Max wins 195-pound title for Kernels
SIOUX FALLS—Roughly three weeks ago, a doctor told Carson Max he shouldn't be wrestling with his shoulder injury.
After debating with head coach Travis Carpenter whether to continue his season, Max settled on not letting the pain hold him back. And on Saturday, the junior was rewarded by winning the Class A 195-pound state championship, defeating Sioux Falls' Roosevelt's Joey Otta by a 6-4 decision at the Premier Center in Sioux Falls.
"I didn't practice much during the week at all," Max said. "Thank God for adrenaline. Adrenaline helped get me through and sometimes when you want things bad enough, you don't feel much pain at all."
After finished in third place as a sophomore, Max noted he was motivated to get past this year's semifinals and reach the championship. He defeated Huron's Gabriel Rieger in the semis 9-3.
"It was a big grind," Max said about the state tournament. "It wasn't using my physicality as much. Instead, it was getting what I needed to get to and hang around from there."
Along with Max, senior Briggs Havlik overcame a nose injury, which forced him to wear a guard mask throughout the tournament, and took second place at 160. Havlik dropped a tightly contested match to Aberdeen Central's Collin Haar 5-1 in overtime.
"Both Max and Havlik were wrestling with things kids don't wrestle with," Carpenter said. "I can't be more proud of those two kids."
Havlik, who finished his senior season with a record of 38-4, thanked all the support he'd receiving from the community of Mitchell during his wrestling career.
"It was a great battle throughout the whole year, but it was just (Haar's) day," Havlik said. "Mitchell wrestling has been special and I'm going to miss all these wrestlers."
At 120 pounds, Kyler Bauder finished in fifth place, edging Rapid City Stevens' Logen Fischer by a 3-2 decision. In the consolation semifinal, Bauder fell to Chamberlain's Collin Powell 7-3. Powell went on to place third.
"Kyler just battled and he started climbing the ladder," Carpenter said.
With three placewinners on Saturday, the Kernels finished in 12th place with 62 place. Pierre won its fourth straight title with 159 points, outlasting Rapid City Stevens' 157.5 points. Chamberlain took 10th with 81 points.
Donovan wins 113 title for Cubs
At the start of the season, Chamberlain's Max Donovan wrote down his goal for the season was to win a state championship.
After placing eight as a sophomore, Donovan accomplished just that. By outlasting Douglas' William George 3-1 in overtime, Donovan claimed the 113-pound title and finished the season at 45-4.
"When he took shots, I made sure I had my hips back," Donovan said. "I just told myself I could do it. I've wrestled a 1-0 match once before this season so I thought it could happen again."
Both Donovan and George earned espace points to tie the match at 1. In overtime, Donvoan's patience paid off as he slipped around George the match-winning move.
"Max just kept grinding and Max is known for his cardio," Chamberlain assistant coach Jeff Steckelburg said. "It paid off in overtime."
Chamberlain head coach John Donovan, Max's father, started not sitting in the corner for Max's matches midway through last season. John said it helped Max focus a little more on the mat and allowed for him to be more of a dad and fan during his matches.
"I've always believed, but for him to believe and win it was amazing," John said. "I have some great assistant coaches that he believes in. It was great to see him accomplish his goal."
Also placing for the Cubs was Collin Powell (120), who took third place with a 6-5 decision over Yankton's Giovanni Ruffo. Gabe Skustad (106) finished in seventh place with a 4-3 win over Nolan Archer.