Grapplers hit the mats; win season finale

by Mike Isola, Staff Writer The Wadena-Deer Creek wrestling team returned to the mats Feb. 8 after a mandatory state-wide shutdown imposed by the Minnesota State High School League and found themselves buzzed by Perham 58-9. The Class AA fourth-r...

by Mike Isola,

Staff Writer

The Wadena-Deer Creek wrestling team returned to the mats Feb. 8 after a mandatory state-wide shutdown imposed by the Minnesota State High School League and found themselves buzzed by Perham 58-9. The Class AA fourth-ranked Yellowjackets won on the strength of seven pins and dominated all but two weight classes.

The Wolverines managed to get nine points behind a Kenny Steffens pin with six seconds left in his 135-pound match and Trey VanOrsdel's 6-2 decision over Charlie Schmitz in the 140-pound match.

The Wolverines bounced back to honor their parents and fans on Saturday by winning a pinfest by a 41-39 score over Staples-Motley. Only two matches had a different outcome other than a fall, resulting in a quick dual meet that lasted less than an hour at the WDC gymnasium.


The first eight matches of the dual swung back and forth with each team swapping pins.

Shawn Beversluis, Jared Wegscheid, Steffens, VanOrsdel, Tony Wegscheid and Kevin Trout all registered pins for the Wolverines while the arch-rival Cardinals got pins from Taylor Bendson, Trent Carlson, Jordan Bendson, Andrew Becker, Hakan Binek and Eric Tollefson.

Wolverine coach Norm Gallant said 152-pounder Tyler Savaloja wrestled probably the most important match of the dual when he lost a 13-6 decision to Spencer Kadlec with the score tied 24-24.

Savaloja lead 6-3 near the end of the second period, but was reversed and trailed 8-6 going into the third. Kadlec managed a takedown and hooked a tight cradle up with about 20 seconds left in the match. Savaloja battled to keep from getting pinned for the last 20 seconds and saved three team points.

"I told Savaloja he just won the dual meet when he came off the mat. Obviously no one likes to lose, but saving the three points was huge," Gallant said. "Tyler battled for six minutes and in team competition that is very important. He did a great job for the team today."

From there, the Wolverines took control, winning the next three matches. Steve Lustila scored a technical fall at 3:02 over Dylan Shequen. Tony Wegscheid earned his 17th pin of the season and Trout put the match out of reach with his patented "Farmer" pin in the second period over Oliver Kelsey at 189.

The Cardinals scored two pins to close out the dual but didn't have enough to slip past the Wolverines.

At heavyweight, Wolverine Dustin Ferguson made his varsity debut and despite a valiant effort, was pinned to close out the meet.


"Tonight was a lot of fun, this was the way Staples and WDC used to be, tight all the way," said Gallant, referring to the years that the Wolverines and Cardinals met in the section finals in the 1990s. "I'm proud of the seniors tonight. They carried us in their last home match and they knew they had to step it up and they did. In the end, we needed every point."

The fifth-ranked Wolverines squared off with fourth-ranked Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale on Tuesday night in the first round of the Class 7A Team Sections. The winner will advance to the semi-finals in Parkers Prairie at 1 p.m. Saturday with the finals slated for 3 p.m.

WDC at Perham on Feb. 8

Yellowjackets 58, Wolverines 9

103-Jacob Werner (P) major decision Jordan Rentz 12-4

112-Sam Warne (P) decision Shawn Beversluis 7-5

119-Joe Berns (P) decision Jared Wegscheid 9-4

125-Taylor Doll (P) pinned Jacob Wegscheid 2:56


130-Barry Nelson (P) pinned Eric Monson 0:42

135-Kenny Steffens (WDC) pinned Dwight Jenne (P) 5:54

140-Trey VanOrsdel (WDC) decision Charlie Schmitz (P) 6-2

145-Justin Berns (P) pinned Aaron Uselman 1:39

152-Michael Guehna (P) pinned Isaac Lustila 2:56

160-Mac Stoll (P) decision Steve Lustila 10-7

171-Philip Moenkedick (P) decision Tony Wegscheid 7-2

189-Nate Schmitz (P) pinned Kevin Trout 3:51


215-Casey Sazama (P) pinned Josh Sweere 0:30

HWT-Kyle Christopherson (P) pinned Tyler Wohlwend 1:23

Staples-Motley at WDC on Feb. 10

Wolverines 41, Cardinals 39

103-Taylor Bendson (SM) pinned Rentz 3:00

112-Beversluis (WDC) pinned Brandon Flickinger 2:33

119-Trent Carlson (SM) pinned Zach Bernu 0:57

125-Jared Wegscheid (WDC) pinned Devin Becker 2:17


130-Jordan Bendson (SM) pinned Jacob Wegscheid 2:36

135-Andrew Becker (SM) pinned Eric Monson 1:42

140-Steffens (WDC) pinned Bryan Miles 0:28

145-VanOrsdel (WDC) pinned Lance Flickinger 1:21

152-Spencer Kadlec (SM) decision Tyler Savaloja 13-6

160-Steve Lustila (WDC) technical fall Dylan Shequen 3:02

171-Tony Wegscheid (WDC) pinned Kodiey Lind 3:04

189-Trout (WDC) pinned Oliver Kelsey 2:30


215-Hakan Binek (SM) pinned Eddie Lustila 1:06

HWT-Eric Tollefson (SM) pinned Dustin Ferguson 1:02

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