Athlete of the week: Stibral wrestles way to invite crown, 23-0
SCOTLAND — Bon Homme/Scotland’s Dan Stibral wrestled through a tough bracket at the Jerry Opbroek Invitational Saturday to keep his undefeated junior season going.
Stibral (23-0) had the top seed at heavyweight in the one-day, 10-team tournament, which was hosted by Mitchell High School. In the finals, he handed Pierre’s Dylan Bennett his first loss of the season, winning 3-2.
“We knew going in there was going to be some good heavyweights from (Class) A and we prepared all week,” Bon Homme/Scotland head coach Mark Stoebner said. “The Pierre and Sturgis kids are quite a bit bigger than Dan, but we felt confident going in that if he moved well, he should be able to do it.”
Stibral beat Aaron Kusch, of Totino Grace (Minn.), 8-1 in the opening round and Sturgis’ John Wilson 3-0 in the semifinals.
“He knew he wouldn’t see these ‘A’ guys again and he wanted to make a statement that he’s a good heavyweight wrestler,” Stoebner said of Stibral. “He wanted to beat them because we don’t see them again and he would have to wait a whole year to get another chance.”
For his efforts, Stibral was named The Daily Republic’s athlete of the week, an award voted on by the newspaper’s sports staff.
Bon Homme/Scotland had two additional champions Saturday. Duncan Stoebner won at 113 pounds and Austin Kaul was crowned at 145 pounds. The team finished sixth with 100.5 points, while Totino Grace won the tournament with 169.5 points.
Bon Homme and Scotland are in the first year of their wrestling co-op and Stoebner said it’s been a positive transition to have Stibral in the practice room.
“He didn’t know what to expect coming in but he’s very positive and a good leader in the room,” Stoebner said. “He wants to get better every day and is already talking about summer. He loves the sport and wants to get better.”
Stibral took third in the Class B state tournament last season as a sophomore.