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Crouching on all fours on the corner of the mat during every match, Wagner head coach Ernie Valentine led his team to its second consecutive Class B state title Saturday. Last season, Wagner dominated its way to the Class B title, winning by more than 50 points. Saturday was a different story, as the Red Raiders edged Redfield by one-half point. Now, the team, Robert Kokesh and Alex Kocer have all completed two-thirds of the "Trifecta" -- the feat of winning three consecutive state titles.
HOWARD -- Howard's Francis Ruml made a promise to his coach after losing a match in late January. That promise was kept Saturday at the Class B state wrestling tournament in Aberdeen when Ruml's hand was raised in possibly his last match, winning the 145-pound state championship. After losing only his second match of the year at a tournament in Parkston on Jan.
ABERDEEN -- It was the biggest match of the night, and Wagner head coach Ernie Valentine was nowhere to be found. The Red Raiders held a 4.5-point lead over Redfield with one match left in the tournament, and Redfield's defending state heavyweight champion Randall Waldner needed to get at least a major decision over Philip Area's Mick Trask to deny Wagner of back-to-back state championships. Neither of Wagner's assistant coaches knew where Valentine was hiding, and 160-pound state champion Robert Kokesh was just as puzzled. "I was where I wanted to be, and where I needed to be," Valentine s
ABERDEEN -- First, Howard's Francis Ruml leapt into his coach's arms, and then Bradyn Neises followed.
ABERDEEN -- Hold on Class B wrestling fans, districts might not be gone yet. Next season was scheduled to be the first year in Class B without the district tournament after a 43-2 athletic director's vote last March and the South Dakota High School Activities Association board approval of the measure. But, at a coaches meeting held Friday at the Class B state wrestling tournament, 32 head coaches from around the state voted nearly unanimously to keep districts because of new information presented.
ABERDEEN -- After advancing all eight of its wrestlers past the first round -- getting seven pins in the process -- the Wagner wrestling team moved five of eight into the semifinals, while sitting in second place after the first day of the Class B state wrestling tournament Friday in Aberdeen. "That was a nice first round, and we've traditionally had a good first round," Wagner head coach Ernie Valentine said.
ABERDEEN -- After the first round of the Class B state wrestling tournament, the defending champion Wagner Red Raiders are in first place by one point over Redfield. Wagner had all eight of its qualifiers advance to the quarterfinals, and while doing so, the team racked up 28 points. Getting pins for Wagner was Alex Kocer (119), Derek Dickerson (125), Mitch Breen (135), Robert Kokesh (160), Steven Holzbauer (171) and Mavrick Hill (215). The only Red Raider not to pin his opponent was Dackery Gieman at 130 pounds, who won 9-6. Bon Homme is sitting in third place with 22 team points.
Mitchell's 171-pound Jordan Reiner is perfect. At least his record is. Every time Reiner has stepped on the mat this season, his hand has been raised following the completion of the match. A perfect 27-0. Reiner leads the Kernels into the Class A state wrestling tournament today at the Civic Arena in Watertown. The junior, who took third place last season at 145 pounds, has been ranked No. 1 for the entire season at his weight class and is shooting for a state title. "I think it's extremely important to him to get to that championship match," Kernels' head coach Travis Carpenter said.
Anchoring the Tigers all season, Dan Noonan, Bradyn Neises and Francis Ruml lead the Howard wrestling team into the Class B state tournament that starts today in Aberdeen at the Barnett Center on the Northern State University campus. The Tigers are sending a total of 10 wrestlers to the state tournament, which, along with Burke/Gregory, is the third-most of any team represented at the tournament.
Wrestling is the most individual team sport there ever was and ever will be. When a kid steps on the mat during a team dual, he knows his match can easily sway the entire outcome of the team score by avoiding a pin or working for the major instead of a decision. So why is the state wrestling team title won by the most successful individuals at the state tournament?