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Fulda/MCC Warriors begin season in St. James and Jackson

December 12, 2013

by Sean Solheim
The Fulda/Murray County Central Warrior wrestling squad opened up their 2013-2014 season this last week. On Tuesday, the Warriors traveled to St. James to kick off the season and despite a team loss by a score of 54-22, there were a lot of positives individually for the first match of the season.

St. James began the night with a quick six points as the 106 pound class was open, so St. James won by forfeit. Jon Gehl in the 113 pound class started the night off for the Warriors where matched up with Jose Nelson-Cuellar. Gehl was the first to make a move in the first period when he earned a take down for two points. Later, a reversal tied the match together at two points before Gehl escaped Nelson-Cuellar’s grasp for another point. The period ended with another takedown by Gehl as he went up 5-2. In the final two periods, Nelson-Cuellar was able to escape once for one point, however, Gehl kept his speed up and won by major decision, 14-3.

Clayton Hartle took to the mat in the 120 pound class following the major decision and he competed against Angel Zamarripa. It didn’t take long for Hartle to establish his dominance on the mat. After a three point near fall. Hartle continued to tire his opponent all throughout the first period. About a quarter of the way through the second period, Hartle gained control and rolled Zamarripa on his back. Shortly after, Hartle was awarded the pin 39 seconds into the second period.

Ben Blanchette had an eventful match that went all three periods, but the third period was cut short. After remaining tied at four points after the first period, Blanchette almost ended the match in the second period. However, his opponent, Joe Dominguez, was able to avoid the pin and Blanchette was awarded three points for the near fall. Later in the third period, Blanchette earned a takedown right away and just a few seconds later, he was given the pin to win the match by fall.

In the 132, 138, and 145 pound classes, the wrestlers from St. James all earned pins within the first period or shortly in the second period, which helped put them back on top in team score, 24-16. In the 152 pound class, Nathan Beech wrestled with Kody Curry and both wrestlers were evenly matched all the way through. Curry earned a takedown right away to start the match, but Beech was able to stand up quickly for one point. The first period ended in a stalemate when the two couldn’t get any more points on the board. In the second period, Curry chose to start on the mat. By doing so, he was able to stand up for one point to go up 3-1 over Beech. The entire rest of the match ended with no more points on the board, so Curry won the match by decision, 3-1.

Tanner Nelson had a tough time starting against Josh Stordaven in the 160 pound class, but held on to avoid any major decisions or falls in the match. At the end of the first period, Stordaven was up 5-1 with the help of a takedown and a near fall. In the second period, Stordaven did the same thing and Nelson managed to hang on. In the final period, Nelson started down on the mat and escaped right away, but fell by decision after the final horn, 10-3.

Dalton Keeler was pinned in the 170 pound class early in the third period to pad the St. James lead, 36-16. Dylan Nelson broke the streak of win for St. James in the 182 pound class. He was matched up against Alejandro Lara where Nelson had a high scoring match. Lara earned a take down right away, but Nelson picked up the pace and took over the match. After an escape mid way through the first period, Nelson took down Lara as well and had a two count near fall to go up 5-2. Lara was able to take down Nelson late in the first period to close the gap on the score, but a take down and an escape by Nelson padded his lead. At the end of the first period, Nelson was up 8-4. Nelson continued his dominance in the second period. A couple reversals, along with a couple more near falls widened the gap in his score even more. It was until the third period when Nelson finished off Lara with a pin.

That pin gave the Warriors a 36-22 lead, but the 195, 220, and 285 pound classes were all open for St. James. The Warriors fell in the match with a final score of 54-22.

With the first match under their belt, the Warriors went into the weekend with their first individual tournament of the season. Every year, the Warriors travel to Jackson to compete in the Pizza Ranch/JCC Huskies Invitational Wrestling Tournament. Sixteen teams made the trip to Jackson to compete in the tournament, which includes: Jackson County Central, Adrian Area, Eagan, Fargo Davies, ND, Fargo North, ND, Fulda/MCC, Harrisburg, SD, Hayfield, Luverne, New Ulm, Sioux City East, IA, Spirit Lake Park, IA, Wabasha-Kellogg-Alma, Wabasso/RRC, Windom/Mt. Lake, and Worthington/RL-B. During the tournament, a few of the Warriors were able to place within their respective weight classes.

One ofthe Warriors to place in the tournament was Clayton Hartle in the 120 pound class. In his first round, Hartle matched up with Alex Skaare from Fargo where Hartle took the match by decision, 7-2. Later, Dawit Gebreab from Eagan was more of a challenge for Hartle. Though the match extended through all three periods, Gebreab was able to take the win by decision, 8-2. Since it was a double elimination tournament, Hartle had a second chance to place, in which he did so. Hartle took down Riley White from Eagan by decsion, 5-2. That win sent him to the third place match where Taylor Dalen from Harrisburg pinned Hartle in 2:39 to give him fourth place.

In the 126 pound class, Ben Blanchette was able to place fifth overall in his bracket. To start, Blanchette pinned Xavier Rosenbloom from Eagan in 3:53 and continued his success in the second round against Mitchell Fulton from Wabasso/RRC with a major decision victory, 13-2. Later, Joe Fischenrich from Windom/Mt. Lake was more of an even match for Blanchette, and in the end, Blanchette took the short end as he fell by decision, 5-1. In his second chance to place, Blanchette met up with Xavier Rosenbloom once again, however, the result was much different. Since Rosenbloom matched up with him earlier, he was ready for anything that Blanchette threw his way. That proved to help out as Blanchette fell in the match by decision, 7-2. Although he lost twice, he still had a chance for fifth place against Mitchell Fulton again. That time, Blanchette was victorious again by decision, 7-4, to take fifth place in the tournament.

Nathan Beech was another wrestler that placed. He did so in the 145 pound bracket and placed sixth overall. Beech started out the match by defeating Logan Warzecha from Harrisburg by technical fall in five minutes. Jace Bunne had other ideas for Beech as he defeated Beech by decision 4-1. The second chance back was what Beech needed to place and he got far enough to be able to do so. Joey Mills from Worthington/RL-B was Beech’s first match and Beech moved on by pin in 3:06. Overtime was needed to decide the match between Beech and Caleb Kemp from Wabasso/RRC and in that match, Beech came out on top in overtime, 5-3. Beech’s run for third place came to a halt against Soloman Nielsen from Luverne when he fell by decision, 9-4. However, Beech was able to match up in one last match for fifth place against, but fell by decision to Jarod Bakaylar from Jackson County Central for sixth place.

In the tournament, other Warrior wrestlers were able to win some matches, but weren’t able to advance far enough to place in their brackets. Other wrestlers that won some matches include: Jon Gehl, Will Gehl, Tanner Nelson, and Dylan Nelson.

The Warriors are back in action on Tuesday, December 10th in Fulda and later wrestle in Windom on Friday, December 13th.


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