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Laker State Wrestling: Baker and Jackson each take 6th

Parker Jackson (right) locks in against Monticello’s Jake Berthiaume in the opening round of the Class 2A state meet Friday inside the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Bob Williams/Forum News Service

Out of the hundreds of wrestlers who reside in Class 2A in Minnesota, the Detroit Lakes Lakers can boast they have a pair in the top 10 in their respective weight classes. 

Senior Zach Baker (138 pounds) and sophomore Parker Jackson (145) each placed in the state meet Friday and Saturday inside the Xcel Energy Center, as the pair of Lakers each took sixth.  Baker concludes a very productive Laker career by placing, while Jackson looks to build on his state placing in the next couple of years.

Freshman heavyweight James Huwe

Freshman heavyweight James Huwe lost out in the first round and was eliminated when his opponent fell in the second round.  “Just to get down there at state and leave with a medal is a good accomplishment,” said DL head coach Rob Ullyott. “That’s our goal when we get down to state, is to medal.”

Baker’s road to medaling started with a first-round win over No. 5 ranked Chisago Lakes’ senior Quade Zupko 7-3.  Stewartville senior Brett Stolarzyk, who was ranked No. 3 in the state, took a major decision over Baker 20-12, after the Laker was down only by three points with 35 seconds left in the match.  “Zach was in position to win the match, but he just got caught,” Ullyott said.

Baker made his way through the wrestlebacks with an 8-1 decision over Randy Jenson and an 11-2 major decision over Andy Jackson of South St. Paul.  Luke Zilverberg of Scott West pushed Baker to the fifth-place match with a 5-1 decision.  Baker, who was ranked No. 7 in the state, lost to Monticello junior Zach Beaumeister 6-5 to take sixth overall.

DL's Zach Baker

“When Zach started the season, he wasn’t ranked at all,” Ullyott said. “But by the end of the season, he was in the top 10. He had a very good season.”

After Jackson posted a 6-4 decision over Jake Berthiaume of Monticello in the first round, the DL sophomore had to endure a marathon of a second-round match.  Mitchell Hartwig of Glencoe-Lester Prairie and Jackson dualed to a tie through regulation.  The duo proceeded to wrestle through four overtimes, before a controversial call ended it in favor of Hartwig for a 6-5 win.

“A couple of calls didn’t go our way and we thought we had the match won,” Ullyott said. “All of Parker’s matches were close and he was right there throughout the tournament.”

Hartwig moved on to eventually win the state title.  Jackson wasn’t deterred, as he won his next two wrestlebacks, before losing to Section 8-2A rival Drey Loge of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus 4-2.  Jackson defeated Loge for the section title just a week ago.

Zack Zimmer of Becker topped an exhausted Jackson in the fifth-place match 13-8.

For Huwe, making state as just a freshman in the heavyweight class was a great learning experience.  “He had a tough draw, but just to get down and see the competition at his age is a good experience for him,” Ullyott said.

Davion Franklin pinned Huwe in 3:20 and eventually moved on to finish third overall.

Laker results

Class 2A state individual meet in the Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Friday-Saturday, March 1-2.

DL results – Zach Baker (138 pounds, Sixth place): Baker dec. Quade Zupko (Chisago Lakes) 7-3; Brett Stolarzyk (Stewartville) maj. dec. Baker 20-12; Wrestlebacks: Baker dec. Randy Jenson (Foley) 8-1; Baker maj. Dec. Andy Jackson (South St. Paul) 11-2; Luke Zilverberg (Scott West) dec. Baker 5-1; Fifth Place: Zach Beaumeister (Monticello) dec. Baker 6-5.

Parker Jackson (145 pounds, Sixth place): Jackson dec. Jake Berthiaume (Monticello) 6-4; Mitchell Hartwig (Glencoe-Lester Prairie) dec. Jackson 6-5 (4 OT); Wrestlebacks: Jackson dec. Branden Schorr (Kasson-Mantorville) 12-5; Jackson dec. Keith Abraham (Dawson-Boyd/LacQuiParle) 8-3; Drey Loge (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) dec. Jackson 6-4; Fifth Place: Zack Zimmer (Becker) dec. Jackson 13-8.  James Huwe (heavyweight, DNP): Davion Franklin (Watertown-Mayer/Mayer Lutheran) pin Huwe 3:20.

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.