ST. JAMES - The Blue Earth Area Bucs had nine of their 13 wrestlers reach the South Central Conference championship match, with six capturing first-place honors to carry the Bucs to a team tournament title on Saturday in St. James.
"Last year we won both the dual meet and the tournament conference titles, and we were able to defend those this year," said Blue Earth Area head coach Randy Wirtjes. "That's pretty special."
The Fairmont/Martin County West Red Bulls finished second overall as a team with four individual conference champions.
REVERSAL OF FORTUNE — Fairmont/Martin County West Red Bull wrestler Kory Brown (top) earns a reversal against New Ulm opponent Lorenzo Hernandez during Saturday’s South Central Conference Meet in St. James. Brown went on to capture the event’s 195-pound conference championship. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
Zach Buseman got the championship round started for the Bucs, beating St. James' Angel Zamarripa in a 15-6 major decision for the 113-pound championship.
Buseman advanced to the final after pinning New Ulm's Hunter Ranweiler in 3:40 and beating St. Peter's Manny Gomez in an 8-2 decision in the early rounds.
Alec Huber then won the 132-pound bracket with a 9-2 decision over St. Peter's Collin Thompson.
Huber earned a 7-3 win over St. James' Maxwell Svalland and pinned Waseca's Avery Emmans at 1:47 in the early rounds.
Mike Ankeny gave the Bucs their third title in the tournament with a 4-2 win over the Bluejays' Tristan Hoy in the 138-pound title match.
Ankeny earned a pair of pins in the early rounds, beating the Red Bulls' Levi Bulfer in 1:17 before pinning St. James' Tyler Westman in 55 seconds.
Class A, No. 10-ranked 160-pounder Gus Phillips held up to his ranking, cruising past Red Bull Tanner Lange, 15-5 in the 160-pound championship.
In the early rounds, Phillips was on the mat for a combined 47 seconds, pinning the Bluejays' Marco Ruiz and the Eagles' Riley Shelgren in 24 and 23 seconds, respectively.
Lange reached the final with a pair of victories, a 5-1 win over St. James' Simon Beck and a pin of St. Peter's Gavin Thole at 3:31 in the early rounds.
Class A, No. 8-ranked 170-pounder David Franta followed his teammates example, pinning the Eagles' Sam Hoppe in 3:30 for the championship at 170 pounds.
Franta earned a technical fall victory over the Red Bulls' Harley Luhmann and pinned St. James' Alejandro Lara in 3:12 in the early rounds.
Class A, No. 4-ranked 285-pounder Martin Granados then closed out the meet with a 31 second pin of Red Bull Adrian Moscoffian for the 285-pound title.
Granados needed just a combined total of 33 seconds to beat his opening round opponents, pinning the Eagles Nathan Berg and the Bluejays' Sam Sierra in 26 and seven seconds, respectively.
Moscoffian also reached the final with a pair of pins, beating St. James' Andrew Kinntez and St. Peter's Nick Milliman in 5:32 and 3:40, respectively.
"I thought that this was a very challenging meet, it seemed there was close competition at each weight," said Wirtjes. "I'm proud of the way our guys wrestled and it was a good finish to the conference season."
Elijah Gronewold captured his 75th win as a Red Bull when he claimed the 145-pound championship with a pin of the Bucs' Jordan Stelter at 4:37 in the match.
Gronewold outlasted the Eagles' Jagger Hoffman in a 3-1 decision, before beating St. James' Kody Curry in a 7-2 decision in the opening rounds.
Stelter earned a pair of wins in the opening round to reach the final, beating St. Peter's Brayden Hauser in a 10-2 major decision, before pinning the Bluejays' Brady Bomsta at 4:50 in the early rounds.
Class AA, No. 8-ranked 152-pounder Joe Weber slipped past the Bucs' Luke Schavey in a 5-2 decision for the 152-pound title.
After Schavey got the early 2-0 lead, Weber came back in the third period, scoring a takedown and nearly pinning the Buc junior to take the 5-2 win.
Weber pinned both of his early opponents, pressing the Bluejays' Jackson Kiloian's shoulders to the mat in 40 seconds, before pinning the Eagles' Max Deslauriers at 1:30.
Schavey picked up a bye in his opening round match and then pinned St. James' Josh Stordalen in 1:35 in the early rounds to reach the final.
Kory Brown captured his second conference crown of the weekend, downing the Bucs' Jacob Johnson in an 8-4 decision to win the 195-pound title.
"I didn't really expect to win both conferences (Valley and South Central), but it was one of my goals coming into the season," said Red Bull senior Brown. "That's one of my goals out of the way."
Brown earned a bye in his opening round, before downing the Eagles' Lorenzo Hernandez in his second match.
Johnson, earned a pair of decisions to reach the 195-pound championship match. The Buc junior beat St. James' Coliln Hoppe in a 10-5 decision, before outlasting St. Peter's Anthony Putz in a 9-6 win.
Luis Figueroa capped of the Red Bulls' championship ways with a 7-6 win over the Bluejays' Dylan Winegar in the 220-pound championship.
After Figueroa pinned St. James' Ethan Stick in 55 seconds, he bounced back to earned a 6-2 win over St. Peter's Travis Brock in the early rounds.
"I'm very proud of our guys today, it was a full team effort," said Fairmont/Martin County West head coach Adam Williamson. "We had seven guys in the finals and eight that finished in the top three, so that was a great day for us."
Chris Ettesvold nearly earned the 120-pound championship, finishing second to the Eagles' Ryan Wacker in a 14-3 major decision in the final.
Ettesvold earned a bye in his opening round match, before beating the Bluejays' Beau Milbrett in a 3-2 decision.
Camden Bowers claimed a second-place finish in the 126-pound bracket to add to the Bucs' winning efforts.
Bowers pinned the Eagles' Taylor Bode, before pinning the Bluejays' Sergio Garcia in 4:30 to reach the final.
St. Peter's Sage Loredo-Hollon held off the Buc sophomore for the championship, winning in a 10-5 decision.
Christopher Krenz grabbed the final top-three finish of the tournament for the Red Bulls, earning third-place honors with a pin of St. James' Maxwell Svalland at 3:37.
Krenz earned a bye in his opening round match, before falling to St. Peter's Collin Thompson by pin at 1:01 in the early rounds.
Blue Earth Area awaits their seeding and opponent for the opening round of the Section 2A team tournament this week.
The No. 2-seeded Fairmont/Martin County West travels to wrestle the winner of No. 3-seed New Ulm and No. 6-seed Fulda/Murray County Central in the opening round of the Section 3AA team tournament at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday in Worthington.
Valley Conference Meet
Kory Brown captured the first of his two conference titles, beating Madelia/Truman/Martin Luther Class A, No. 6-ranked 195-pounder Jake Denn for the 195-pound Valley Conference title on Friday in Madelia.
Collin Steuber also grabbed first-place honors, winning the 113-pound bracket to pace the Red Bulls in a second-place team finish.
Chris Ettesvold, Adrian Moscoffian, Joe Weber, Mario Maldonado, Luis Figueroa and Tanner Lange each earned second-place honors in the meet.
Levi Bulfer finished third for the Red Bulls.
@ St. James
Team Standings: 1. Blue Earth Area 198.5; 2. Fairmont/Martin County West 147; 3. St. Peter 146; 4. St. James Area 127; 5. New Ulm 120; 6. Waseca 104.5.
106: Championship: Wyatt Gillete (STP) dec. Sean Howk (NU), 10-8. 3rd Place: Mario Garcia (STJ) dec. Cade King (W), 9-4. 5th Place: Adam Legred (BEA) maj. dec. Mario Maldonado (FMCW), 12-3.
113: Championship: Zach Buseman (BEA) maj. dec. Angel Zamarripa (STJ), 15-6. 3rd Place: Lucas Hagel (W) pinned Manny Gomez (STP), 4:56. 5th Place: Hunter Ranweiler (NU) won by forfeit.
120: Championship: Ryan Wacker (NU) maj. dec. Chris Ettesvold (FMCW), 14-3. 3rd Place: Beau Milbrett (W) technical fall Austin Friedrich (STJ), 17-1. 5th Place: Aaron Hunt (STP) won by forfeit.
126: Championship: Sage Loredo-Hollon (STP) dec. Camden Bowers (BEA), 10-5. 3rd Place: Joe Dominguez (STJ) dec. Sergio Garcia (W), 7-0. 5th Place: Christian Jagodzinske (FMCW) pinned Taylor Bode (NU), 3:20.
132: Championship: Alec Huber (BEA) dec. Collin Thompson (STP), 9-2. 3rd Place: Christopher Krenz (FMCW) pinned Maxwell Svalland (STJ), 3:37. 5th Place: Avery Emmans (W) won by forfeit.
138: Championship: Mike Ankeny (BEA) dec. Tristan Hoy (W), 4-2. 3rd Place: Austin Brandes (NU) won by injury default. 5th Place: Levi Bulfer (FMCW) pinned Alex Devens (STP), 1:34.
145: Championship: Elijah Gronewold (FMCW) pinned Jordan Stelter (BEA), 4:37. 3rd Place: Kody Curry (STJ) pinned Brady Bomsta (W), 3:30. 5th Place: Jagger Hoffman (NU) maj. dec. Brayden Hauser (STP), 13-4.
152: Championship: Joe Weber (FMCW) dec. Luke Schavey (BEA), 5-2. 3rd Place: Josh Stordalen (STJ) pinned Max Deslauriers (NU), 1:32. 5th Place: Jackson Kiloian (W) won by forfeit.
160: Championship: Gus Phillips (BEA) maj. dec. Tanner Lange (FMCW), 15-5. 3rd Place: Simon Beck (STJ) dec. Riley Shelgren (NU), 4-2. 5th Place: Gavin Thole (STP) pinned Marco Ruiz, 3:12.
170: Championship: David Franta (BEA) pinned Sam Hoppe (NU), 3:30. 3rd Place: Major Brock (STP) pinned Alejandro Lara (STJ), 2:47. 5th Place: Harley Luhmann (FMCW) won by forfeit.
182: Championship: Kyle Bosacker (STP) pinned Chris Johnson (STJ), 2:33. 3rd Place: Cole Wilfahrt (NU) won by injury default. 5th Place: Levi Kuschel (W) won by forfeit.
195: Championship: Kory Brown (FMCW) dec. Jacob Johnson (BEA), 8-4. 3rd Place: Anthony Putz (STP) pinned Lorenzo Hernandez (NU), 1:43. 5th Place: Collin Hoppe (STJ) won by forfeit.
220: Championship: Luis Figueroa (FMCW) dec. Dylan Winegar (W), 7-6. 3rd Place: Travis Brock (STP) dec. Jared Armon (BEA), 6-0. 5th Place: Braxton Greenwaldt (NU) pinned Ethan Stick (STJ), 0:50.
285: Championship: Martin Granados (BEA) pinned Adrian Moscoffian (FMCW), 0:31. 3rd Place: Nick Millimar (STP) pinned Sam Sierra (W), 3:46. 5th Place: Andrew Kinnetz (STJ) pinned Nathan Berg (NU), 4:50.