Wrestling: Lakers send an all-time high to Class 2A state meet
The 2013-14 Detroit Lakes wrestling team entered some unchartered territory by qualifying six for the Class 2A state individual tournament, which is Friday and Saturday inside the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
The half dozen of Lakers who survived the Section 8-2A tournament last Friday and Saturday in Perham, is the most for a DLHS team since they qualified five in the mid-2000’s, when they made a couple of trips to state as a team, as well.
“These guys have been working hard in the wrestling room and they showed improvement throughout the season,” said DL head coach Rob Ullyott. “They just had a great section tournament.”
There was another Laker record which also fell with junior Parker Jackson surpassing Brent Eidenschink and Shane Tappe in career wins.
Jackson, who entered the season with 129 career wins, went 39-3 and now sits on top of the all-time win list with 168 victories.
Each of Eidenschink and Tappe earned their records their senior years, while Jackson did it in his junior season.
Jackson, who finished the regular season ranked No. 5 in Class 2A at 152 pounds, won the section title by beating the No. 2 state ranked Carter Holthaus of Albany 3-1 in the finals.
“He is a very good wrestler, who took fifth last year in state,” Jackson said. “It was one of toughest matches I wrestled all year. Our styles are a lot different and it was hard to open my offense up, but I was still able to pull it out. I didn’t change much, I was just a bit more aggressive to try and get him to move.”
Jackson is very familiar with the Laker history, since his father, Todd, has been an assistant coach under Ullyott for many years.
Adding his name to an elite list, along with Eidenschink and Tappe’s, is a great feat in Jackson’s young career.
“It’s definitely an honor, I grew up watching those two wrestle,” Jackson added. “It’s pretty cool.”
Jackson will be pursuing another aspect in which neither Tappe nor Eidenschink accomplished, that being DL’s first-ever state championship.
“I’m going in hoping to win it, I’ve worked hard for it,” Jackson said. “I know what I need to do to get into those placing rounds. I just need a really good day and not get too worked up and mostly, stay focused and execute.
“(Winning DL’s first state title) is definitely something I am driven to do. I just want to enjoy it, because state is my favorite tournament of the year.”
It will be Jackson’s third time in state. Last year he did place, taking sixth at 145 pounds.
“Parker puts in a ton of time in the offseason and he has worked himself into becoming a very good wrestler,” Ullyott said. “He has seen a lot of tough competition this year, so that will help him in state.”
DL’s other ranked wrestler, No. 4 sophomore heavyweight James Huwe, also claimed a section title, after he defeated No. 5 Jared Atkins of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus in a close bout 1-0.
In fact, Huwe made the finals with a 1-0 win over Perham’s Jesse Bucholz.
Huwe knew how deep and competitive the heavyweight division was this year, but he stuck with his strengths all the way through his bracket.
“I wrestled all three of top contenders, so I had to go back to the basics and do what I did against them to beat them the first time,” said Huwe, who qualified for state last year. “I was feeling a lot more confident than last year, now, I would like to place in state. For me, I need to work my moves and move my feet and make my shots count at state.”
The Lakers also will be advancing a pair of seniors who will be making their state debuts.
Jarett Nosal wrestled his way to the 160-pound finals, before falling to the No. 3 state ranked Dane Ringquist of Fergus Falls 10-5.
“Jarett is a wildcard, you never know what’s going to happen during his matches,” Ullyott said. “But he had a great tournament.”
Nosal’s semifinal win over Pequot Lakes’ Nick Gravdahl was the big win and essentially punched his ticket for state.
“My big goal coming into this season was to make state, of course,” Nosal said. “It’s my senior year and I’ve never been down there, so wanted to make it. Coach (Ullyott) asked me before the finals, what got me here? I said ‘wrestling’, so I stuck with what I’ve always been doing.”
Kirby Siewert was a late-comer to wrestling, joining his sophomore season. But an injury derailed just about all of his junior wrestling year, thus basically giving the senior one year of experience heading into this season.
It didn’t matter, as Siewert perfected a few tools and used his strength to power his way to a 220-pound section championship.
“Kirby just worked his butt off and has had James Huwe as a practice partner all season, which isn’t an easy task,” Ullyott said. “Kirby doesn’t have 100 weapons to use, but he does two or three very well.
“He’s a very strong and balanced wrestler and a very smart one, as well.”
Siewert downed top-seeded Thief River Falls’ Tyshaun Brown in the finals 3-1, thanks to a one-legged takedown with three seconds left in the match.
“My goal coming into the season was just to see how good I was,” Siewert said. “I feel it’s a big accomplishment and the past month and a half, I have been wrestling well. That should help me down in state, because now my ultimate goal is just to go out and give it my best.”
The Lakers also have a couple of younger wrestlers making state for the first time in eighth graders Braydon Ortloff (106 pounds) and Payton Jackson (113), who is the younger brother of Parker Jackson.
Both eighth grade Lakers had to qualify through winning True Second matches.
For Ortloff, his third-place match actually became the True Second match, after an injury default pushed the Laker up to the state qualifying match.
Ortloff beat Perham’s Dylan Fudge by fall in the third-place match.
“My goal for my entire high school career was to make state at least once,” Ortloff said. “It’s pretty cool I accomplished that already.”
Payton Jackson wrestled his way to the finals, where he lost to Perham’s Ben Nelson 4-1. The Laker had to regroup for his True Second match, where he defeated Roseau’s Brett Dale 8-4 to secure his first state berth.
“Both Payton and Braydon made every voluntary morning practice and they got steadily better,” Ullyott said. “They worked their way into state.”
The Class 2A individual opening round starts Friday at 11 a.m. inside the Xcel Energy Center. The tournament will continue through Saturday, concluding with the championship rounds, starting at 7 p.m.
Section 8-2A individual meet in Perham, Friday-Saturday, Feb. 21-22.
DL placers (*state qualifier)
106: *Braydon Ortloff - 1st: Anthony Phillipson (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) 30-2, Sr. over Antonio Ortiz (Sauk Centre-Melrose) 24-11, Fr. (M. For.)
True 2nd: Braydon Ortloff (Detroit Lakes) 25-14, 8th. over Antonio Ortiz (Sauk Centre-Melrose) 24-11, Fr. (M. For.)
3rd place match: Braydon Ortloff (Detroit Lakes) 25-14, 8th. over Dylan Fudge (Perham) 24-16, 7th. (Fall 3:38)
113: *Payton Jackson - 1st: Ben Nelson (Perham) 26-13, Fr. over Payton Jackson (Detroit Lakes) 21-15, 8th. (Dec 4-1)
True 2nd: Payton Jackson (Detroit Lakes) 21-15, 8th. over Brett Dale (Roseau) 17-16, Fr. (Dec 8-4)
120: Austin Baker – Eighth place
132: Luke Payne - 5th place: Luke Payne (Detroit Lakes) 22-13, Jr. over Dylan Schwartz (Ottertail Central) 23-14, Sr. (Dec 4-2)
138: Bryant Swiers – Eighth place
152: *Parker Jackson - 1st place: Parker Jackson (Detroit Lakes) 39-3, Jr. over Carter Holthaus (Albany) 31-3, Sr. (Dec 3-1)
160: *Jarett Nosal - 1st: Dane Ringquist (Fergus Falls) 35-6, Sr. over Jarett Nosal (Detroit Lakes) 26-7, Sr. (Dec 10-5)
True 2nd: Jarett Nosal (Detroit Lakes) 26-7, Sr. over Nick Gravdahl (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) 32-7, Jr. (RULE)
170: Rayn Jacobson - 5th place: Rayn Jacobson (Detroit Lakes) 11-14, So. over Zach Larsen (Fosston/Bagley) 20-22, So. (Fall 3:44)
182: Tanner Schnathorst – Eighth place
220: *Kirby Siewert -1st place: Kirby Siewert (Detroit Lakes) 26-13, Sr. over Tyshaun Brown (Thief River Falls) 26-13, Sr. (Dec 3-1)
HWT: *James Huwe - 1st place: James Huwe (Detroit Lakes) 32-9, So. over Jared Adkins (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) 25-7, Sr. (Dec 1-0)