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Area Wrestlers Advance to State Tournament
February 21, 2020

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By Joseph Schany

A total of seven area wrestlers will be heading to Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines this weekend for IHSAA's 2020 State Wrestling Tournament following Class 1A and 2A District matches Saturday in Sioux Central and Algona.

The Emmetsburg E-Hawks will send three wrestlers to state while the Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire (GTRA) Titans and West Bend-Mallard (WBM) Wolverines each have two state qualifiers.

State wrestling will be held Thursday, Feb. 20 through Saturday, Feb. 22.

E-Hawks

Saturday's 2A contest in Algona would see Emmetsburg earn fifth place on the day, with three E-Hawks earning a trip to Des Moines - Bret Hoyman, earning a first place finish at 152 pounds, Mason Griffin in second at 170 pounds, and Matt Wirtz with a second place finish at 182 pounds.

At 152 pounds, senior Bret Hoyman opened with a 10-3 decision over Algona's Luke McKenna, setting up a finals battle with Kristian Gunderson of Forest City. Hoyman would defeat Gunderson in a hard-fought 6-4 decision for the title.

At 170 pounds, senior Mason Griffin earned a 3:59 Win by fall (WBF) over Adam Heflin of Garner-Hayfield-Ventura. In the next round, Griffin would come up short, falling in a 6-2 decision against Osage's Spencer Mooberry before earning a no contest win over Heflin to receive second place.

Sophomore Matt Wirtz, wrestling at 182 pounds, would earn a 5:34 WBF over Keaton Muller of Osage in his opening match. Wirtz would lose a 10-5 decision to Forest City's Reese Moore before earning second place after defeating Logan Nilles of Humboldt in an 8-3 decision.

There was also heartbreak for several E-Hawks during the afternoon. Senior Brad Wirtz would fall just short in an incredibly close 145 pound title match against David Cornejo of Hampton-Dumont. The match would remain scoreless, forcing a tie breaker in which Cornejo scored the only point for the 1-0 win. Wirtz would finish in third place on the day.

Junior Jordan Anderson would place third on the day after a fall in the 285 pound opening round, pinned in 3:28 by Algona's Gavin Meints, and earning a 2:25 WBF over Nick Bronstad of Okoboji-Milford in the third place match.

Sophomore Luke Carter (120 pounds), freshman Ryan Brennan (138 pounds), and senior Jon Lace II (195 pounds) would finish fourth at the tournament.

"It wasn't a perfect day for the E-Hawks," said Head Coach Tyler Bjustrom in a Tweet on Saturday night, "but that wasn't due to lack of effort. Today is one of those days that reminds us that not all success stories are judged by winning and medals. The respect you earned in your time as E-Hawks is unmatched! We're so proud of all of you!".

Titans

In Class 1A Districts in Sioux Central, GTRA would finish in seventh place, sending two Titans to Saturday's state competition - Spencer Roth at 160 pounds and Treyton Cacek at 182 pounds each earned a first place finish on the afternoon.

At 160 pounds, Roth would win an 8-0 major decision over Thomas Melohn of Pocahontas Area before defeating Sibley-Ocheyedan's Dahson DeJong in a 6-0 decision.

At 182 pounds, Cacek earned a 1:01 WBF over Keaton Bindel in the opening round before earning a 4:35 WBF over West Sioux's Carson Lynott.

Cormick Currans, at 152 pounds, would earn a fourth place finish on the afternoon.

Wolverines

WBM would finish in ninth place at Class 1A Districts in Sioux Central while two Wolverines would punch a ticket to state - Donavon Hanson at 106 pounds and Connor Fehr at 170 pounds, each earning a second place finish.

Hanson, at 106 pounds, would defeat Kingsley-Pierson's Carson Seuntjens in an 8-1 decision before falling to Mikey Baker of West Sioux by 9-0 major decision. Hanson would beat Pocahontas Area's Tyce Ruffridge in a 10-0 major decision for the second place finish.

At 170 pounds, Fehr would win a 7-4 decision over Trevor Kruse of North Union before falling to Tristan Mulder of Western Christian in the title match. Fehr would earn a no contest over Kruse for second place.

Wrestling at 285 pounds, Logan Studer finished in fourth on the afternoon.

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