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Warrior wrestling starts off season with Okoboji Invitational

December 6, 2012

by Sean Solheim
Over the weekend, the Fulda/Murray County Central Warrior wrestling team traveled to Milford, Iowa to compete in the Okoboji Invitational. The tournament consisted of ten teams and had a bracket style tournament for each weight class. For the Warriors, the tournament was a good start for the season ahead.

F/MCCís Jon Gehl competed in the 106 pound class and started out against Brady Jones of Okoboji. Gehl did what he could to try and free himself in the match, but Jones put the pin on Gehl in 1:39. After the loss, Gehl was put in the second bracket as it was a double elimination tournament. He was matched up with Daniel Rivera of Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn where Gehl won the match by fall in 1:58. Gehlís third match of the tournament featured him against Spirit Lake Parkís Gage Roberts. The match was close, but Roberts put the final move on Gehl to move on by fall in 3:05. Gehlís final match of the tournament was for 5th place against Buddy Martinez of Central Lyon/George Little Rock. Gehl and Martinez were neck and neck for a while until Martinez put the pin on Gehl to take fifth place in 3:33.

In the 113 pound class, Clayton Hartle had two bye rounds before facing Joseph Rivera of HMS in his first match of the tournament. Hartle was able to move on by pinning Rivera in 5:15 and had to face Trevor Streuli on Spencer for the championship. The match for the two wrestlers went the distance for time, but Hartle wasnít able to get any points on the board. He took second by a major decision, 9-0.

Ben Blanchette was another wreslter for the Warriors that placed in the tournament. He started out his run against Tanner Robertson of CL/GLR in the 132 pound class. Blanchette was able to work quickly as he moved on by fall in 1:31, but later fell by a major decision to Heath Nagel of HMS. With the loss, Blanchette faced Nick Gross of Spencer and again, won by fall in 3:43 to move on to the third place match. The match was against Okobojiís Noah Bouse where Blanchette earned a good amount of points to win by decision, 13-8 for third place.

Nathan Beech took to the mat in the 138 pound class and had a good run himself. After falling in his first match against Levi Gilmore of Spencer, he was able to come back later on. Beech and Okobojiís Camerson Arnold had a good match as both wrestlers were even the entire way through the match. In the end, Beech was able to get that one extra point to win by decision, 6-5 to move on. Cole Hieronimus of Sibley-Ocheyden followed up the win for Beech and he was able to earn just enough points on him as well. The difference was that he got just a couple more points for some breathing room and moved on to the third place match with an 8-5 decision. Beech and Cole Moens of Sioux Central/Laurens-Marathon competed for third place and he racked up the points fairly quickly on Beech. The match went the distance, but Beech fell by decision, 8-2 to claim fourth as the only Freshman to place in that weightclass.

Jordan Clarke started out the 145 pound class against Adan Johnson of Spencer. After tangling with each other for a little bit, Clarke was able to move on by fall in 5:16, but he wasnít able to get anything going against Zach Skopec of Spirit Lake Park as Clarke fell in 1:45. Clarke was suppose to wrestle Dakota Drenth of HMS, but Drenth was able to move on by forfeit, putting Clarke in contention for the 5th place match. Clarke was paired up with Johnson again, but Johnson was able to claim fifth by forfeit.

Tanner Nelson competed for the Warriors in the 152 pound class where he was able to place as well. He started out with a loss by fall against Hunter Cauthron of Spencer, but Nelson was able to bounce back. After he won by fall against Skylar Towne of HMS, Nelson moved on to win another match by fall against Caleb Pierce of SC/LM. That put Nelson against Jordan Hanna of Okoboji, but Hanna took that match fairly quickly by fall, forcing Nelson to the fifth place match. Nelson was matched up again with Hunter Cauthron where he fell by major decision, 12-1 to take sixth place for the Warriors.

Senior Ben Loosbrock wrestled in the 170 pound class, and it showed that his experience from years past on the mat hasnít been lost at all. Loosbrock was first matched up against Kodi Ferguson of Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire where Loosbrock wasted no time and moved on by fall in just 46 seconds. Javier Tapia of Spirit Lake Part competed against Loosbrock in the following round, and just like his first match, Loosbrock wasted little time and moved on by fall, that time in 1:39. That win put him into the championship match against Blaine Johnson of Spencer. The match went the distance, but Loosbrock was able to gain control of the points and took 1st place in the 170 pound class by decision, 5-0.

Brian Behrends, another Senior for the Warriors, took the to mat in the 220 pound class where he started his run against Ben Pingel of Spencer. Just like Loosbrock, Behrends wasted little time in moving on as he won by fall in 1:52. After the win, Behrends was paried up with Brady Mart of Spirit Lake Park where again Behrends won quickly by fall in just 59 seconds. That win put him in the championship match against Kevin Tlach of West Hancock. The two wrestlers had a great match as it went the distance and both of them were evenly matched. At the end of the match, Tlach was able to gain a couple points over Behrends, which was just enough as time expired. Behrends took second place as he fell by decision, 6-4 in a hard fought match.

The final wrestler to place for the Warriors was Arron Benson in the heavyweight class. Benson and Jacob Sauter of Okoboji competed in the first match of the bracket where Sauter was able to move on by just a couple points. The 4-2 decision forced Benson to wrestle against Sam McCarty of CL/GLR, where again, another close match was had. That time, Benson was able to be the victor with a 4-3 decision. Cody Norton of Spirit Lake Park followed up the win for Benson, but Norton moved on quickly by fall in just 57 seconds. That put Benson in the 5th place match against Casey Seversen, where Benson was able to take control and win the match by decision, 7-0.

As a team, the Warriors placed 6th overall with 120 points, and also gained a good outlook for the remainder of the season.

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