Monday, January 15, 2018

Governors Finish Second Behind Stevens at Jerry Opbroek Invite

The Jerry Opbroek Invitational in Mitchell has been a unique tournament designed to bring together some of the top A and B wrestling program at the seasons midpoint, providing wrestlers from both classes the opportunity to square off against competition they won't see as the postseason draws closer.  Despite winning the event during the past two years, the Governor's found themselves trailing Rapid City Stevens right away in the opening round, and despite taking the lead for the first time during the finals, the Raiders secured a 181.5 to 173 victory over the Governors as the upper weights concluded.  Despite just a field of nine teams, a total of seven teams ranked in the top 10 in their respective classes presented a unique mixture of talent when face-offs began at 4:00 on Saturday.  As the tournament concluded, the second place finish by the Governors was driven by 11 wrestlers placing in the top four, including going five-for-five in the finals (Turman, Turman, Lusk, Senger, & Raske).  Two of these match-ups included the #1 and #2 ranked wrestlers in their respective weight classes.  "We are making progress individually," said head coach Shawn Lewis.  "Some of the things we have scouted against opponents is working and kids have been making the proper adjustments to beat opponents that have beaten them earlier or continue to widen the gap versus others.  We did lose a few close matches that we have to be able to win come post season.  Winning or losing close matches will ultimately decide how this team finishes at the end of the year." 

Individual Champs for the Governors include Maguire Raske, Austin Senger, Michael Lusk, William Turman and Lincoln Turman.

Leading off in the finals for the Governors was #1 ranked Lincoln Turman who defeated Fischer (Stevens) in the opening round by major 11-0, and then pinned Lhotak (Wagner) in the semifinals before winning by fall over Owens (Strugis) in :45 seconds.  Two weight classes later, #2 ranked William Turman squared off against #1 ranked Spencer Stockman who defeated him in overtime last week at the Bismarck Rotary.  On his way to the finals, Turman won by pin in the opening round, then majored Sparks (Mitchell) in the semifinals 11-0.  Scoreless going into the second period, Turman took a 3-0 lead following a clasping and push-out violation and then was cut by Stockman.  Turman held on to the 3-2 lead late in the third to secure the victory and win his third Opbroek title over the past four years. Prior to the finals, William Turman was honored with the Adam Aslesen Award of Excellence given to an outstanding senior wrestler for their academic and athletic accomplishments at the Opbroek each year.  Turman follows Spencer Sarringar who was the recipient of this award last year.

Prior to the start of the championship matches, William Turman was honored the Aslesen family with the Adam Aslesen Award of Excellence

At 145lbs Michael Lusk won by pin over Pardy (Howard) during the opening round, and just missed a major decision against Werner (Watertown) with a 9-3 victory in the semifinals.  Lusk, the current #1 ranked wrestler at this weight then defeated Voorhees (Stevens) 5-2 in the finals to also win his third Opbroek title in the past four years.  Another highly anticipated match-up for the hometown crowd involved a rematch between Austin Senger and Briggs Havlik for the 160lbs finals.  Senger lost to Havlik in the semifinals of the Rapid City Invite earlier this year, and then by one point in the ESD Dual this past week.  Senger advanced to the semifinals with a bye in the opening round, where he defeated Class B #2 ranked Crownover (Bon Homme) 6-2.  Following a flurry of attempts, Senger was able to generate his first takedown of the year against Havlik late in the first and road out the period.  Despite a takedown by Havlik in the third period, Senger hung on to a 4-3 lead as time expired and Havlik attempted a desperation throw which Senger countered to win the 160lb class with a 6-3 victory.

Austin Senger block the final shot attempt by Briggs Havlik during their championship match.  Senger avenges the two earlier losses and secured the 6-3 win. 

Maguire Raske earned just his second individual title of his young career at 170lbs earning bonus for the Governors during each match.  He began with a first round pin in :38 second against Gall (Bon Homme), and then defeated #8 ranked Brink (Steven) 13-1 to generate the major.  Raske one the individual title with a :30 second pin over Kramer (Howard) to conclude the five-for-five championship run for the Governors.

Cade Hinkle defends a shot attempt from Jacobs (Sturgis) in the consolation semifinal match.  He secured a 8-3 victory to advance into the third place match.

Of the six remaining Governor placers, Cade Hinkle and Pryce Dyk were the only two who finished third following wins in the consolation finals.  At 138lbs Cade Hinkle won by fall in the opening round, then lost a 4-0 decision against Nedved (Wagner).  Hinkle came back strong with two wins in the wrestle-backs and then avenged his loss against Nedved with a late takedown and backpoints in the closing period to finish third with a 6-4 victory.  Pryce Dyk picked up an important third place victory over #6 ranked Patterson (Stevens) winning 5-3.  Dyk won by pin in the opening round against Petrik (Howard) before losing by pin against #2 ranked Stahl (Watertown) in the second period of their semifinal match.  A win by fall in the wrestle-backs helped advance Dyk into the consolation finals. "Pryce beating Patterson avenges an earlier loss," said Lewis when reflecting on the high notes from the tournament.  "Senger beating Havlik after two earlier losses.  Will beating Stockman after losing to him at the Rotary.  Hinkle coming back and beating Nedved after losing to him in the first round." 

Price Dyk uses a Peterson roll to turns Zach Patterson (Stevens) to earn the 5-3 victory and finish third at the tournament. 

Jace Bench-Bresher had an impressive first round win over Class B #2 ranked Jordan Rueb (Bon Homme) before losing 4-0 against Stockman (Stevens) in the semifinals.  He then won by decision in the wrestle-backs before squaring off against Class B #1 ranked Soukup who eventually caught him in a headlock early in the second period resulting in a fourth place finish for Bench-Bresher.  Jack Van Camp defeated Murtha (Parkston) 4-0 in the opening round then lost to #3 ranked Coyle (Watertown).  He advanced in the wrestle backs with a major decision but then fell to McGinnis (Mitchell) 3-1 to finish fourth.  Barry Browning also won his first round match by 4-0 deicsion against Feldhaus (Howard), and then had a tight match against #2 ranked Brengle (Sturgis) eventually losing 4-2.  He then won by pin in the wrestle-backs, but lost his final match against Tuttle (Watertown) in his attempt for a third place finish. Lastly, Garrett Lessman won by pin over Neugebauer (Parkston) to start the tournament, but then fell to Feldhaus (Howard) by pin in the semifinals.  Leesman matched a pin against #3 ranked Max that he achieved in the dual against Mitchell earlier this week, but then lost by pin against Hartford (Watertown) to finish the tournament.  

Barry Browning looks for an opening during his semifinals match against Bailey Bringle.  Bringle maintained the 4-2 lead to advance into the finals, and Browning finished fourth overall.

Not placing at the tournament included Hayden Shaffer in one of the toughest brackets at the Opbroek when he drew #1 ranked Jacob Wood (Sturgis) in the opening round, and then lost 5-3 against Class B #4 ranked Weber (Parkston) in the second round. Despite a slight lead as time expired in the third period, Gage Gehring lost to Knodell (Stevens) on a last second takedown, and then lost to Max (Mitchell) 7-1 in the wrestle-backs.  Gunner Ghering had a similar 7-6 loss in the opening round to Foote (Mitchell), but avenged a loss to Winter (Mitchell) in the wrestle-backs by pin before he fell to McMath (Stevens). 

This week the Governors wrestling in Brandon Valley on Tuesday night for an important ESD dual, and then will host Stevens, Central, Sturgis, Brandon Valley and Watertown in the ESD Duals next Saturday in Pierre. Lewis noted "We have a grind of a two week period here with a lot of duals.  Anytime you have duals you only have to prepare for one match which means a lot of individual game planning.  Conditioning will always improve during this stretch as there is no simulation for live wrestling against a real opponent." Individual performances for the Governor wrestlers include: 
  • 106 - Hayden Shaffer - DNP (0-2)
  • 113 - Jace Bench-Bresher - 4th (2-2)
  • 120 - Lincoln Turman - 1st (3-0)
  • 126 - Jack Van Camp - 4th (2-2)
  • 132 - William Turman - 1st (3-0)
  • 138 - Cade Hinkle - 3rd (3-1)
  • 145 - Michael Lusk - 1st (3-0)
  • 152 - Barry Browning - 4th (2-2)
  • 160 - Austin Senger - 1st (3-0)
  • 170 - Maguire Raske - 1st (3-0)
  • 182 - Garrett Leesman - 4th (2-2)
  • 195 - Gage Gehring - DNP (0-2)
  • 220 - Gunner Gehring - DNP (1-2)
  • 285 - Pryce Dyk - 3rd (3-1)

Sunday, January 7, 2018

3rd Place Finish at the Rotary for the Governors

After two very dominant performances at the Bismarck Rotary during the past two years, the Governor wrestling program experienced a slight set-back over the weekend as they finished third behind Rapid City Stevens and Bismarck High.  Stevens put together a solid team performance with ten of their wrestlers making the podium late Saturday, followed by a solid Bismark team that advanced four wrestlers to the finals, concluding with three champions.  When reflecting on the value of attending a tournament like the Rotary Shawn Lewis, head coach, noted "Going to the Bismarck Rotary Tournament is a great look at a State Tournament format (2 day) and caliber tournament.  We are exposed to different wrestling and officiating styles that can help us to continue to improve our craft." The Governors faced a difficult task after losing a Rapid City Invite finalist and seventh place finisher (Bench-Bresher and Browning) after the first two rounds without scoring team points.  However, at the conclusion of the first day of action the Governors remained in the hunt with seven wrestlers advancing to the placing rounds with two finalists in Lincoln Turman and Michael Lusk.  After early wrestle-back action on Saturday afternoon the Governors regained the lead with four of their five wrestlers earning bonus points to advance to the consolation championship matches, however solid performances by Stevens and Bismarck in the championship round extended the gap as the Governors finished with 186 points behind 192.5 for Bismarck and 211.5 from RC Stevens. "The biggest setbacks were not wrestling up to our potential and making way to many big mistakes," said assistant coach Travis Heasley.  "There are some matches that I wish we would have gotten a call to go our way but we had plenty of chances in each match to win without those calls.  As a team we need to have gumption and move forward." 

Lincoln Turman works to turn Watertown's Mason Stoick in a cradle during his opening round match.  Turman won by pin in 1:03 and finished second at the Rotary. 

Lincoln Turman advanced to his third straight Rotary championship match following a pin and tech fall in the opening two rounds.  In the quarterfinals he defeated Graves (Sidney) by major 9-1 and then earned the semifinal victory over Bowman (Jamestown) 3-1.  In the championship match, Turman faced returning North Dakota state champion Laken Boese who scored a reversal as time expired to secure a 8-6 victory.  The loss was Turman's second in the past three years as he has generated a 106-2 record since the start of his sophomore season. Michael Lusk also secured his third straight finals appearance at the Rotary beginning with pins during two opening rounds.  During the Quarterfinals Lusk pined Cihak (Aberdeen) and then won by decisions 5-3 against Voorhees (RC Stevens).  During the finals, Lusk squared off against current #1 ranked North Dakota wrestler Devin Steidler from Bismarck High.  These two faced each other at the Rapid Invite where Steidler defeated Lusk with a 4-3 victory.  The outcome would be repeated on Saturday as Lusk was hit with a second stalling call late in the third period ensuring a 4-3 victory for Steidler as opportunities for Lusk to score a late takedown failed.

Devin Steidler holds on during the closing seconds of their Championship match as Lusk attempts to score the late takedown.  Lusk finished in the runner-up position.

Despite a number one seed to open the tournament, William Turman finished his final Rotary appearance with his second straight third place finish.  Turman secured bonus points for the Governors during the opening two rounds and then defeated Bitz (Bismarck Centruy) 9-0 to generate the major decision.  In the semifinal match, Turman faced Stockman (RC Stevens) who he narrowly defeated 4-3 at the Rapid City Invite. After going 0-0 in the first three periods, Turman lost in overtime when Stockman scored a takedown as the clock expired.  In the wrestle-backs Turman defeated Fleck (Mandan) 3-0 and then pinned two time Montana State Champion Reyling (Glasgow) early in the second period.

William Turman upends Levi Lang (Napoleon) during their second round match.  Turman won by fall in 4:44 and finished 3rd at the tournament. 

Austin Senger entered the tournament with a third seed in a bracket featuring the #5 ranked wrestler in the country at 160lbs.  After a first round bye, Senger defeated Erickson (Beulah/Hazen) 7-5 and then secured a major decision against Scheett (Legacy) with a 12-4 decision.  In the seminfinals Senger match-up against #1 ranked Clapp (Glendive/Dawson County) and eventually lost 6-2 as Senger attempted a throw late in the third period.  Senger then defeated Weigel (Napoleon) by major decision to advance to the consolation championship where he squared off against SD #1 ranked Collin Haar (Aberdeen).  Senger earned a critical second period takedown to produce a 3-2 victory.  After the match Lewis indicated "Senger, although not making the finals, picked up a big win against Haar.  That win along with a couple of others during the next few weeks will be critical come Region and State Seeding."  Assistant coach Travis Heasley added that "Senger showed that he can win a state title this weekend.  Taking on the #1 wrestler and beating him was great for his confidence." 

Austin Senger elevates Thomas Scheett from Bismarck Legacy during his quarterfinal match.  Senger earned the 12-4 major on his way to a third place finish. 

Maguire Raske also finished with an impressive third place finish in a difficult 170lbs weight class.  After a first round bye, Raske won by tech fall in the second round and advanced to the semifinals with a major decision agaisnt Stoebner (Aberdeen).  In the semifinals, Raske lost to #1 ranked Kost (RC Central) by fall, but earned a :47 second pin in the wrestle-backs and then defeated Peterson (West Fargo) 5-3 to earn his best performance to date in his young career.  In reflecting on the young Raske, Heasley noted "I think Raske is realizing he belongs.  As a coaching staff we have noticed his attention to detail in the room and wanting to continue to learn more.  He's figuring out what works for him and sticking to the game plan.  He was wrestling with the number one ranked wrestler until he made a mistake but it was a learning experience that he will not make again." 

In his second round match, Maguire Raske finishes the takedown on Jacob Carmichael (Minot) and eventually earned a tech fall to advance to the quarterfinals. 

Gage Gehring was the fourth Governor to advance to the consolation finals who advance there with two important first round pins.  In the quarterfinals he fell to #1 ranked Kaylor (Legacy) and then produced a solid victory in the wrestle-backs against Wilkie (Turtile Mountain) 14-8 before pinning Thorson (Watertown) in the second period of the consolation semifinals.  His path to a third place finish was hampered with a quick takedown by Rapid City Steven's Knodell early in the sudden victory period.  "Gage had a great performance this weekend," said Lewis.  "He finally got rolling like we all knew he could.  It was only a matter of time but it was nice to see it.  Gage has a motor that doesn't stop and his improvement was due to fixing body awareness and positioning."

Gage Gehring finishes a takedown on Ryan Brink (Stevens) during the second round of action in Bismarck.  He finished the match with a fall in 1:03 and generated a fourth place finish for the Governors.

Finishing off the placers for the Governors was Hayden Shaffer who finished his first Rotary with a sixth place finish as he continues to perform well during his rookie campaign.  Shaffer won by pin in the opening round before losing a close 9-8 match against Malone (RC Stevens).  However in the wrestle-backs he earned four straight wins (three by pin) before suffering his second loss to #1 ranked Althoff (Watertown) by 5-0 decision.  In the fifth place match he again lost to Malone by major decision 11-2.  "Hayden Shaffer placing at Bismarck as an 8th grader was big.  He continues to improve every time out but also to rack up bonus points," said Lewis.

Hayden Shaffer hooks up a cradle against West Fargo's Kaleb Porter in the 5th round wrestle-backs.  Shaffer secured the pin in :48 and finished sixth at the tournament. 

Despite not placing at the Rotary a number of other Governors were in the hunt, eventually losing one match prior to the placing round.  Jack Van Camp won by fall in the opening round before losing by pin against #1 ranked Ripplinger (Bismarck).  In the wrestle-backs he generated two pins before losing a 6-0 decision against #3 ranked Coyle (Watertown) After a first round loss, Pryce Dyk generated three pins in the wrestle-backs before losing to Horner (Sidney) to end his tournament run.  Cade Hinkle took a similar path as he lost by fall in the opening round but generated two pins and a major decision in the wrestle-backs before losing a 5-2 decision against Winter (Sydney) just one match short of the placing round.  Garrett Leesman and Gunner Gehring each lost their opening round matches by fall, yet rebounded to return with a pin in the wrestle-backs before exiting in the second round wrestle-backs. Wrestling unattached for the Governors, both Daniel Tafoya and Tyson Johnson lost their opening match against high seeds and then both pinned their second opponent before losing in the second round of the wrestle-backs. Despite solid performances early in the season both Jace Bench-Bresher and Barry Browning struggled in the opening rounds eventually losing their first two matches and failed to generate team points for the Governors.

When reflecting on the teams performance over the two days Lewis noted " The team is still developing at this point and time.  We continue to learn things about ourselves that we can and need to improve on. The thing from this weekend we learned is that everyone of us has something to improve no matter what level we are at. Most of the things from this point on are mental in each persons approach to preparing for matches."  The Governors will next be in action on Tuesday as they face Mitchell in their first home dual at 7:00 p.m. Then this coming Saturday they will travel to Mitchell to participate in their invitational with a combination of the top A and B teams in the state.  Individual performances for the Governor wrestlers include:
  • 106 - Hayden Shaffer - 6th (5-3)
  • 113 - Jace Bench-Bresher - DNP (0-2)
  • 120 - Lincoln Turman - 2nd (4-1)
  • 120 - Daniel Tafoya - DNP (1-2)
  • 126 - Jack Van Camp - DNP (3-2)
  • 126 - Tyson Johnson DNP (1-2)
  • 132 - William Turman - 3rd (5-1)
  • 138 - Cade Hinkle - DNP (3-2)
  • 145 - Michael Lusk - 2nd (4-1)
  • 152 - Barry Browning - DNP (0-2)
  • 160 - Austin Senger - 3rd (5-1)
  • 170 - Maguire Raske - 3rd (5-1)
  • 182 - Garrett Leesman - DNP (1-2)
  • 195 - Gage Gehring - 3rd (5-1)
  • 220 - Gunner Gehring - DNP (1-2)
  • 285 - Pryce Dyk - DNP (3-2)

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Anatomy of a Dual - Govs Defeat Aberdeen 34-27

On any given evening, there are a number of factors that can contribute to winning an important conference dual match-up in the ESD.  Earning bonus points, fending off bonus points, staying healthy, and depth in the line-up to allow a coach to bump wrestlers at key weights just to name a few.  However, for the past few years the Pierre Governor and Aberdeen Golden Eagle ESD dual have come down to one essential element: winning the coin-toss to start the dual.  If you read my blog post after the Golden Eagle victory last year, even the novice wrestling fan can come to appreciate how the requirement to show at critical swing weights can change the outcome of the dual. The match-up tonight didn't disappoint, as the Governors came into the dual evaluating a number of possible scenarios for thier lineup, with many of their preferred strategies needing Aberdeen to show at 106lbs, and then every other weight class throughout the remainder of the dual. Head coach Shawn Lewis indicated “Duals are all about getting the proper match-ups.  We knew beforehand the match-ups that we would like as they move their lineup around frequently.  Winning the coin flip allows us to determine the match-ups at the weight classes that we thought were key.”

Jace Bench-Bresher finishes a takedown on Aberdeen's Ethan Allen in their 113lbs match.  Bench-Bresher went on to earn the major decision 14-4 in the second match of the dual.

After the Governors won the opening toss, Aberdeen was required to check in first to begin the dual and presented #6 ranked Brendon Salfrank at 106lbs.  The Governors were short Hayden Shaffer due to illness, and sophomore Will Van Camp filled in, but lost by fall late in the first period.  Jace Bench-Bresher approaching the technical fall in the 113lb match against Ethan Allen, finished with a 14-4 victory to bring the Governors within two points with the major decision.  With Lincoln Turman coming off knee surgery just five days ago, the Governors had limited options at the 120lbs weight class, having weighed in both Turman and Daniel Tafoya in order to assess the wrestler that Aberdeen would submit to the table. If #2 ranked Jacob Moore reported, then Tafoya would wrestle for the Governors, but the Golden Eagles bumped up 113lb junior varsity wrestler Brock Martin allowing Turman the opportunity to wrestle.  Turman secured a :16 second pin to put the Governors in the lead which they would retain for the remainder of the dual.  Jacob Moore came out to wrestle Jack Van Camp, and following an impressive outing by Van Camp the third period concluded with a 9-8 victory by Moore to secure the decision for the Golden Eagles and bring the dual within one point.  

Cade Hinkle defends again the shot from Garrett Mitzel on his way to a 7-0 victory at the 138lbs weight class.

# 1 ranked William Turman secured an early first period pin over Logan Beadle at 132lbs, followed by a solid 7-0 victory by Cade Hinkle at 138lbs over Garrett Mitzell to firm up a 19-9 lead for the Governors.  At the 145lb weight class, #1 ranked Michael Lusk earned the major over Austin Cihak with a 18-8 victory, which was followed by a 5-4 victory for Aberdeen's Will Jarrott over Barry Browning at 152lbs.  Tied up 4-4 with less than :20 second left, Browning was hit with his second stalling call to generate the critical one point victory for Jarrott resulting in a 23-12 lead for the Governors.  Force to check in first at 160lbs, Aberdeen advanced #1 ranked Colin Haar who faced Logan Meyer as he could fill in as an alternate at either 160 or 170lbs for the Governors.  Despite keeping the gap close at the end of the first period, Meyer lost by fall to Haar in the second.  “We as a coaching staff felt that this dual was going to be won or lost by one match,” said assistant coach Travis Heasley.  “We needed the ones that our kids were supposed to win, and the ones that were in tough matches not to give up bonus points.  For the most part we did that.  Two matches that could really turn the dual for us were Jack Van Camp at 126lbs vs. #2 in the state at 120lbs, and Barry Browning against another ranked wrestler at 152lbs.  I felt both wrestled well and Jack had a great chance at an upset.  I felt that as a team we wrestled the best we have all year.” 

Stepping in against # 1 ranked Collin Haar of Aberdeen, Logan Meyer works to fight off a leg attack during the first period of the 160lbs match. 

Lewis bumped Austin Senger up to 170lbs to face Dillon Stoebner and scored an important takedown at the edge of the match as time expired in the third to win 15-4 and secure the major decision.  This then pushed Maguire Raske to 182lbs where he faced Brock Baker, and despite giving up the considerable size advantage was able to pull out the 4-2 victory and extending the Governors lead to 31-18. With three weight classes remaining and still an opportunity for the Golden Eagles to secure the victory with bonus points, Gage Gehring pulled out the critical 10-1 major decision over Alex Hopfinger at 195lbs and put the dual out of reach.  “The dual went pretty much as planned down low due to winning the coin flip,” said Lewis.  “We made a move at 160, bumping kids up from there.  Those match-ups we knew would be key to win 170 through 195.  Those ultimately sealed the deal.  Wrestling up a weight class is tough but Raske and Senger proved they were tougher.”

Austin Senger elevates Dillon Stoebner during thier 170lbs match during the closing seconds of the 2nd period.  Senger went on to secure the major decision 15-6.

At 220lbs, Gunnar Gehring lost by pin against Noah Fullmer bringing the dual within ten points. In the heavyweight match, Pryce Dyk squared off against #3 ranked Kaden Johnson.  In their two previous match-ups, Dyk lost 3-1 at the Watertown duals, and then a 3-1 overtime loss in the quarterfinals of the Rapid City Invitational.  Tonight, Dyk suffered a similar fate as Johnson secured a late takedown as time expired in the second period to take a 2-1 lead. He followed that up with an escape early in the third to produce a 3-1 victor and bring the Golden Eagles within seven.  However as the dual came to a close the Governors were able to generate the important ESD victory to bring their conference record to 1-1 and still be in the hunt for an ESD title. In reflecting on the victory, Lewis noted “Staying in the hunt for the ESD was goal number one tonight.  It makes every dual from this point forward a must win.  If we would have taken a loss we would have been out of the hunt, and may have looked for match-ups in duals rather than a focus of winning first.” 

Maguire Raske works to turn Brock Baker in the 182lb matchup, which Raske went on to win 4-2.  

Over the past six years, Governor wrestlers have become accustomed to entering every dual with an opportunity for a team victory.  This has required many to sacrifice for the team to secure the dual win.  In some instances, wrestlers are bumped from winnable matches against opponents at their designated weight classes and walk onto the mat with a primary goal of keeping the match close.  Heasley noted that “I think the wrestlers approach it with a team first mentality.  In duals we have had so far this year we have needed to shift some wrestlers, and we haven’t heard one complaint about being bumped.  They go out and try to do their job every time.” The Governor wrestling team has earned a much needed break as they will be out of action until January 5th when they travel to the Bismarck Rotary in North Dakota.  A year ago, the team returned from a short Christmas break to begin preparing for their invitation to The Clash. Individual performances for each of the Governor wrestlers tonight include:

    • 106lbs - #6 Bendon Sulfrank won by fall over Will Van Camp
    • 113lbs - Jace Bench-Bresher won by major decision over Ethan Allen 14-4
    • 120lbs - #1 Lincoln Turman won by fall over Brock Martin 
    • 126lbs - #2 Jacob Moore won by decision over Jack Van Camp 9-8
    • 132lbs - #1 William Turman son by fall over Logan Beadle 
    • 138lbs - #8 Cade Hinkle won by decision over Garrett Mitzel 7-0
    • 145lbs - #1 Michael Lusk won by major decision over #6 Austin Cihak 18-8
    • 152lbs - #5 Will Jarrott won by decision over #4 Barry Browning 5-4
    • 160lbs - #1 Collin Haar won by fall over Logan Meyer
    • 170lbs - #3 Austin Senger won by major decision over Dillon Stoebner 15-6
    • 182lbs - Maguire Raske won by decision over Brock Backer 4-2
    • 195lbs - Gage Gehring won by major decision over Alex Hopfinger 10-1
    • 220lbs - Noah Fullmer won by fall over Gunnar Ghering
    • 285lbs - #3 Kaden Johnson won by decision over #7 Pryce Dyk 3-1

    Sunday, December 17, 2017

    Second Place Finish for Governors at Elk-Point Jefferson

    Coming off an impressive team victory at the Rapid City Invite last week, the Governor Wrestling team traveled to the Elk-Point Jefferson Tournament on Saturday to face Class B #1 ranked Canton and a number of other regional teams from Iowa and Nebraska.  Nursing a number of injuries and illness, the Governors were short three Rapid City Invite finalists in L. Turman, Lusk and Bench-Bresher, yet finished in second in Elk-Point with a total of 207 points behind Canton which racked up 291 points with six individual champions.  Attending the tournament for the first time in 2014, the Governors won team titles at that initial entry and again in 2015.  The tournament was cancelled last year due to weather, but the event serves as an opportunity for the Governors to compete against some of the top ranked wrestlers from the B's.  Head coach Shawn Lewis indicated, "As a coach, I feel it is my job to make sure we get to see the best competition and a variety of opponents.  With the make up of our schedule, the EPJ tournament provides us the opportunity to see some Iowa, Nebraska, and solid class B schools.  I also helped start this tournament at the beginning of my coaching career and enjoy seeing our kids compete in it."  Despite being slightly shorthanded, the Governors still produced one champion in Maguire Raske, three additional finalist (Van Camp, W. Turman & Browning), and seven other wrestlers in the top six at the tournament.  

    Coming in with the #2 seed at 170lbs, Maguire Raske advanced into the finals with a tech fall over Derek Anderson (Hinton, IA), and then a 7-4 victory over Laubach (Canton) in the semifinals.  Facing #5 ranked Collin Becker (Dakota Valley) in the championship match, Raske found himself down 3-0 in the second period but came out on top off a scramble situation and secured the pin to win his first varsity tournament.  After the match Lewis said "Maguire finally wrestled up to his potential this weekend. It is scary to think he is only a freshman and is one of the hardest workers on our team.  He has really made efforts the last couple of weeks to push himself and fix his mistakes.  Him winning his first championship is only one of many to come for him."  

    Three other Governors advanced to the finals along with Raske.  At 126lbs, Jack Van Camp secured victories by fall against Garvin (Elk Point) and Murtha (Parkston), but then lost in the finals to #1 ranked, and returning state champion, Kellyn March (Canton).  After a first round bye, Barry Browning won by pin over Kohler (Parkston) in the quarterfinals and then produced a commanding 7-0 victory over #7 ranked Eldeen (Parker).  In the finals, Browning eventually lost a 5-2 decision against #3 ranked Scott Peterson (Canton).  "Despite finishing as runner-up, Barry looked good in his process," said Lewis. "He continues to get better every week, and his fast paced style is starting to click and his offense is electric.  Barry is lightening quick and he is starting to trust himself to use that on the mat."  One of the most highly anticipated matches of the weekend pitted a pair of three time state champions in William Turman and Caden Lamer (Tri-Valley).  In route to the finals, Turman won by tech fall over Salker (West Sioux, IA) and then a pair of first period pins against Troia (Millard North, NE) and Swatek (Elk-Point).  Lamer came out on top after a scramble late in the first period and Turman trailed for the remainder of the match.  A number of late shots in the third period could not generate a much needed takedown to tie the score, and Turman suffered his first loss of the season by a 5-3 decision.  When reflecting on the matchup Travis Heasley, assistant coach, noted "This match between Will and Lamer certainly lived up to its billing.  I think the biggest takeaway I took out of it is that Will wrestles to win every time.  He doesn't wrestle not to lose and he wasn't afraid to try something new against the best competition in the state.  I know as a coaching staff we really appreciate that kind of competitiveness."

    Hayden Shaffer had another solid performance over the weekend with a third place finish.  Despite a win by pin over Hueser (Elk Point) in the quarterfinals, Shaffer lost to Riley Weber (Parkston) in the semifinals but returned with a 8-1 win in the consolation wrestle-backs and produced a second period pin against Issac Crownover (Bon Homme/Scotland/Avon) to finish the tournament.  After a 2-2 finish at the RC invite, Cade Hinkle rebounded with a third place finish in Elk-Point.  A quarterfinal win over Schuller (West Sioux, IA) then produced a matchup against #2 ranked Dominesse (Canton) in the semifinals.  Despite a 4-1 lead late in the second period, Hinkle lost by pin.  Hinkle finished strong with a pin in the wrestle backs and a 8-0 major decision in the consolation finals against Schuller (West Sioux, IA). In one of the most competitive weight-classes, Austin Senger faced #1B ranked Shaeden Scheidt (Canton) in the semifinals and lost a 5-0 decision (Iowa state champion John Henrich secured the #1 seed).  On the backside, Senger then won by major decision and then by 8-4 decision against Crownover (Bon Homme) to finish third.  Two additional Governors finished third including Gage Gehring and Pryce Dyk.  Gehring lost in the semifinals, but returned with a 9-1 major decision to advance into the consolation finals where he defeated Lesser (Millard North, NE) by pin.  Despite a close 5-2 loss against Marquez (West Sioux, IA), Dyk earned six bonus points for the Governors with three pins including his final match against Shiney (Millard North, NE) to finish third.  

    Filling in for an injured Michael Lusk, junior Lee Snyder finished fourth overall.  Just one of two Governor's with an opening round match, Snyder won by pin against Langley (Elk Point) then was knocked back to the wrestle-backs following a 8-7 loss to Stene (Beresford).  Following three wins in the consolation side of his bracket, Snyder faced Stene again, but lost 4-0 to finish fourth.  Lastley, Gunnar Gehring finished 6th overall following a 9-2 loss in the quarterfinals to Baldwin (Canton).  A :14 second pin over Gengler (Hinton, IA) in the wrestle-backs advanced Gehring into the placing rounds but he fell short in his final two matches. 

    This week the Governors will be preparing for one last competition prior to the holiday break as they travel to Aberdeen for a critical ESD dual against the Golden Eagles. Lewis concluded, "We will focus on getting ourselves ready for Aberdeen over the next three days.  We all have individual match-ups and are very familiar with the Golden Eagles.  It will also be a focus of mental preparation as that was lacking in our performance in Elk-Point.  Getting sicknesses to run their course and get them out of our room would be helpful."  Individual performances for each Governor wrestler over the weekend include:
    • 106 - Hayden Shaffer - 3rd (3-1)
    • 126 - Jack Van Camp - 2nd (2-1)
    • 132 - William Turman - 2nd (3-1)
    • 138 - Cade Hinkle - 3rd (3-1)
    • 145 - Lee Snyder- 4th (4-2)
    • 152 - Barry Browning - 2nd (2-1)
    • 160 - Austin Senger - 3rd (3-1)
    • 170 - Maguire Raske - 1st (3-0)
    • 182 - Garrett Leesman - DNP (0-2)
    • 195 - Gage Gehring - 3rd (3-1)
    • 220 - Gunner Gehring - 6th (1-3)
    • 285 - Pryce Dyk - 2nd (3-1)

    Sunday, December 10, 2017

    Governors Make it Three Straight at Rapid Invite

    This past Friday and Saturday, the Governor Wrestling program headed west to compete at the Rapid City Invitation following a disappointing fifth place finish at the Watertown Dual Tournament last weekend. Having set the tournament team point record in 2015 (and then exceeding it last year), uncertainty abound as to whether Pierre had the horsepower to compete with the best teams in the region.  Despite both entering the tournament tied for third in the team rankings, Pierre and Rapid City Steven would battle back and fourth every round until the final HWT matches.  A pin by Pryce Dyk in his seventh place match helped closed the deal for Pierre helping them earn their third straight Rapid City Invitation team title.  After the second round, the Governors found themselves in third place with 72 points just 9.5 behind Stevens.  However, as the quarterfinal round concluded the team garnered the lead with 114 points generated from five Governors advancing into the semifinals (Bench-Bresher, Turman, Turman, Lusk and Senger).  Although matched-up closely with Stevens who also had five semifinalists, the Governors were successful in advancing four into the finals compared to only three for Stevens.  However, twelve Stevens' wrestlers secured wins to ensure a top 8 finish compared to only nine Governors allowing them to take a 197 to 194 lead going into the final round.  As the dust settled, the Governors produced enough wins stemming from bonus points (tournament high of 29 pins) to win 214 to 211, and maintain their reign as tournament champions.  When reflecting on the victory over the weekend head coach Shawn Lewis noted "This week our kids were more mentally prepared.  They had a chip on their shoulder after last weekend and wanted to prove to themselves and everyone else that this team has what it takes in order to make a run at a state title.  Couple that with getting a few kids healthier, and the result speaks for itself." 

    The Pierre Governor Wrestling team takes their place on the award stand after winning their third straight Rapid City Invitational.

    Lincoln Turman won his third straight Rapid City Invitation with a 3-0 victory over #2 ranked Jacob Moore from Aberdeen.  In route to the finals, Turman pinned Centore (Douglas) and Bissonnette (Hot Springs) in the opening rounds and concluded with a major decision over Bauder (Mitchell), and a close 1 point victory over Powell (Chamberlain) in the semifinals.  The win over Moore resulted in Lincoln becoming the first Governor wrestler to win three individual championships at this event.  "Lincoln becoming the first Governor to win three RC titles is something that I never thought about," said Lewis.  "You just don't have time to think about that stuff when you embrace the one match at a time mentality.  That is something that Lincoln does very well.  He makes sure he is prepared to go into battle each and every time out there and in every position.  As offensive as he is, he is even harder to score on.  Mentally and physically, no one is more prepared than Lincoln." 

    Lincoln Turman ties up Aberdeen's Jacob Moore as time expires in their championship match.  Turman went on to win 3-0 and earned his third straight tournament title. 

    Immediately following Lincoln's victory at 120lbs, William Turman earned his second Rapid Invite title with a close 4-3 victory over returning state champion Spencer Stockman.  Turman had previously won this event in 2014 at 106lbs, but lost to three time North Dakota state champion Kyle Burwick (Hettinger, ND) the past two years.  Similar to his brother, William earned twenty-nine team points including 2 pins in the opening rounds, a major over Morrison (RC Central), and a 9-5 win over Lemus (Laramie, WY) in the semifinals.   

    William Turman secures a reversal over Spencer Stockman (Stevens) during their championship match.  Turman finished the match with a 4-3 victory. 

    Two other Governors advanced to the finals on Saturday including Michael Lusk who has previously ended his last two RC Invites on top of the podium.  In route to the finals, Lusk defeated Hagen (Hot Springs) and Preble (RC Central) in the opening rounds before earning the major decision over Jacobs (Sturgis) in the semifinals.  Despite taking the lead early in the finals match against #1 North Dakota ranked Devin Steidler (Bismarck, ND), Lusk fell behind 4-3 on a takedown late in the third period and was unable to garner an escape to tie the match as time expired.  Jace Bench-Bresher retained his undefeated season into the finals coming in as a sixth seed in the tournament.  He racked up bonus points in his first three matches with two pins and a major decision before defeating Williams (Lennox) 7-2 in the semifinal bout.  Bench-Bresher faced unseeded Reese Osborne (Sheridan, WY) in the final, but lost 6-2 to finish in the runner-up position.  Osborne had pinned his way into the finals having knocked off the #3 and #4 rated wrestlers in South Dakota.

    Michael Lusk works to take down Kody Hagen (Hot Springs) in their opening match.  Lusk earned the 8-6 victory and finished as runner up at the event. 

    Austin Senger also advanced to the semifinals where he faced off against Briggs Havlik (Mitchell) where he lost a 3-1 decision resulting from a takedown by Havlik as time expired in the third period.  Despite the loss, Senger returned in the consolation side of the bracket and finished his final two matches with pins over Scheett (Legacy HS, ND) and Durham (St. Thomas More) to add to his three previous pins at the tournament.  Overall, Senger generated ten bonus points for the Governors over the two days, and matched company with Spencer Sarringar to become only the second Governor to place five times at this event.  When reflecting on the slight setback for two of his seniors, Travis Heasley, assistant coach, stated "Michael and Austin will be right at the top at the end of the year.  They are both ruthless competitors and know what it takes to win.  Losses this weekend will just fuel them for the rest of the season." 

    Despite a 1-3 record last week, Hayden Shaffer excelled in his second weekend in the Governor singlet placing fifth overall.  After a bye in the opening round, Shaffer lost to #1 ranked Eli Fischer (Milbank) and proceeded to win by pin or major decision into the final round.  By tournament end, Shaffer had racked up nine bonus points resulting from four pins and one major decision.  Heasley noted "Hayden has not had it easy, over half of his matches this year have been against top five kids.  In practice we have been working on some small things to get him better on his feet, and I felt this weekend we saw him trying some of those things.  When he is on top he is great at breaking them down and looking for a pin.  Hayden is a kid every coach wants on their team because he constantly wants to get better.  He is always asking how to do something better and will drill it until he's got it.  He will just keep getting better and better." Jack Van Camp also produced a number of significant wins at the tournament including a second round victory over #5 ranked Daynon Huber (Huron).  Following a loss to eventual champion Kyle Burwick (Hettinger, ND) in the quarterfinals, Van Camp added an additional pin to his first round win and a major decision before losing 4-2 in the fifth place match to Dylan Anderson (Natrona, WY).

    Jack Van Camp scores the reversal late in his match against #5 ranked Daynon Huber (Huron) to secure an 8-4 victory.  Van Camp went on to finish 6th at the event. 

    Finishing out the placers for the Governor's include Barry Browning (152lbs) and Pryce Dyk (285).  Browning was defeated 7-3 against Nate Allen (Stevens) in the second round, yet returned with two pins and a 9-6 decision over Colton Jackson (Douglas) before facing Nate Allen again in the wrestle-backs.  After a 4-2 loss, Browning secured 7th place with a 3-1 victory over Tanner Skaare (RC Central).  Dyk opened the tournament with a pin over YellowWolf (SF Washington), but fell to Kaden Johnson (Aberdeen) as time expired in sudden victory 3-1.  Dyk returned to pin Caleb Dagel (Roosevelt) and concluded the tournament with a second round pin over Marcus Glick (Thunder Basin) to lock the team victory for the Governors with the win and bonus points. 

    Despite not placing at the event, the team title would have been unattainable without individual points earned by the remaining Governor wrestlers.  Cade Hinkle won by fall over his first two opponents before going 2-2 at the event.  Gage Gehring also won by pin in the opening round before losing to the top North Dakota wrestler at his weight (Kaylor - Legacy).  In the wrestle backs he generated a pin, before losing to Evan Hehr (Spearfish) in the third round.  Freshman Maguire Raske advanced to the quarterfinals with two opening round pins, before losing in the closing seconds of that match to Isaac Anderson (Hettinger, ND).  In the wrestle-backs Raske lost his final match 9-1 against Riley Mitchell (Thunder Basin-Gillette, WY).  At 220lbs, Gunnar Gehring won in the opening round before losing to Shraiber (Natrona, WY).  In the wrestler-backs he generated bonus points with a pin before suffering his final loss to Waylon Marshall (Todd County).  Finally, James Lees competed at 182lbs for the Governors going 0-2 on Friday.  Three additional Governors competed as unattached wrestlers including Will Van Camp (0-2), Lee Snyder (2-2), and Logan Meyer (2-2).

    Cade Hinkle locks in a front cradle against Chance Davis (Legacy) in the wrestle-backs on Saturday.  Hinkle finished 2-2 at the tournament. 

    When reflecting on the promising elements from the team's performance Lewis noted " Hayden Shaffer placing 5th as an 8th grader was great to see.  He has had a gauntlet of matches to start the year.  Jace Bench-Bresher making the finals.  He just keeps improving and his offensive attacks on his feet are strong." This coming weekend the Governors will travel to Elk Point where they will compete against the top Class B talent in the state, including a loaded Canton team that is currently rated #1 in that class.  The tournament will produce a number of significant match-ups including #1 ranked William Turman and Caden Lamer, both of whom have generated three state championships over the past three years. Overall performance for each Governor wrestler this past weekend includes:
    • 106 - Hayden Shaffer - 5th (5-2)
    • 113 - Jace Bench-Bresher - 2nd (4-1)
    • 120 - Lincoln Turman - 1st (5-0)
    • 126 - Jack Van Camp - 6th (4-3)
    • 132 - William Turman - 1st (5-0)
    • 138 - Cade Hinkle - DNP (2-2)
    • 145 - Michael Lusk - 2nd (4-1)
    • 152 - Barry Browning - 7th (4-2)
    • 160 - Austin Senger - 3rd (6-1)
    • 170 - Maguire Raske - DNP (2-2)
    • 182 - James Lees - DNP (0-2)
    • 195 - Gage Gehring - DNP (2-2)
    • 220 - Gunner Gehring - DNP (2-2)
    • 285 - Pryce Dyk - 7th (4-2)

    Sunday, December 3, 2017

    Governors Finish 3-1 at Watertown Duals

    After winning three straight Class A Wrestling titles, and five over the last six years, Governor wrestling fans have come to hold high expectations for their team at the beginning of every season.  With these high expectations, the Governor program kicked off the 2017-18 season on Saturday at the annual Watertown Dual tournament.  Solidified by six experienced seniors in Lincoln Turman, Michael Lusk, Barry Browning, Austin Senger, Logan Meyer and Pryce Dyk, and three other returning state qualifiers the Governors lost a key matchup against Watertown in the opening round, then rallied to finish 3-1 on the day against two other top five programs.  The team was without William Turman, Garrett Leesman, and Gunnar Gehring who are expected to return to action in the coming weeks.  

    Two time returning state champion Michael Lusk works to turn Garrett Mitzel during the final dual against Aberdeen.  Lusk went on to earn the first period pin to finish 3-0 on the day.

    In their opening dual, the Governors wrestled a solid Watertown Arrow team which also served as the ESD matchup for the year.  In his first outing in a Governor singlet, Hayden Shaffer faced off against #2 ranked Ty Altholff and lost a 9-5 decision.  This was followed up by a major decision for Jace Bench-Bresher over Ben Althoff, and a technical fall for Lincoln Turman against Mason Stoick.  With the 9-3 lead, the Governors suffered three straight losses at 126 through 138lbs. With William Turman sitting out to recover from knee surgery, Tyson Johnson filled in at 126 and lost by tech fall in his match-up with #5 ranked Robert Coyle.  Up a weight class, Jack Van Camp lost a 9-3 decision against Peyton Johnson, and despite holding a lead late into the 3rd period, Cade Hinkle suffered a pin with time expiring.  Two time returning state champion Michael Lusk brought the Governors back within five with a 9-3 win over Jake Werner, but Watertown regained a eight point gap with a 9-3 victory for Nathan Tuttle over Barry Browning.  

    For the remainder of the dual, the two teams traded victories with a pin by Austin Senger at 160lbs, then a 3-2 loss by Maguire Raske against Sam Stroup.  Logan Meyer lost by pin against Jayden Hartford, yet those points were recouped with a pin for Gage Gehring over Ledgend Thorson at 195lbs.  Lincoln Stahl won by pin over Wesley Harsma late in the first period as he stepped in to fill the 220lb spot for Gunner Gehring due to injury, and the dual concluded with a 7-2 loss for Pryce Dyk against #2 ranked Dane Stahl.  As the dust settled, the Governors suffered their first dual loss at the Watertown Invite during the past two years and start off the ESD season with a 38-24 loss.  In reflecting on the initial outing for the team, Governor head coach Shawn Lewis noted "We wrestled like our overall team is currently, 'inexperienced.' We had many highs and lows, at times looked great, and at times looked bad.  That comes with inexperience.  Those things will need to work themselves out soon."

    Gage Gehring elevates Ledgend Thorson during their 182lb match in the first dual against Watertown.  Gehring eventually secured the win with a third period pin. 

    When reflecting on the performance of the Governors opening dual, assistant coach Travis Heasley stated, "I think as a team we wrestled flat and didn't have the drive we needed to win close matches.  We had a couple of matches we were in control and allowed our opponent to get back into the match and win.  We have a few that are wrestling some heavier weights than they are used to, and it will take a little time to figure out how to wrestle those weights.  I know that against Watertown, 170 was a match we needed, as well as 132 and 138.  However, there were other places we left points that we needed.  The dual was a wake-up call for a few and a learning experience for others."  

      Barry Browning secures a take down against Watertown's Nathan Tuttle during their 152lb match.  Browning finished the day with a 2-2 performance for the Governors. 

    During the second round, the Governors squared off against Harrisburg, earning wins at the first four weight classes resulting in a 20-0 lead.  Shaffer secured his first Governor win with a pin over Kayden Kummer, followed up by a major decision for Bench-Bresher over Hirschkorn 10-2.  Lincoln Turman won by fall over Blakney, and Van Camp majored Dylan Hage 11-3.  Daniel Tafoya stepped in at 132lbs and was pinned by Jacob Hanssen, followed a loss by fall for Hinkle against Nolan Hoback.  The Governors then traded a series of wins over the next four weight classes starting with a major decision for Michael Lusk over Quinton Abrahamson, and a last second loss for Browning against Mason Shoenhard 4-3.  Austin Senger defeated Ryan Meyer 5-1 at 160lbs, followed by a pin for Nick Schirado over Logan Meyer.  Maguire Raske shifted up to 182lbs to earn a tech fall over Gulbranson to maintain a 31-21 lead for the Governors.  However with two pins for Harrisburg for Tassler against Gehring, and Warzecha over Harsma the dual came down to the HWT match between two rated opponents in Sam Detert and Pryce Dyk.  Down 1-0 going late into the third period, Dyk was able to hit a Peterson roll from the bottom to secure Detert on his back and generate the pin for the Governors resulting in a 37-33 victory.  Following the win Lewis stated "Pryce solidified himself as a contender at HWT as he battled three really rough heavyweights today.  He was in every single match and did a bunch of great things.  If he keeps working as hard as he has been, stays focused on the end goal, and trusts his coaches, he will be in the mix with a handful of heavyweights vying for medals come February."

    Pryce Dyk earns the critical pin against Sam Detert of Harrisburg to secure the 37-33 victory over Harrisburg.  Dyk finished the day with a 2-2 record overall. 

    To conclude pool play, the Governors wrestled Milbank who put their first points on the board with a 8-3 victory for Eli Fischer over Shaffer in the 106lbs matchup.  The Governors then proceeded to put up 54 unanswered points until Isaac Fischer defeated Logan Meyer 5-2 in the 182lbs weight class.  Bench Bresher, Turman, Van Camp, Johnson, Hinkle, Lee Snyder, Browning, Senger and Raske each earned either pins or forfeits in their matches.  Tanner Kettwig defeated James Lees 5-2 to generate the final 9 points for Milbank, as Gehring and Dyk both finished with forfeits resulting in a 66-9 victory.  As the Governors were wrestling Milbank, the Watertown Arrows were defeated by Harrisburg resulting in a three way tie in the pool with three teams finishing 2-1.  In the other pool Huron, Aberdeen, and Mitchel also each finished 2-1 and the tournament directors went to criteria to determine where teams would advance for the placing round.  Total team points were used, and the Governors finished with 127, followed by 132 by Watertown, and 135 for Harrisburg. As a result, the Governors finished third in their pool and were set to wrestle Aberdeen for 5th in the placing round.  Harrisburg went on to tie with Mitchell in the championship match which was eventually awarded to Harrisburg based on criteria. 

    Hayden Shaffer catches Harrisburg's Kayden Kummer in a cradle during the opening match of the dual.  Shaffer eventually secured the pin in the first period. 

    The fifth place dual came down to two teams who have won six of the last Class A team titles.  Brenden Salfrank started Aberdeen on the board with a pin over Shaffer.  Bench-Bresher then defeated Ethan Allen 7-1 and Lincoln Turman pinned Martin in the first period to create a 9-6 lead.  Jacob Moore then pinned Johnson at 126lbs, and Van Camp generated the first period pin over Beadle to increase the Governors lead 15-12.  The Governors came out on top for the next four matches with first period pins for Hinkle, Lusk and Browning followed by a 5-3 win by Senger over Will Jarrott to extend the lead to 36-12.  The Golden Eagles countered with a 9-5 win by Collin Haar over Raske at 170, and a tech fall for Dillon Stoebner over Meyer at 182lbs.  Gage Gehring earned the first period pin over Hopfinger and Aberdeen generated the final nine points with a forfeit to Fullmer, and a 5-1 win by Kaden Johnson over Dyk at HWT.  

    Austin Senger works to topple Aberdeen's Will Jarrott during their 160lb match-up.  Senger won 5-3 to generate a 36-12 lead for the Governors. 

    Overall the Governors had four wrestlers that finished the day undefeated in Bench-Bresher, Lincoln Turman, Michael Lusk and Austin Senger.  Despite being a state qualifier at 126lbs last year, Bench-Bresher looked natural at his more ideal weight of 113lbs. Heasley, indicated, "I thought he wrestled great on his feet and stuck to his game and controlled the action.  He got into some bad positions on top but recovered and continued fighting."  

    Jace Bench-Bresher drives to take down Ethan Allen during their 113lb match in the final dual against Aberdeen.  Bench-Bresher won a 7-1 decision in the match. 

    This coming week the Governors will travel to Rapid City to compete at the highly competitive Rapid City Invitation.  The tournament includes 37 teams from both A and B programs across Wyoming, South Dakota and North Dakota.  In practice this week Lewis noted "We will focus on staying in better positions throughout the matches.  Our offense will be priority number one.  We have to take the things we do well and refine them until they are unstoppable."  The Governors have five returning place winners from last year’s Rapid City Invite including 6th place finish by Cade Hinkle, a 4th place finish for William Turman, runner-up for Austin Senger, and two time returning Rapid City Invite champions in Michael Lusk and Lincoln Turman.  

    Lincoln Turman works to pin Brock Martin during their 120lbs match.  Turman won by fall and finished 4-0 on the day. 

    The Governors will look to get back to their winning ways as they attempt to repeat as team champions at the event this coming Friday and Saturday. The overall performance for all Governor wrestlers during varsity action on Saturday includes:

    • 106 - Hayden Shaffer - 1-3
    • 113 - Jace Bench-Bresher - 4-0
    • 120 - Lincoln Turman - 4-0
    • 126 - Tyson Johnson/Daniel Tafoya - 0-4
    • 132 - Jack Van Camp - 2-2
    • 138 - Cade Hinkle - 2-2
    • 145 - Michael Lusk - 3-0
    • 152 - Barry Browning - 2-2
    • 160 - Austin Senger - 4-0
    • 170 - Maguire Raske - 2-2
    • 182 - Logan Meyer - 0-3
    • 195 - Gage Gehring - 3-1
    • 220 - James Lees/Wesley Harsma - 0-3
    • 285 - Pryce Dyk - 2-2

    Sunday, February 26, 2017

    Governors Bring Home Their 3rd Straight Class A Title

    Fans for the Governor Wrestling program have come to have high expectations when it comes to the Class A State Tournament competition.  Over the past five years, the Governors have been fortunate to bring home four championship and one runner-up trophy, along with twenty state finalist that were able to win nine individual state championships.  After this weekend's competition these impressive numbers can increase to five team titles, including three over the past three years, and thirteen state champions across twenty-four final appearances.  The Governors locked up the team title late on Saturday as nine of the thirteen qualifiers advanced into the placing round after competition on Friday, with all nine placing sixth or higher following the conclusion of the final round of action. 

    The Governor Wrestling team poses with their State Championship trophy at the conclusion of the State Class A Tournament (photo courtesy of SDPBS)

    At the conclusion of the first round things looked tight for the team race as the Governors established a 3.5 point lead over Sturgis.  That lead increased to 11.5 points after the second round wrestle backs as seven Governors advanced to the semifinals, and two others won in the wrestle backs to secure a spot on the podium.  A solid performance throughout the morning and early afternoon on Saturday allowed the gap to widen considerably and the Governors needed only one or two wins to ensure that Sturgis or Aberdeen Central could not mount a comeback during the closing round.  When the dust finally settled, the Governors had won seven of their nine closing bouts including all four championship matches and outscored Aberdeen Central 181.5 to 144.5 to win yet another State Class A title.  "Our overall performance during the state tournament was great," said head coach Shawn Lewis.  "It was filled with challenges as every state tournament is.  We had a bunch of kids battling sickness but pushing through it.  Friday we wrestled a bit tight, but as the tournament continues and matches got tougher we responded by wrestling our best.  When the tournament got tougher so did we."

    Lincoln Turman advanced to the semifinals with a 5-0 win over Max Donovan from Chamberlain and then defeated Eli Kadoun from SF Roosevelt 6-2 to earn his second trip to the state finals.  Following his semifinal match, Turman was transported to the ER as he struggled to overcome flu-like symptoms.  After an IV to re-hydrate Turman faced off against #2 ranked Lucas Anglin who challenged him in two tight 2-0 and 3-1 matches earlier this year.  Scoreless after the first period, Turman escaped in the second period and then fought off attacks from Anglin for the three remaining minutes of the match to win 1-0 and repeat as a Class A State Champion following a 46-0 campaign at 106lbs last year.  "Not seeing Lincoln all day we were unsure of the condition he was in," said assistant coach John Wayne Kalda.  "We all saw how he felt after his semifinal match, which in itself was a gutsy performance.  When he did make it back he obviously wasn't himself.  He wasn't active. But there was a moment about five minutes before his match started where a switch flipped and he all of a sudden had a little bounce in his step.  Was it Adrenaline, IV's, determination to not let this opportunity to slip away?  No clue, but whatever it was we could tell good things were going to happen."  

    Lincoln Turman works to earn an escape against Vermillion's Lucas Anglin during their championship match.  Turman was able to secure the 1-0 lead to repeat as Class A Champion (photo courtesy of SDPBS).

    His twin brother William Turman won by pin over Robert Coyle from Watertown in the quarterfinals, then secure a 13-0 major decision against Collin Powell from Chamberlain.  Advancing to his third straight state finals, Turman competed against #1 ranked Cody Bevier from RC Stevens who had given him two of his four losses on the year.  Similar to the 113lb finals, a scoreless first period led to an early escape in the second period.  Bevier chose down in the third and William Turman rode him out to win his third Class A State title with a 1-0 victory. After the match Lewis indicated "Going into the finals match Will knew he had to try and dictate where the match was wrestled and maintain his positioing from his feet.  Bevier has a great double leg attack and is really fast.  Making him wrestle at a lower level and his attacking from that position took his best offense away.  From that point on it gets pretty simple, score from the bottom and ride tough.  Game plan executed to perfection! This win came from a completely different position than his other two as he was coming in from the underdog position throwing caution to the wind an attacking.  Some people are are good enough to win one, he has now found a way to win three.... and he still has another year to go."

    William Turman defends on his feet against RC Steven's Cody Bevier during the 120lb finals.  Turman won 1-0 to earn his third straight Class A title (photo courtesy of SDPBS). 

    At 132lbs, Michael Lusk secured a semifinal berth with a 4-1 win over Cully Olson from Sturgis, where he won 5-2 against Chipper Shillingstad from Huron.  Lusk's finals appearance was his third as he faced the #1 rated Tyson Stoebner from Lennox who had narrowly defeated him at the Yankton Invitation just before regions.  Lusk scored a takedown in the second period, which Stoebner countered with two escapes to take the match into overtime.  Following a scoreless sudden victory period, Lusk escaped in the second overtime and was able to ride out Stoebner in the final :30 seconds to win his second Class A State Championship for the Governors.  "If I had to use one word to describe Michael's championship match it would be 'Methodical,' said Kalda.  "Our boys do such a good job executing a game plan in the big time matches.  Michael is not the kind that's going to get in and hammer a kid, but he's got quickness and a knack for putting himself in good situations.  He's developed a style of his own where he wears on a kid with shot after shot and never really gives them an opportunity to get offensive.  There was a lot of respect in that match last night on both ends, which a lot of people take for granted sometimes in this sport."

    Michael Lusk works to take down Lennox's Tyson Stoebner during their finals match.  Lusk went on to win a 3-2 victory following the third overtime period (photo courtesy of SDPBS). 

    Spencer Sarringar scored bonus points in each of his matches with a 9-0 major decision over Mathais Thompson from RC Central in the quarterfinals and a 10-0 major over Carson Max from Mitchell in the semifinals.  During his second straight finals appearance, Sarringar fell behind with a takedown by Harrisburg's Logan Warzecha in the second period, but then scored a reversal including nearfall as time expired to jump out to a 6-2 lead.  Warzecha chose down in the third period, but Sarringar proved too tough on top and won his families first Class A Title at the 4:37 mark. Lewis noted after the conclusion of the match, "Seeing Spencer win a State Championship was a dream come true.  Very few people get to wrestle for a championship in their last match and even fewer win that match. Spencer has been a staple in the varsity lineup for five years and worked very hard."  

    Spencer Sarringar stretches out Harrisburg's Logan Warzecha just before pinning him in the third period of their championship match (photo courtesy of SDPBS). 

    Three Governors finished in the top four for their respective weight classes, including Austin Senger who advanced to the semifinals with a 11-7 decision over Cooper Voorhees from RC Stevens where he faced off against #1 ranked Tyler Waterson.  Despite a 7-0 loss to the eventual three time state champion (five time finalist), Senger returned to the wrestle backs where he pinned Kyle Tulowetzke from Watertown and then demonstrated that he deserved the #3 seed at the state meet with a commanding 7-1 win over Madison's Bailey Mennis.  

    Austin Senger looks toward the Governor faithful after pinning Watertown's Kyle Tulowestzke.  Senger finished 3rd overall placing for the fourth time as a Governor.

    Governor senior Aric Williams pinned SF Roosevelt's Josh Cid in the quarters then lost a heart breaker to Noah Guse of Madison as he fell behind 6-0 early and battled back to a 10-7 loss.  In the wrestle backs, Williams pinned Jackson Pletten for Brandon Valley and then defeated frequent rival (future SDSU teammate) Riley McSherry, 6-3 to finish his Governor career placing third.  "Emotions after Aric's loss were hard," said Lewis.  "We knew his goal of winning a Championship were gone.  We as coaches couldn't show it or let him see it because we ultimately had to get him refocused on another goal, which was to get third as his team needed him to.  We had to remind him to go out the way he deserved to and he did that.  He did what Aric always did and that was to work his butt off for himself and his team."  Following a 7-1 loss to Tate Gatzke from Belle Fourche in the quarterfinals, Lucas Stoltenburg won his first two wrestle back matches before securing a major upset over #3 rated Mason Wickhurst from Watertown to advance into the third place match.  There he lost again in a 1-0 match against Gatzke to finish fourth in his last match in a Governor singlet.

    Aric Williams works to turn Madison's Noah Guse during their semifinal match.  Williams finished third overall having place three times as a Governor.

    Levi Stoltenburg pinned his first two opponents on Friday including a :38 second fall over Sam Detert from Harrisburg in the quarterfinals.  In the semifinals Stoltenburg lost by pin against #1 ranked Joel Carpenter and then a tight 7-6 loss against Marshal Simons from Huron had him wrestling for fifth.  In his final match, Stoltenburg pinned Brody Surrell from Vermillion in :44 seconds to finish fifth overall.  Lastly, Ty Paulsen earned a quarterfinal bid with a first round pin, then lost in overtime to returning state champion Eddie Miller from Brookings.  Two overtime victories in the wrestle-backs then resulted in a 7-0 loss to Ryan Parker.  Paulsen then lost by fall to Watertown's Dane Stahl to finish sixth to conclude his career.

    Ty Paulsen hangs on to Aberdeen's Austin Maunu during their overtime match at 285.  Paulsen finished 6th overall improving upon his 8th place finish during his junior season for the Governors.

    Five underclassman also qualified for the state tournament and earned much needed experience if the Governors are to compete for a title again next season.  Freshman Jack Van Camp earned points for the team after pinning Oakley Blakeman in the opening round, but then fell to eventual champion Jacob Wood from Strugis in the quarterfinals, and Beau Beavers from SF Lincoln in the wrestle-backs.  Freshmen Jace Bench-Bresher lost his opening round match, then a tight 6-3 loss against RC Centrals Tristen Jacobs.  As an 8th-grader, Maguire Raske lost 6-4 against Watertown's Nathan Tuttle in the first round, then was eliminated with a 10-5 loss to Jarred Hodges from Madison.  Finally, Sophomore Garrett Leesman lost by pin to returning state finalist Tate Coon from Brookings, and then 7-1 against Jake Anderson of Milbank during his final match. "There are plenty of things these guys can take with them from not placing," said Kalda.  "But the key is, can they carry them over the next nine months to the first day of practice and use it as motivation to get better.  We like our guys to set big goals and high expectations.  Sometimes it doesn't work out, and those that can use it to drive and motive them the following year will be that much better and find themselves on the podium."

    "Losing these five seniors is personally going to be tough," said Lewis.  "They have always been there, every day since I have been here.  Imagining a day or practice without them is hard to do."  In addition to the loss of five senior wrestlers, the Governors will find themselves without longtime assistant manager Haley Dorschner who has served in this role for the past four years. "Haley has been one of the hardest workers on this team for the last four years, yet most people never see it," said Lewis. "Her work has been done in the countless hours of TrackWrestling and Hudl applications.  It has also been in making cookies, keeping coaches sane, and mentoring the next group of managers.  She has been a true fan of wrestling and all our wrestlers."  

    Despite the loss of five senior place winners, the Governors will return four juniors who have each competed in the state finals, along with four other state qualifiers.  Earning this experience is important and Kalda noted "You would ideally like for all kids to be ready that first day of the tourney, but there is a pretty big shock and awe factor when you step on the mat in front of 8-10,000 fans.  The other is to take those losses and learn from them. They need to be willing to see what they did wrong and work on correcting it.  Of the four that didn't place, they are young and things will certainly be interesting if they take this approach."  The Governors will also see Cade Hinkle and Gage Gehring who each saw considerable varsity experience this year along with HWT Price Dyk who placed at three tournaments as an unattached wrestler for the Governors.