Despite having their best performances of the season, Wadena-Deer Creek's Mason Brauch and Koby Endres were unable to advance beyond the state prelim Saturday, March 20.
Although Brauch went 0-2 in the tournament, the results don't reflect the effort, according to head coach Brad Wollum. He met sophomore Bennet Arceneau from BHVPP for the second time this season. The first meeting, Brauch was pinned by Arceneau early in the match. "In this meeting, Mason was winning 6-2 before getting caught and losing by fall," said Wollumn.
Sophomore Koby Endres is the other Wolverine who advanced to the state prelim. In his first match, he was paired against the No. 1 seed Ryan VanLuik from Minnewaska. While Endres wrestled well, he lost that match and moved on to face Thomas Eustice from Ortonville, which he won 7-3.
Endres matched with Jacob Adelman from Border West in the consolation semifinals, defeating his opponent 8-2 and advancing to the 3rd place match. Unfortunately, he found himself facing VanLuik again, who had Endres' number and defeated him, giving Endres fourth place and making him an official state qualifier.
While Endres qualifies for state under normal circumstances in a 16-man bracket, this year is of course not normal. Only the top two advance onto state this year in an 8-man bracket.
Wollum said that even though the season is over, the team did accomplish their goals. "This year's goal for the team and individuals was to focus on progression using a 1 percent better everyday mindset," Wollum said. "Each week the team showed steady growth.
"Wrestling is a sport that is often referred to as a 'grind' because it takes a huge toll on an athlete's physical, mental, and emotional capabilities," he continued. "The WDC squad did an outstanding job this year of relying on each other and picking their teammates up when they were down."