action of the season for many of the teams there,” said Flier coach Travis Ahrens.
“For us, it was no different. Practice is a bit of a challenge for us right now with thirteen guys that range from 100 pounds to 200 pounds and also range in experience. So Saturday was a great chance to see where some of our guys are really at.”
And while we were pleased with the effort Saturday we definitely have some work to do. The majority of our guys are on the younger side of the experience spectrum so we'll have some growing pains early in the season.
After a first-round bye, Witte won by fall over Elk Point-Jefferson's Brody Weavil in 1 minute, 20 seconds, but lost a 13-4 major decision to Madison's Nolan Johnson in the title match.
Ahrens noted, “It was great to see Michael back on the mat after missing all of the season last year due to injury. He was a bit rusty in a couple situations with his hip position in the finals match, but the kid from Madison is no slouch and matches like that for both kids at the beginning of the season are great.”a
Ten Eyck won by fall over Parker Schlenker of Garretson in 47 seconds in the first round, but lost by fall in 2:28 in the semifinals to Madison's Ethan Buskness. He then won a 2-0 decision over EPJ's Nik Langley in the consolation bracket before losing by fall in 1:21 in the third-place match to Luverne's Jed Dooyema.
Reed advanced via a bye before losing by fall in 4:57 to Thomas Seppala of Madison. He didn't have any opponents in the consolation bracket to place third.
Also wrestling for the Fliers were Caleb Dietrich (106), Johnny DeLoera (113), Tanner Christenson (120), Tathan Headrick (132), Austin Kulm (138) and Preston Keith (160).
Dietrich lost his first match by fall in 2:00 to Lane Miller of Howard; advanced via a bye in the consolation bracket before dropping out with an injury.
DeLoera lost by fall to Russell Sheets of Sioux Valley in 3:09 and then, lost by fall in 2:44 to EPJ's Ben Swatek.
Christenson lost by fall in 30 seconds to Luverne's Hunter Baker and then lost by fall in 4:21 to Ethan Kruger of Madison in the consolation bracket.
Headrick won his first match by fall in 1:42 over Chris Rosin of Luverne, but lost by fall in 2:50 to Madison's Colby Mennis. He then lost by fall in 1:53 to Paul Winker of Howard.
Kulm advanced via a bye before losing by fall in 1:04 to Madison's Braeden DeJabet. In the consolation bracket, he lost by fall to Jon Callies of Howard in 55 seconds.
After a bye, Keith lost by fall in 1:03 to Madison's Jarred Hodges and then dropped a 2-0 decision to Jayden Renken of Luverne in consolation action.
“While we were pleased with the effort Saturday we definitely have some work to do,” Ahrens said.
“The majority of our guys are on the younger side of the experience spectrum so we'll have some growing pains early in the season.”
On Saturday, the Fliers compete in the Howard Invitational.
Team Scores – 1. Madison 209; 2. Howard 195.5; 3. Elk Point-Jefferson 100; 4. Garretson 92; 5. Luverne 88; 6. Flandreau 36; 7. Deuel 23; 8. Sioux Valley 11; 9. Hamlin 3.