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."
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)