The Governor wrestling team traveled to Yankton on Saturday to compete in their final regular season tournament at the Yankton Invitational. Despite being slightly shorthanded with three varsity wrestlers out of the lineup, the Governors were still able to earn a runner-up finish just 8.5 points behind Rapid City Stevens (who was also short one of their top-rated wrestlers). The Governors advanced four wrestlers into the finals coming away with three individual champions in seniors Michael Lusk, Austin Senger, and Pryce Dyk. Eleven other wrestlers (including two competing as unattached) were also able to secure a spot on the podium at the event. "As a team, we are right where we need to be at this point in the season," said head coach Shawn Lewis. "We are learning from our losses and extending our gaps in our wins. Our kids are getting energized and healthy at the right time. We are primed to make another State Title run with everything we have."
Governor seniors coming away with individual titles at the Yankton Invitational included Austin Senger, Pryce Dyk, and Michael Lusk.
Three seniors took advantage of their final regular season tournament coming away with individual titles. At 145lbs, Michael Lusk opened with a first-round bye then pinned teammate Lee Snyder in the quarterfinals, before winning 5-0 over Jackson (Douglas) in the semifinals. The championship match pitted Lusk against #2 ranked Hage (Vermillion) who he defeated last week 5-3 to retain his #1 ranking. Lusk extended the gap this week with a 5-2 victory to win his first Yankton Invitational title. Classmate Austin Senger avenged a tight loss to #1 ranked Briggs Havlik (Mitchell) in the championship match with a 3-1 victory. In route to the final, Senger also earned a first-round bye, before pinning Treadway (Lincoln), and then winning 3-2 against #1 ranked Class B wrestler at this weight class in Crownover (Bon Homme). Senger will face off against Havlik again in two weeks as they head into the region tournament where the #1, #2, and #3 ranked wrestlers all compete in Region 3.
Michael Lusk stalks Trey Hage during their finals match which was won by Lusk 5-2.
The other Governor champion was Pryce Dyk, who earned his second individual title in over the past eight days as he pinned his way through the tournament. Also earning an opening round bye, Dyk pinned Dagel (Roosevelt) and Lamberty (O-Gorman) in the first period during the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds. In the finals, Dyk pinned Dawson Lensing (Wagner) in the second period to close out his final regular-season tournament on top of the podium. Having these three seniors win in their final regular-season tournament was an added benefit to the Governor coaching staff. Assistant coach Travis Heasley noted "I think it makes all the hard work you have had over your career worth it. Whenever you can have a title on your last tournament its a great feeling which we hope carries forward to the final match of their career." Also advancing to the finals was Gage Gehring who had impressive wins against Knodell (Stevens) who had previously defeated Gehring twice earlier this year. With the 10-4 quarterfinal win over Knodell, Gehring then won 7-5 against Otta (Roosevelt) for the second straight week, but then lost in the ultimate tiebreaker in the finals 6-5 against St. Pierre (Wagner) to finish second on the day.
Austin Senger engages Mitchell's Bryce Havlik during their finals match. Senger held on to secure the 3-1 victory against the #1 wrestler at 160lbs.
Four Governors were able to advance to the consolation championships and finish either third or fourth on Saturday. Jack Van Camp won by pin in his opening two matches before losing by tech fall against #1 ranked Anglin (Vermillion). In the consolation semifinals, Van Camp pinned Momotic (Roosevelt), before avenging two straight losses to Ryan McGinnis with a 5-1 victory to finish third. Maguire Raske also finished third at the tournament with an opening round pin before losing to Witte (O-Gorman) in the semifinals. He then came back to win by pin and then secured a 5-1 victory in the final round. Hayden Shaffer finished fourth overall with a 9-5 loss to Stoller (Madison) during the final round. However, he earned bonus for the Governors with a pin and major during the first two rounds before losing 5-0 to the eventual tournament champion Malone (Stevens). Also in the consolation finals was Cade Hinkle who won by major decision in the opening round, then lost to #1 ranked B wrestler Kaleb Crownover (Bon Homme) in the quarterfinals. Hinkle battled back with three straight pins over Marquardt, Gehrke, and then highly ranked Sharke (Steven) to advance to the third-place match. There he faced Crownover a second time and lost by fall in the middle of the second period.
Maguire Raske works to turn Owen Warren Warren from Yankton during their consolation finals match. Raske secured the 5-1 victory to finish 3rd overall.
As an unattached wrestler at 145lbs, Lee Snyder was successful at earning a fifth place finish overall with a 4-2 record at the tournament. He won by pin in the opening round, before losing to teammate Michael Lusk. In the wrestle-backs he won the next two round before losing 5-0 against #4 ranked Voorhees (Steven), and then defeated Johnson (Bon Homme) 5-2 to earn the fifth-place medal. Gunnar Gehring also found himself in the 5th place match taking a longer route than Snyder following an opening-round loss. He then won three matches in the wrestle-backs before then losing his final two matches by pin to finish sixth.
The remaining placers for the Governors include Jace Bench-Bresher who finished seventh. In the quarterfinals he lost a close 4-2 match against Klinkhammer (Brookings) then following a pin in the wrestle-backs he lost to Williams before defeating Rueb (Bon Homme) for the seventh place victory. Tyson Johnson also landed on the podium for the second straight week as an unattached wrestler with a 3-2 record. He lost to #2 ranked BeVier in the quarterfinals then a win over Wilson (Douglas) led to a sudden victory loss over Momotic. He then won by fall during his final match to finish seventh. Also as an unattached wrestler at 160lbs, Logan Meyer capped off his final varsity appearance with a 3-2 performance and a seventh-place finish. Despite not earning points for the team, Meyer generated three victories by pin and earned the Pinners Award at the end of the tournament as the wrestler with the most pins in the least amount of time. "Kids like Logan help push others in the room every day and when called upon they always step up and fill a spot," said Heasley of Logan's contribution to the team. "Logan has had to fill a lot of different spots this year and has always stepped up. I was proud of Logan letting it fly this weekend and placing. Also, it was awesome for him to win the pinner award as well." Barry Browning also finished seventh with two losses to Class B opponents, one in the quarterfinals and then again in the third round wrestle-backs. He finished the tournament with a :36 pin against Hage (Vermillion). Of the five that competed for a seventh-place finish, James Lees was the only Governor to not win in this final round. Lees went 2-2 on the day and finished 8th overall following a 14-5 major decision to Konzem (Roosevelt).
Hayden Shaffer holds down Madison's Truman Stoller during their consolation finals match. Shaffer went on to lose a 9-5 decision and finish fourth overall.
A number of other Governor wrestlers also competed at the event but did not find themselves on the award stand at the end of the day. This included Daniel Tafoya filling in at 120lbs, and Jaret Clarke, Cobey Carr and Justyce Murphy who were able to enter the tournament as unattached wrestlers. Lewis noted that "we had some important wins for us over the weekend that could impact state tournament seeding including Hinkle's win over Sharkey, Senger defeating Havlik, Lusk over Hage for the second time, and then Gehring with solid victories over Knodell and Otta. However, Shaffers loss to Stoller and Jace's loss to Kilkhammer could adversely impact their seeding in a few weeks." This coming week the Governors will look to knock off Harrisburg in a dual that could ensure a tie for the ESD team title as they compete in front of the home crowd at T.F. Riggs on Friday evening. JV action is set to begin at 6:00 with varsity to follow at 7:00. Individual performance for the Governors on Saturday include:
- 106 – Hayden Shaffer – 4th (3-2)
- 113 – Jace Bench Bresher – 7th (2-2)
- 120 – Daniel Tafoya – DNP (1-2)
- 126 – Jack Van Camp – 3rd (4-1)
- 126 – Tyson Johnson – 7th (2-2)
- 138 – Cade Hinkle – 4th (4-2)
- 145 – Michael Lusk – 1st (3-0)
- 145 – Lee Snyder – 5th (4-2)
- 152 – Barry Browning - 7th (3-2)
- 152 - Jaret Clarke - DNP (1-2)
- 152 - Cobey Carr - DNP (1-2)
- 160 – Austin Senger – 1st (3-0)
- 160 – Logan Meyer – 7th (3-2)
- 170 – Maguire Raske – 3rd (3-1)
- 182 – James Lees – 8th (2-3)
- 195 – Gage Gehring – 2nd (2-1)
- 220 – Gunnar Gehring – 6th (2-3)
- 285 - Justyce Murphy = DNP (0-2)
- 285 – Pryce Dyk – 1st (3-0)