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 season's 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 rode 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 blocks 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 a bonus for the Governors during each match. He began with a first-round pin in: 38 seconds 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 an 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 back points 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 decision 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)