Athlete of the Week: Loudenburg claims Floyd Farrand titleHOWARD — Howard freshman 106-pounder Luke Loudenburg went to the Floyd Farrand tournament in Sioux Falls undefeated.
By: Justin Rust, The Daily Republic
HOWARD — Howard freshman 106-pounder Luke Loudenburg went to the Floyd Farrand tournament in Sioux Falls undefeated.
If Loudenburg was going to make it to the finals and win the championship, he would have to face the toughest competition he had seen all year.
When the wrestling tournament concluded on Friday, Loudenburg was still undefeated.
Loudenburg beat Sioux Falls Washington’s David Potratz 4-1 in the championship round to win the 106-pound weight class at the Floyd Farrand.
“There were a couple of good kids there, and I figured I would have to wrestle one of them in the finals,” Loudenburg said. “I was definitely hoping to win it, but I knew I would have to wrestle my best to beat some of the best kids.”
Loudenburg, who finished second at 103 pounds at the Class B state tournament last year, wrestled one of the best 106-pounders in the state, too. Potratz finished in third place at the Class B state tournament last year.
But Loudenburg controlled the championship match with Potratz, who scored his lone point on an escape late in the third period.
“Potratz really ended up being a good match,” Loudenburg said. “I knew I wasn’t going to pull away from him like I had some other kids in other matches.
“I just tried to control the match as long as I could.”
For his effort, Loudenburg has been named The Daily Republic’s athlete of the week, an award voted on by the newspaper’s sports staff.
Loudenburg knew the Floyd Farrand tournament would be a tough one, and winning it just gives him more confidence
“Our coach told us that this tournament is a way to see where we rank in the state,” Loudenburg said. “He said we are going to wrestle some of the best kids in the state, so we will figure out where we are at.
“I am pretty high on confidence being undefeated and winning the Floyd (Farrand).”
After winning the championship at the Floyd Farrand, Loudenburg’s record on the season improved to 17-0.
“I was hoping to go undefeated as long as I could,” he said. “I have had to wrestle a few good kids in (Class) B, and I was hoping to get through them, and I did.”
Even though Loudenburg is undefeated, he is still motivated by one thing — winning a state championship.
Loudenburg came close to winning the 103-pound title last year, and he is constantly reminded what position he finished in.
“We have all of the state placings on the wall, and I will look up at the placing charts and see I finished second last year,” he said. “I hope to finish better than that, and there is only one spot better.”
Loudenburg said he spent a lot of time in the weight room, and he is seeing the dividends from working out so much.
“Last year, I wasn’t as strong,” he said. “I lifted all summer and got faster. Last year I wasn’t finishing my shots, and this year I am doing a lot better. I think I have gotten a lot better.”
Despite the undefeated record, Loudenburg is just hoping for one thing at the end of the year.
“It matters how I am at the end of the year,” he said. “My goal is to win the state title this year. If I don’t win that, I will just have to work harder in the offseason.”