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Sixteen area kids to wrestle at AAU National Duals

Sixteen Mitchell area middle school wrestlers and five coaches will get the chance to flex their muscles against the nation’s best at the Lee Pamulak Middle School National Duals Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa.

The duals are an AAU wrestling competition, which features teams from across the country, including Ohio, Iowa and Pennsylvania.

The South Dakota Wrestling Coaches Association AAU Middle School Duals team has two squads going to the tournament. One team is made up of sixth-graders and the other of seventh- and eighth-graders, or junior high school kids.

There are five teams in the sixth-grade competition and 36 teams in the junior high competition.

The junior high school squad will be split into two teams — South Dakota Blue and South Dakota Red. Wrestle offs were conducted Thursday to determine which wrestlers would make each team.

Wrestlers who go undefeated will be given gold medals, while those who finish with one loss earn silver medals. The top eight teams also earn awards.

“It is a big honor for the kids to wrestle at this tournament,” said Scot Andal, who is one of the team’s coaches and head wrestling coach at McCook Central/Montrose.

“To be on the team is a big honor for these kids. They are going to wrestle some of the top teams in the country.”

Andal said any wrestler who competed on the team last year was allowed back this year. The rest of the team was comprised of wrestlers who sent in applications and were chosen by the coaches.

There are teams from Pierre and Rapid City that will compete at the national duals.

“Our team is kids from all across South Dakota,” Andal said. “We are spread out pretty far. We have kids from Brookings, we have kids from Sturgis and we have kids from the Mitchell area.”

Here is a list of area kids competing:

SD sixth-grade team: James Muirhead, Presho: Lance Soukup, Wagner; Daniel Cremer, Marion; Parker Scheier, Salem; Blake Giessner, Salem; Hunter Pranger, Mount Vernon.

SD seventh- and eighth-grade team: Max Donovan, Chamberlain; Ty Namanny, Kimball; Paul Lauck, Salem; Dalton Bodewitz, Freeman; Jackson Nockels, Kimball; Mitchell Kramer, Howard; Tanner Peterson, Salem; Aidyn Feldhaus, Howard; Evan Kizer, Howard; HWT Nash Hutmacher Chamberlain.

Area Coaches: Mark Stoebner, Bon Homme/Scotland; Scot Andal, McCook Central/Montrose; Chris Sayler, Marion/Freeman; Tim Pranger, Mount Vernon/Plankinton/Corsica; John Donovan, Chamberlain.