Young Wolverines finish fifth at WDC Invitational

Coach Norm Gallant saw a lot of positives in his team's fifth-place finish at the tough WDC Invitational last Saturday. The Wolverines scored 142 points and remained in the hunt for a top three finish for most of the day.

Coach Norm Gallant saw a lot of positives in his team's fifth-place finish at the tough WDC Invitational last Saturday. The Wolverines scored 142 points and remained in the hunt for a top three finish for most of the day.

"I was really pretty pleased with the results today," Gallant said after the tournament. "We had a number of young wrestlers earn their first varsity wins and almost everyone improved their place from last year. Additionally, we did a lot of pinning, which is what we set out to do in every match."

Seniors Trey VanOrsdel and Tony Wegscheid advanced to their second straight finals appearances. VanOrsdel hardly broke a sweat with a fall at the 1:07 mark over BHV's Dakota Aeling and a 1:20 pin over Badger-Greenbush-Middle River's Clint Bernu. Wegscheid had similar luck on his way to the finals using just 1:19 to dispatch of TRF's Jordan Anderson and notching an impressive 9-2 win over Class A's 10th ranked Wade Moenkedick of BHV.

The finals proved to be tough match-ups for both co-captains. VanOrsdel mustered an escape late in the third period against eighth-ranked Kevin Fynboh of Thief River Falls, but couldn't manage a last-second takedown and came up on the wrong end of a 6-5 score. Wegscheid also kept the match close, but gave up a late takedown to lose to Perham's Nate Schmitz by an 8-5 count.

"Both of our seniors wrestled well today," Gallant said. "They did a nice job of forcing the action. We just have to get better at setting up our takedowns and going from one to another. Both guys got beat on their feet, which doesn't happen to them very often."


Varsity rookie Mitch Steffens made a splash at 103 with an impressive third-place finish. Steffens, an eighth grader, won his first-ever varsity match with a pin over BHV's Kody Graba in just 2:47. In the semifinals he dropped a close 5-1 match to Class AA's seventh-ranked 103 pounder, Chaz Abrahamson of TRF. Steffens tore his way back to a third place finish by sticking LPGE's Jamie Wright in 2:14 and beating BGMR's Isaac Novacek 15-3 in the third place match.

"Mitch showed a lot of poise in his first action on the varsity, he is so quick and relentless," Gallant said. "He is going to be a lot of fun to watch."

Jared Wegscheid also placed third for the Wolverines. Wegscheid picked up three pins, including a 2:28 fall over Chris Harrison of PLPRB in the third-place match. Wegscheid's only loss on the day was to third-ranked Ethan Kern of BHV in the semifinals.

Twin brother Jacob Wegscheid also had a nice tournament run finishing in fourth place at 130. Jacob notched a 2-2 record including a pin of BHV's Colby Schmidt in the consolation semifinals.

"Both of the Wegscheid boys showed a lot of improvement from the end of last season," Gallant said. "Both wrestled on the varsity at this tournament last year and did not place. Even though they are just ninth-graders, they are two of our more experienced wrestlers and we are going to need them to keep showing the steady improvement that they have been."

Also finishing in fourth place for the Wolverines was Jordan Rentz, and the big boys, 215-pounder Josh Sweere and heavyweight Tyler Wohlwend. Rentz dropped a tough 9-5 decision in the semifinals to sixth-ranked TRF wrestler Kyle LeDuc and a four-overtime 4-2 match to LPGE's Zach Pesta.

"Jordan has just looked outstanding in practice this year so far," Gallant said. "He really seemed to be in control of the third-place match, but just couldn't seem to score many points. He's added some take downs to his arsenal this year and a new series to go with his cradles."

Sweere alternated between quick pins and losses. In fact, he had the quickest pin of the tournament in his first-round match when he dispatched of BHV's Trent Peterson in just 13 seconds. In the consolation semifinals, he needed just 26 seconds to flatten LPGE's Chris Whalen.


"Josh was disappointed in his last match today, he let up a bit at times and it cost him," Gallant said. "We talked about it afterwards and we know what we need to fix. Josh is a very coachable kid in the wrestling room and will do the things it takes to eliminate mistakes."

Heavyweight Tyler Wohlwend earned his first two varsity wins Saturday, both by pin en route to his fourth-place finish. Wohlwend stuck LPGE's Travis Terwey in his first match in 3:30 and BHV's Jon Kohlhase in 2:26 in the consolation semifinals.

"I am really excited for Tyler today," Gallant said. "For the last two seasons we've had to run him out there at times against older, bigger and stronger opponents. He took some poundings, but he has always had a great attitude. His teammates, especially Josh Sweere, have always done a great job of encouraging him and reminding him that his time was coming. It's nice to see him dishing out some of the pounding himself. He's going to be a pretty good big guy for us."

Ninth-grader Derek Rude wrestled his first varsity tournament, earning two pins and a fifth place finish at 119. Rude threw around Mike Dyrdal of TRF for a 2:28 pin and headlocked BHV Senior Mike Willis for a 26 second pin in the fifth-place match.

In one of only a few negative notes for the Wolverines, Matt Hagen had to injury default out of the tournament. After wrestling an excellent first-round match and beating seventh-ranked Aaron Brazier of BGMR 5-2, Hagen injured his shoulder in the semifinals in a loss to fifth-ranked Steve Keogh of Thief River Falls. While the extent of the injury is unknown, it looks like Hagen will be missing from the WDC lineup for at least a little while. Hagen was making his first Wolverine appearance after moving from New York Mills.

Tyler Savaloja, Eric Monson and Isaac Lustila also wrestled in the tournament for the Wolverines but did not place.

"Overall, we did a pretty good job," Gallant said. "We were a bit inconsistent at times and our youth showed up at times. A real bright spot to me was the tenacity we showed. We scored 35 bonus points on pins and major decisions. That was really big. Our goal has always been to score 30 extra points, to get 35 is excellent."

The Wolverines faced Detroit Lakes, Pequot Lakes/Pine River Backus and Crosby Ironton on Tuesday and will travel to Park Rapids for a dual tournament on Saturday.


Team Scores

Perham 255

Thief River Falls 175

Pequot Lakes Pine River Backus 156.5

Badger Geenbush Middle River 151.5

Wadena Deer Creek 142

Long Prairie Grey Eagle 111

Bertha Hewitt Verndale 103


Sauk Centre 78.5


1st Andrew Gorentz Perham Fall 1:15

2nd Chaz Abrhamson TRF

3rd Mitch Steffens WDC Maj Dec 15-3

4th Isaac Novacek BGMR

5th Drey Loge PLPRB 7-1

6th Jamie Wright LPGE



1st Isaac Werner Per 8-1

2nd Kyle LeDuc TRF

3rd Zach Pesta LPGE 4-2 4OT

4th Jordan Rentz WDC

5th Thomas Gullickson BGMR 1-5

6th Joe Knutson PLPRB



1st Jacob Werner Per Fall 2:56

2nd Shane Trattles SC

3rd Cody Schrupp PLPRB 6-4

4th Storm Booe BGBMR

5th Derek Rude WDC Fall :26

6th Mike Willis BHV


1st Sam Warne Per 9-4

2nd Ethan Kern BHV

3rd Jared Wegscheid Fall 2:28

4th Chris Harrison PLPRB

5th TeJay Wocjhoski BGBMR Fall 1:25

6th Jordan Petrone LPG


1st Nic Harrison PLPRB Tf 4:30

2nd Joe Berns Perham

3rd Lucian Grow SC Maj 9-1

4th Jacob Wegscheid WDC

5th Kyle Middendorf LpGE Fall :49

6th Colby Schmidt BHV


1st Steve Keogh TRF Maj 13-3

2nd Nathan Waslawski PLPRB

3rd Taylor Doll Perham 8-7

4th Aaron Brazier BGBMR

5th Timber Holmquist LPGE default

6th Matt Hagen WDC


1st Barry Nelson Per 10-4

2nd Eli Jensen BGBMR

3rd Tom Kalinowski TRF Fall 2:48

4th Nathan Weise BHV

5th Levi Allen PLPRB Fall :43

6th Mitch Zastrow LPGE


1st Kevin Fynboh TRF 6-5

2nd Trey VanOrsdel WDC

3rd Clint Bernu 6-2

4th Daniel Middendorf LPGE

5th Mike Howey Per 8-7

6th Nathan Walter SC


1st Daniel Schad LPGE fall :50

2nd Trevor Ingle BGBMR

3rd Jordan Engen TRF 6-3

4th Dustin Campbell PLPRB

5th Jake Braaten BHV 9-8

6th Brett Illies SC


1st John Gusewelle SC 7-6

2nd Sam Moenkedick BHV

3rd Brennen Novacek BGBMR Pin 2:57

4th Gavin Biegler Per

5th William Hess TRF fall 2:29

6th Ryan Holt LPGE


1st Mac Stoll Per 8-3

2nd Matt Moenkedick BHV

3rd Travis Peralta TRF Fall 2:18

4th Matt Walter SC

5th Marcus Hernandez PLPRM Default

6th Kelly Holquist LPGE


1st Nathan Schmitz Perham 8-5

2nd Tony Wegscheid WDC

3rd Pat Bresnahan PLPRB 7-0

4th Wade Moenkedick

5th Cole Christianson BGBMR Pin 2:13

6th Aaron Helgeson SC


1st Casey Sazama Per Fall 1:50

2nd Billy Mattison TRF

3rd Alex Yaeger BGBMR Fall 4:52

4th Josh Sweere WDC

5th Chris Wahlen LPGE Fall :49

6th Trent Peterson BHV


1st Try Griffith PLPRB Maj 9-0

2nd Tyson Sorvig TRF

3rd Jesse Hein Per 11-5

4th Tyler Wohlwend WDC

5th Justin Erickson BGBMR Fall 2:56

6th John Kohlhase BHV

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