Parkston advances 10 to second day
ABERDEEN -- Every Parkston wrestler made an impact on the team score Friday at the Class B state wrestling tournament.
All 12 Parkston qualifiers earned at least one win, and 10 are still alive, to help the team lead the pack after the first of the two-day meet.
"It shows what we have to do to win," said Parkston coach Jared Digmann, who's not shy to admit the goal this weekend is to capture a state title. "We didn't get as many bonus points as I'd like and as many as we're probably used to. There were a few matches that we came up short early on that I thought we could have won, and we beat some people in this last round that I thought we were definitely the underdog."
Parkston has 77 points and has four wrestlers in the semifinal round still vying for individual championships. Philip Area, which was on the Trojans' heels all day, has 62 points. Canton, the defending state champion, is in third with 61. Both teams close behind the Trojans have five wrestlers in the semifinals.
Blake Bietz (113), Weslee Dvorak (145), Mitch Heisinger (152) and Brady Reiff (220) went undefeated to move into the semifinals, which start at 10 a.m. today at the Barnett Center on the Northern State University campus.
All four earned bonus points for the Trojans, getting an abundance of pins and technical falls.
Bietz won both of his matches by technical fall and wrestles Howard's Bailey Neises today in a battle of the top-two wrestlers at the weight class. Bietz has defeated Neises two out of three times this year.
Dvorak had a technical fall and a pin and faces Flandreau's Jace Christiansen, who won the 132-pound title last year. The two have split two head-to-head matches this season.
Heisinger faces Tri-Valley's Zach Schuman today in the semifinals after picking up a technical fall and a decision win. Earlier this year, Heisinger lost to Schuman 8-7 at the Wagner tournament.
"Everyone's contributed so far," Heisinger said of the highlight of the first day. "It's been fun watching that."
Reiff, a sophomore, pinned his opponents in 32 and 37 seconds, moving his record to 42-0. He wrestles Ryley Ostbye, of Canton, in the semifinals.
"Every one of our semifinal matches are tough ones," Digmann said. "We're going to have to come out and wrestle tough if we want a chance at a (team) championship."
Logan Mahoney (106), Dawson Semmler (120), Austin Ripp (132), Myles Bialas (138), Andrew Semmler (195) and Austin Bertram (285) are all still alive in the wrestleback round for Parkston, gunning for a third-place finish. Ethan Murtha (126) and Miles Semmler (170) were knocked out for Parkston.
Wagner is in fourth place with 50 points and has three wrestlers still alive in the championship round. Tyler Dion (138) defeated Howard's Evan Donahue 4-2 in a quarterfinal battle that wasn't decided until the final seconds of the third period.
David Kocer (160) and Trevor Lensing (170) will be wrestling in the semifinals today for the Red Raiders, who took fourth at last year's state tournament.
Winner also has three alive in the championship round and is in fifth place with 41 points. The Warriors' Tate Novotny took second place at state last year at 170 pounds and will wrestle Custer's Clayton Wahlstrom at the same weight class in today's semifinals.
Tyrel Haley (126) and Nolan Donahue (138) are also fighting to get into the championship match today.
"We've been working all year to be in this position," Winner coach Matt Chambers said. "Those kids came out and did what they needed to do."
Bon Homme has three in the semifinals and Howard and Burke/Gregory each have two. McCook Central/Montrose has one still in the championship round.
Bon Homme is in seventh place with 37.5 points and is led by Duncan (106) and Lincoln Stoebner (126). Duncan Stoebner won both of his matches to move to 39-0 on the year, while Lincoln Stoebner will face Haley in the semifinals. Freshman Alex Caba (113) won his first match in two overtimes and went to the quarterfinals, where he picked up a win by fall.
Neises is in the semifinals another year after falling in the 113-pound championship last year. Howard coach Tyler Dahl is anticipating today's semifinal match to be a good one.
"I'm sure it will be exciting like the other three," Dahl said. "It's going to come down to who gets their game going on their feet."
While Neises was wrestling with coach Dahl matside, Howard's Luke Loudenburg (120) was on the adjacent mat, trailing 2-1 early in his quarterfinal match. He came back to win and looks to become a back-to-back state champion after winning the 106-pound title last year.
"That was pretty intense," Dahl said of watching both of his wrestlers compete at the same time next to each other. "Luckily, we came out on top on both of them."
Howard is in 11th place with 33 points, followed by Burke/Gregory in 12th with 31. Burke/Gregory's Kurt Braun (120) and Jonah Beck (160) are both in today's semifinal round.
For McCook Central/Montrose, senior Tad Reiner (195) is still shooting for an individual championship after winning two two-point matches. He won 7-5 in the first round over Matt Schlosser, of Aberdeen Roncalli, and knocked off Bon Homme's Ezra Bartlett 4-2 in the quarterfinals.