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State Wrestling: Hoffner takes mat title

Garret Hoffner of Mahnomen/Waubun won the schools’ first state wrestling championship Saturday inside the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Michael Vosberg/Forum News Service

Mahnomen-Waubun coach Brent Hoffner told his 152-pounder to “be dominant” before he took the mat for the Minnesota Class 1A state wrestling championship. He then smiled at his son.

Brent Hoffner’s 152-pounder is his son Garret Hoffner, who ended a perfect 45-0 season as Mahnomen’s first state champion in his sixth and final trip to the state tournament.  “This was a big one,” Garret Hoffner said. “I worked so hard for this one, and it paid off with that state championship. It was awesome.”

Like so many trips to the state tournament when Garret was a baby and Brent was coaching, Garret ended up in his father’s arms after topping No. 2-ranked Class 1A 152-pounder Zachary Carlson in a 6-5 decision.  It was as if, with Garret’s 218th and final victory, Brent transformed back into dad as his 152-pound son, made of mostly muscle, became light enough to hold again.

“I’ve been coaching 21 years and he’s 18, so he’s been coming since he was a baby,” Brent said. “He’s been down to state six times and he was 10-10 at the tournament going into that match.  He works really hard, and he’s just a neat kid. He’s rewritten our record book at Mahnomen. He was on the state football championship team, and it’s just been awesome.”

Garret pinned the No. 4-ranked 152-pounder in the state in Chris Pfarr in the semifinals in 4 minutes, 59 seconds to punch his ticket to the championship.  “It’s a relief,” Garret said. “It’s a big accomplishment. I have a lot of memories down here. I just have to thank my coaches for pushing me for all these years. I can’t wait to find out what it feels like to be at the top of that podium.”

Aho, Novak fall in finals Fergus Falls 113-pounder Abbot Aho and New York Mills 120-pounder Shane Novak made the walk every high school wrestler dreads.

It’s the walk to the tunnel of the Xcel Energy Center, after the wrestler next to them had his hand raised.  Aho felt it last season when he fell in the semifinals and felt the pain again, falling in the championship at 113 pounds in Class 2A in an 8-6 decision.  Aho buried his face in his hands after losing his only match of the season in his final trip to state, finishing the year at 42-1.

Novak had fallen in the state title match at 112 pounds in his sophomore season.

He tasted redemption at 113 pounds as a junior, but fell in the championship at 120 in a 9-7 decision Saturday in his fifth and final trip to state.  He slid off the shoulder straps of his New York Mills singlet for the final time and slid down a wall in the Xcel Energy Center tunnel to sit down until his brother came and picked him up.  “I can’t really complain about my career,” Novak said. “He went up four and I had to battle back, but I couldn’t do it. It’s hard. I’m definitely going to miss it, but I’ll never regret anything with wrestling.”

Frazee's Bruce Lemon

Frazee senior Bruce Lemon wrestled to the 138-pound semifinals, before losing to Hunter Retslaff of Sibley East 1-0.  Lemon finished fifth-overall with a a pin on Aitkin’s Brian Wold.  Three Hornets were also named to the Class 1A All-Tournament Team, including Tanner Reetz (106), Byron Byer (113) and Garrett Malstrom (heavyweight).

Class 1A championship semifinals

113: Cameron Sykora, Border West, pin, 3:10, Joe Fischenich Windom-Mountain Lake

120: Shane Novak, New York Mills, dec., 10-7, James Goman, Trinity School at River Ridge

138: Hunter Retslaff, Sibley East, dec., 1-0, Bruce Lemon, Frazee

152: Garrett Hoffner, Mahnomen-Waubun, pin, 4:59, Chris Pfarr, Lesuer Henderson

Class 1A second-round wrestlebacks

113: Zach Kuhns, Maple River, dec., 2-0, Byron Byer, Frazee

132: Gus McCarthy, Border West, pin, 2:26, Cody Ball, Saint Charles

145: Shane Siewart, Lake City, dec., 3-1, Josh Stuehrenberg, Breckenridge-Campbell-Tintah

160: Austin Maanum, Border West, dec., 8-2, Matthew Whitcomb, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City

170: Tyler Ziegler, Frazee, pin, 3:02, Michael Ludwig, Paynesville Area

195: Tyler Patron, New York Mills, dec. 5-2, Mitch Mesmaan, Holdingford

220: Kyle Johnson, Barnesville, dec., 9-1, Garret Scherr, Osakis

285: Tyler Jenson, Benson, dec., 3-1 Tony Reurink, Frazee

Class 1A wrestleback semifinals

132: Dylan Herman, United South Central, pin, 2:26 McCarthy, BW

138: Marcus Hamer, Kimball Area, dec., 5-1, Lemon, Frazee

160: Keegan Moore, Jackson County Central, pin, 1:53, Maanum, BW

170: Maverick Whitcomb, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, pin, 2:24, Ziegler, F

195: Patron, NYM, dec., 3-1, Colton Layman, West Marshall

220: Johnson, B, dec., 3-1, Taylor Carlson, United North Central

Class 1A fifth-place match

132: McCarthy, BW, dec., 6-4, Austin Brockhoff, Sibley East

138: Lemon, F, pin, 1:04, Brian Wold, Aitkin

160: Maanum, BW, dec., 12-4, Carter Hanson, Blue Earth Area

170: John Westman, Badger-Greenbush, Middle River, pin, 1:48, Ziegler, F

Class 1A third-place match

195: Patron, NYM, dec., 3-2, Lucas Etchason, Triton

220: Ryan Tipcke, Goodhue, dec., 2-1, Johnson, B

Class 1A championship match

113: Sykora, BW, technical fall, Spencer Jenniges, Wabasso-Red Rock Central

120: Louie Sanders, Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial Area, dec., 9-7, Novak, NYM

152: Hoffner, M-W, dec., 6-5, Zachary Carlson, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg

Class 2A championship semifinals

113: Abbot Aho, Fergus Falls, dec., 6-4, David Flynn, Scott West

120: Anthony Luft, Worthington, pin, 5:10, Tyler Giza, Fergus Falls

Class 2A second-round wrestlebacks

138 Zach Beaumaster, Monticello, dec., 1-0, Luke Sailer, Perham

Zach Baker, Detroit Lakes, pin, 3:41, Andy Jackson, South Saint Paul

145: Parker Jackson, Detroit Lakes, 6-4 dec., Keith Abraham, Dawson Boyd-Lac Qui Parle

220: Jake Filk, Hutchinson, dec., 5-3, Cody Nylander, Perham

Class 2A wrestleback semifinals

120: Griffin Parriot, New Prague, dec., 5-1, Giza, FF

138: Luke Zilverberg, Scott West, dec., 15-6, Baker, DL

145: Drey Loge, Pequot Lakes-Pine River-Backus, dec., 4-2, Jackson, DL

Class 2A Fifth-place match

120: Giza, FF, pin, 2:51, Dylan Connell, Chisago Lakes

138: Zach Beaumaster, Monticello, dec., 6-5, Baker, DL

145: Zack Zimmer, Becker, dec., 13-8, Jackson, DL

Class 2A championship match

113: Jarred Oftedahl, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, dec., 8-6, Aho, FF

Story written by Forum Reporter Chris Murphy

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