Mitchell wrestling humbled at home in dual with ESD foe Aberdeen Central

Kernels stumble in upper weight classes in home team loss

Mitchell's Tucker Vilhauer wrestles Aberdeen Central's Cordell Rychlik in a 152-pound match during a dual on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021 in the Mitchell High School gymnasium. Matt Gade / Mitchell Republic
Matt Gade

MITCHELL -- In the words of Mitchell High School wrestling coach Andy Everson, Aberdeen Central came in and outworked the Kernels to claim a dual contest Thursday afternoon.

And it left MHS’ wrestlers humbled after a 40-33 dual loss in an Eastern South Dakota Conference showdown at the MHS gym.

“We were just out-wrestled. Aberdeen Central came in and they deserved to win. They outworked us from the start,” Mitchell coach Andy Everson said. “We just didn’t perform the way we needed to today.”

Winning five straight matches in the upper weight classes provided the difference for the Golden Eagles, who led 27-6 after that run of matches from the 160-pound weight class to 220.

In two of those matches, Aberdeen pulled out third-period pins that proved to be backbreakers for Mitchell. Dylan Schaunaman won the 160-pound weight class with a pin in the final 30 seconds over Connor Thelen. Samuel Flakus did the same at 220 pounds when he pinned Connor Degen with a few seconds left in the third period after Degen led the match 4-1 going to the final period.


Paired with pins from Ayden Gisi at 170 and a decision for Ryker Meister at 182, Aberdeen led 27-6 nearly midway through the dual, washing out a strong opening match by Mitchell’s Tucker Vilhauer, who had a first-period pin at 152 pounds.

“We just had too many pins and we didn’t wrestle with the urgency we needed,” said Everson, who said there’s been too many duals for Mitchell that have unfolded like Thursday’s in recent years. “We’ve got to be ready to wrestle from the start and that just didn’t happen.”

GALLERY: Mitchell Kernels wrestling hosts Aberdeen Central in a dual
The Kernels got a needed boost in the match from Carson Podhradsky at 285 pounds to stem the Golden Eagles’ tide in the match. Podhradsky, who was competing for the second time this season at the varsity level, was trailing 6-1 late in the second period against Aberdeen Central’s Jacob Krenz before he was able to score a reversal and a last-second period to give Mitchell its second win of the day, and a Spencer Eldeen victory by forfeit at 106 pounds allowed Mitchell to cut to within nine points heading to 113 pounds.

But Mitchell’s momentum didn’t last long. Tate Huff won a 14-9 decision over Cruz Alhizer at 113 pounds, followed by Rayden Zens’ major decision at 120 and Mason Schrempp earning a first-period pin at 126 pounds to seal the dual for the Golden Eagles at 40-18.

The Kernels earned the last three wins of the afternoon. Brock Sparks had a 10-8 decision at 132 pounds for MHS over Brock Martin, with Brandon Sparks and Jagger Tyler winning their matches at 138 and 145 each by pin in the second period. Tyler improved to 12-0 on the year with the win.

Mitchell had a few of its starters out on Thursday, including undefeated senior heavyweight Beau Foote and senior Joe VanOverschelde but Everson said it’s not an excuse for the end result.

“I knew it was going to be a close dual but we should have performed better in those matches at the upper weight classes,” Everson said.

Mitchell is now 7-3 in duals and 1-1 in ESD dual competition. The Kernels will continue a run of home contests on Tuesday, Jan. 4, when they host Harrisburg and Yankton in a pair of home duals, starting at 5 p.m. at MHS.

Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at
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