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Knights To Send Trio To State

By Staff | Feb 17, 2009

SIOUX?CENTER – It was a disappointing day for the Graettinger/Terril Knights at Saturday’s Class 1A district wrestling tournament at Sioux Center. Even though the Knights won the team title of the district, only three of Graettinger/Terril’s seven district qualifiers managed to qualify for the state tournament this week in Des Moines.

“This was just a disappointing day for the goals we had set,” G/T Head Coach Cody Alesch said in reflection. “Three guys fought there way to state and four guys had disappointing days. On this day, you must be at the top of your game.”

The Knights would end up having Michael Jensen at 145 pounds, Jake Hoffman at 189 and Kyle Brown at 285 earn the right to compete in the State Wrestling Championships, with Hoffman and Brown earning district titles and Jensen having to wrestle back for the second place qualification at 145.

For Michael Jensen, the road to state at 145 pounds opened with a 16-5 major decision win over Okoboji’s Kris Kaufman to advance to the title match against Russ Godberson of Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn.

After losing twice earlier in the season to Godberson, including a 2-1 decision loss at last weekend’s Sectional tourney, Jensen would take the first lead in the match, only to be reversed to tie the match at the end of regulation. Godberson would then score a takedown in the sudden death overtime for the 4-2 win.

Moving into the wrestle back, Jensen needed just 29 to pin George-Little-Rock’s John Estep to earn the second place finish and state tourney berth.

For 189 pounder Jake Hoffman, the district tourney not only qualified him for state, it also gave him his 150th career victory to open the day.

Hoffman pinned Jacob Tewes of Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn in 2:57 for the 150th win, and then won the 189 pound title by earning a 1-0 decision win over Scott Eben, the top-ranked wrestler at 189 in Class 1A.

The final state qualifier, Kyle Brown opened the day against Okoboji’s Doug Schwaller and earned a 6-4 decision victory to advance to the finals. Brown would then face Jake Syndergard of Alta in a repeat of saturday Sectional final, and came up with a 3:29 win by fall after a reversal to qualify for state.

.For the Knights other sectional qualifiers, the day didn’t go as well as was hoped for.

At 112, James Taman lost his first round match in a 6-1 decision loss to Alex Rust of Central Lyon. Tatman would not receive a wrestlback opportunity after he had pinned Seaton Sandbulte of Sioux Center in 5:26 of their consolation match, ending Tatman’s season with a 33-2 record and third place finish.

Logan Tonderum lost his first round match in a 16-0 major decision loss to Will Kruse of George-Little Rock and was pinned in his consolation round match a by Matt Steffen of Kingsley-Pierson to finish fourth.

At 160 pounds, Kass Schany started the day with a 3-0 decision win over Dylan Reynolds of Central Lyon, but in the finals, Schany met Joey Sievert and lost a 16-1 Technical Fall.

Schany would have to wrestle back for a chance to make the mig show, meeting Blaine Dammann of Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn. Schany would go down 4-1 early in the match, but cut the margin to 7-5, only to see Dammann earn an escape and get a takedown for a 10-5 decision win over Schany, ending his season with a third place finish.

The final qualifier, Nathan Howard, wrestling at 171 pounds, lost his first match of the day to Central Lyon’s Jordan Gacke bu a 9-4 decision. Howard would meet Matt Osterkamp in the consolation match and earned a 15-4 major decision, but did not get an opportunity to wrestle back and finished third.

“We definitely wanted more out of the day as a team,” Coach Alesch admitted. “We’re very proud of the three guys who qualified for state, but we’re not happy with the overall outcome of the day.”