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Winner Area's Kaden Keiser closes prep wrestling career with fourth championship

Warriors' senior led Class B in points scored in the tournament

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Winner Area's Kaden Keiser has his hand lifted in celebration following a victory in the Class B 145-pound championship match at the South Dakota State Wrestling Tournament on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022 at the Premier Center in Sioux Falls.
Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic

SIOUX FALLS — Winner Area’s Kaden Keiser met the moment.

Was there ever any doubt?

In the featured match once again at the Class B state tournament on Friday night, Keiser became the 23rd South Dakota wrestler all-time to win four state championships, beating McCook Central/Montrose’s Jackson Remmers by a score of 15-6.

It completes a 54-0 individual season at 145 pounds for Keiser and a weekend for the ages for the Warriors’ senior. On Thursday, he became the state’s all-time career wins leader with 281 victories, which was then increased to 283 on Friday.

Already the first wrestler in Winner’s storied history to win three individual state championships, Keiser upped the bar to No. 4. It was his second consecutive title at 145 pounds after Keiser won championships at 120 and 126 earlier in his career.

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After his victory, there was no jumping into his coaches’ arms or massive celebration. Instead, he raised his hands toward the Winner cheering section and shook hands with Winner Area coaches Spencer Novotny and Jayd Schuyler when he reached his corner after the match. Keiser was named the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler in Class B by the South Dakota Wrestling Coaches Association after a two-day showing that included a total combined score of 64-13 against his opponents, which was the most points of any Class B wrestler in the tournament.

“I just wanted to go out there and just dominate,” Keiser said. “I wanted to score as many points as I could and just do what I do and I went out there and did that.”

Keiser followed his gameplan he’s had all season in the match, working for takedowns and bonus points, plus allowing escapes when appropriate to earn more takedowns.

Remmers, who won the 2021 championship at 132 pounds and finished this season 50-4, was a formidable opponent in the championship, keeping Keiser to a major decision. The MCM sophomore scored six points against Keiser and was one of only two wrestlers to score six or more points against Keiser during the season, including eight in a 21-8 loss on Dec. 31 in Salem in their only other meeting.

Depending on how Saturday’s state dual tournament goes, Keiser could finish up to 57-0.

Keiser said four state championships leaves him with a humble feeling, grateful for his teammates and friends and family for their support and empowering him.

“Winner has a rich tradition in basically every sport. We have athletes there and to break a record, it’s hard to do,” Keiser said.

Related Topics: PREP SPORTSWRESTLING
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 mtraxler@mitchellrepublic.com.
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