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Mitchell's Jagger Tyler wins state wrestling title at 145 pounds

Tyler pinned Spearfish’s Oakley Blakeman at the 5:06 mark to claim his 37th and most important win of the season.

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Mitchell's Jagger Tyler wrestles in the Class A 145-pound state championship match on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, in Sioux Falls.
Luke Hagen / Republic
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SIOUX FALLS -- Settle in, stay calm and win a state title.

Mitchell junior Jagger Tyler worked a third-period takedown directly into a pinning combination.

Even after the referee declared the match over with a whistle and a pin, Tyler stayed calm and enjoyed the cheers.

Class A state champion at 145 pounds. Just a bit of a smile.

Tyler pinned Spearfish’s Oakley Blakeman at the 5:06 mark to claim his 37th and most important win of the season. Earlier Friday in Sioux Falls, Tyler defeated Connor Eimers, of Tea Area, in the semifinals 7-5, to avenge one of his two losses on the season. He said the loss to Eimers during the regular season focused him on the stretch run.

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“I’m really pleased with my season and hoping to do it again next year,” said Tyler, whose other loss this season came against Winner’s undefeated Kaden Keiser.

Mitchell coach Andy Everson said Tyler's confidence was boosted this year compared to a year ago.

"This year he didn't flinch," Everson said. "What we kept telling him all week was foot on the gas, no breaks, all offense. He did just that. We're super proud of him, and a well-deserved title."

Tyler, who gave up a first period takedown in the championship match, took seventh at state as a sophomore at 126 pounds. He gained momentum in the second period, when he was trailing by a takedown. He worked an escape and a single-leg to go up 3-2 after four minutes.

“I got rode out for most of that first period, but I knew I still wanted to go down because I knew I could get away,” Tyler said. “I knew I had to keep my head up after that first period.”

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Mitchell's Jagger Tyler shares a moment with coach Andy Everson after winning the Class A 145-pound state championship Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, in Sioux Falls.
Luke Hagen / Mitchell Republic

Blakeman, the top-seeded 145-pounder headed into the state tournament, tied the match at 3 early on in the third, but Tyler, seeded third, wrapped up his season with a pin.

“He got in on a nice, deep shot,” Tyler said. “I know I’m comfortable in situations like that. In an uncomfortable spot, I knew I could make it comfortable. I just took advantage of my length.”

After the pin, he enjoyed a long hug with his coach, acknowledged the Mitchell fanbase and met up with his old friends from Wagner.

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Tyler's family and other Mitchell fans cheer his victory on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, in Sioux Falls.
Luke Hagen / Mitchell Republic

He was Mitchell's lone state champion this year.

“I grew up in Wagner and moved to Mitchell last year, so to have so much support after every match has really helped me out,” Tyler said.

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Mitchell's Jagger Tyler shares a moment with the school's head athletic trainer Clayton Gropper on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, in Sioux Falls.
Luke Hagen / Mitchell Republic

Luke Hagen was promoted to editor of the Mitchell Republic in 2014. He has worked for the newspaper since 2008 and has covered sports, outdoors, education, features and breaking news. He can be reached at lhagen@mitchellrepublic.com.
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