Lakers have a total of 10 section placewinners

There was some adversity which came into play during the Detroit Lakes wrestling season, but the young Lakers were able to persevere and still go out and have a solid Section 8-2A individual tournament Friday and Saturday in Fergus Falls.

There was some adversity which came into play during the Detroit Lakes wrestling season, but the young Lakers were able to persevere and still go out and have a solid Section 8-2A individual tournament Friday and Saturday in Fergus Falls.

The Lakers placed 10 wrestlers out of the 14 weight divisions, including a pair of Class 2A state entrants in junior Gabe Foltz and eighth grader Parker Jackson.

"If someone would have told me at the beginning of the year that we would have 10 placewinners in the section, I would have told them they are nuts," said DL head coach Rob Ullyott.

"I was very satisfied with the effort our kids put forth."

DL also will be represented at state after they were skunked in last year's tournament, as Foltz handily won the 103-pound division, while Jackson grappled his way to the title bout before losing narrowly to Thief River Falls' sophomore Holden Nelson, 6-4, at 135 pounds.


Foltz -- who will be making his state debut --  was the oldest wrestler in the 103 class and his experience more than made up for his smaller size, as the Laker started his tourney with a pin of East Grand Forks' eighth grader Eddie Bushaw.

A 10-1 major decision over freshman Triston Rubner of Pine River-Backus/Pequot Lakes put him in the finals, where he defeated Roseau eighth grader Jaylen Sikorski by a 20-4 technical fall.

"I just wanted to keep wrestling strong (in the sections) and not do anything stupid," Foltz said.

"I went out at the beginning of my matches and tried to build an early lead, then wrestle a little more conservative after that."

Jackson was seeded No. 3 at 135 and started out with a pin on United Clay Becker senior Robert Wallace, while posting a 16-6 major decision on Walker/Hackensack-Akeley sophomore Devin Campbell to qualify for the semifinals.

There, Jackson defeated the No. 2 seeded sophomore Jordan Heldman of Staples-Motley 8-4, before losing to Nelson in the finals.

In the finals, Jackson and Nelson were tied 6-6 with 30 seconds left in the final period, as the TRF grappler was able to notch a takedown in the waning seconds to take the win.

Jackson becomes the first Laker eighth grader to qualify for state, which makes his first trip to state a bit more special.


"I was hoping to make it as an eighth grader, because I did put in a lot of work over the offseason," Jackson said.

"I was confident in all the technique I learned over the summer. It feels good making state."

Ullyott isn't surprised Jackson became DL's youngest wrestler to ever make state, after seeing all the work he's put in during the offseason and season.

"Parker has steadily improved and he did put a lot of pressure on himself to make state this year," Ullyott said.

"It's very rare for an eighth grader to make state at that weight class."

But those two were not the only standout performances by the Lakers.

Seven DL wrestlers placed in the top four, while first-year varsity wrestler sophomore Zach Baker just missed out on a state berth.

Baker entered the 119-pound bracket as the fifth seed, but he didn't wrestle as a No. 5, as he made it all the way to the true second match.


Baker upset last year's state qualifier, freshman Mason Swegarden of United Clay Becker, in the wrestlebacks with a late pin to earn his true second shot.

The DL grappler trailed by a point to Swegarden in the third period and was able to get a headlock on the Badger and secure a pin.

Baker lost to Perham junior Brandon Ludders in the true second match for a state bid on a 16-3 major decision.

"Zach had a great tournament," Ullyott said. "For a first-year varsity wrestler, he really was able to develop his offense and gain some great experience.

"Just to put himself in with a chance to get to state was a feat in itself."

Junior Ben Gailfus gained a bronze finish at 189, after he made his way through the wrestlebacks.

He lost to Walker/Hackensack-Akeley sophomore Christopher Zimmer in the semifinals by a 6-1 decision, but toppled TRF junior Ben Kucera by fall in the third-place match.

"Ben was able to beat two kids he lost to earlier in the season," Ullyott said. "So he came back strong for the sections."


Other fourth-place finishers for DL included eighth grader Nathan Francis at 112, freshman Brandon Dahring at 140, and senior Bryce Dutton at 215.

Seventh grader James Huwe captured a fifth-place at heavyweight, while freshman Jarett Nosal (145) and senior Tony Sims (125) were also fifth-place finishers.

"Bryce (Dutton) beat the No. 2 seeded wrestler and for someone who has been in wrestling for only two years, he's really come a long ways," Ullyott said. "James Huwe also did a great job for a seventh grader at heavyweight.

"He gained great, valuable experience and in two years, James will be the real deal."

The wrestling state individual tournament will be held Friday and Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center, with the team tournament being held all day Thursday.

Laker results

Section 8-2A individual tournament, Friday-Saturday, Feb. 25-26, at Fergus Falls.

DL placers (*state qualifier) -- 103: *1. Gabe Foltz (3-0) - Championship match: Foltz tech fall Jaylen Sikorski (Roseau) 20-4...112: 4. Nathan Francis (3-2), Third-place: Blake Miller (Staples-Motley) dec. Francis 6-0...119: Zach Baker (3-2), True Second: Brandon Lueders (Perham) maj dec. Baker 15-3...125: 5. Tony Sims (3-2), Fifth place match: Sims dec. Alex Johnson (Fergus Falls) 6-5...135: *2. Parker Jackson (3-1), Championship: Holden Nelson (Thief River Falls) dec. Jackson 6-4...140: 4. Brandon Dahring (2-2), Third place: Derek Teberg (Fergus Falls) pin Dahring 1:25...145: 5. Jarett Nosal (2-2), Fifth place: Nosal dec. Trevor Johnson (Pine River) 14-8...189: 3. Ben Gailfus (4-1) Third place: Gailfus pin Ben Kucera (TRF) 1:30...215: 4. Bryce Dutton (2-2) Third place: Jon Erickson (TRF) dec. Dutton 7-3...HWT: 5. James Huwe (2-2), Fifth place: Huwe pin Brody DeHart (Walker/HAN) 4:55.

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