The State Individual Tournament is Friday and Saturday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Senior Josh Edlund won the Section 8AA 195-pound title Saturday in Fergus Falls to advance to the State Tournament for the third consecutive time. Junior Blake Bergeron finished runner-up Saturday at 160 pounds and also qualified for State for the second time in his career.
The State Individual Tournament is Friday and Saturday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Edlund, ranked No. 3 in the state and 26-4 on the season, begins his state run against senior Michael Blume of Big Lake. Bergeron, 32-8, faces No. 7 Joe Virga, a sophomore from Chisago Lakes Area, in his first match at state.
"It was nice to see someone get to state this year," Pirate head coach Chad Hitchen said. "Josh has gone as a sophomore and again as a junior and placed third. This return trip as a senior and it's his last chance. You have to get it done your senior year or it will be looming over your head. Blake really wanted to go. He was missing it bad last year after going as a freshman. The last two weeks he seemed to kick it into another gear. If you want it, you have to go get it."
In total, the Pirates had seven place in Friday and Saturday's Section 8AA Individual Tournament. Senior Wyatt Hanson came up short of returning to State with a third place finish, while sophomore Cody Weiland and junior Nate Merten also were denied return trips to State, placing fourth.
"Wyatt was a two seed and lost in the semifinals to a kid he beat kid 7-4 earlier in the year," explained Hitchen. "That's probably a match we would love to wrestle over again. He didn't look like the old Wyatt. At section time you have to stick with what got you here.
"Cody's whole bracket was tough," Hitchen said of Weiland. "The one seed to fifth seed are all quality wrestlers. Any one of the five could go and you had the one and two seed not advancing. Cody hadn't lost to Hjelle, but he just had our number.
"Nate was seeded four and got fourth," continued Hitchen. "He hadn't beaten Swegarden or Baker. But he closed the gap and got closer than he had been before. Nate had a good tournament still. There are some quality kids in that weight class."
The other two Pirates to place were first year varsity wrestlers. Seventh grader Colton Weiland finished sixth at 113 pounds, while junior A.J. Biermaier took fifth at 285 pounds.
"Colton, to place sixth as a seventh grader, going against kids with experience was great," said Hitchen. "He's going against upperclassmen and for a seventh grader to get over 20 wins and place sixth is a good accomplishment.
"A.J.'s goal in his first season was to place in sections," Hitchen continued. "In his first year out to win by a pin in his last match and to place is all good stuff and all something to build on. He was pretty pumped up."
Hitchen called the section tournament a bittersweet time.
"The section tournament, in any sport, is kind of a bittersweet ending," he said. "It's sweet for a few and bitter for most. Blake and Josh get another week. I can't believe the season is done already and it's State Tourney time already.
"I don't know what Blake and Josh's expectations are but I assume for Josh, he hasn't said anything, taking third last year, so third or higher. My expectation is to see both of them get on the award stand and have a good state tournament."
106 lbs. - Preston Desrosier - DNP
Josh Bernier (TRF) - L, pin 1:28
Riley Byklum (UCB) - L, 9-2
113 lbs. - Colton Weiland - 6th
Alex Erpelding (S-M) - L, 6-2
Tristen Molden (F-B) - W, pin 2:55
Sam Pirrotta (Perham) - L, pin at 4:41
Spencer Richards (PL) - L, 6-3
120 lbs. - Kyle Caputo - DNP
Jarrett Lange (UCB) - L, TF 16-1
Tyler Giza (FF) - L, pin 3:07
Jacob Swensrud (S-M) - L, 7-4
126 lbs. - Shad Steer - DNP
Noah Bernier (TRF) L, pin 5:14
Evan Guck (Perham) - W, 8-1
Casey Warner (Roseau) L, pin 2:38
132 lbs. - Cody Weiland - 4th
Jarek Ludwick (Roseau) W, pin 1:19
Austin Hjelle (TRF) - L, pin 5:37
Alex Yanish (EGF) - W, 14-11
Ben Baumgartner (PR) L, 6-3
138 lbs. - Nate Merten - 4th
Alex Vanyo (EGF) W, pin 3:24
Ben Marx (F-B) - W, pin 4:43
Zach Baker (DL) - L, 11-2
Jace Loge (PLPRB) - W, 6-1
Mason Swegarden (UCB) - L, 4-0
145 lbs. - Cody Erickson - DNP
Drey Loge (PLPRB) - L, pin 1:29
Tyler Pogreba (S-M) - L, 6-3
152 lbs. - Wyatt Hanson - 3rd
Austin Bendson (S-M) - W, pin 2:17
Alexi Bode (F-B) - W, 5-1
Dane Ringquist (FF) - L, 5-3 OT
Jonah Lange (UCB) - W, 5-0
Jarett Nosal (DL) - W, 6-4
160 lbs. - Blake Bergeron - 2nd
Kevin Carr (FF) - W, pin 1:12
Wyatt LaFriniere (F-B) - W, pin 1:32
Holden Nelson (TRF) - L, 9-1
Cole Schmitz (Perham) W, pin 3:18
170 lbs. - Luke Edlund - DNP
Eli Deziel (EGF) - L, 9-2
Dillon Nichols (PLPRB) - W, 7-3
Brandon Dahring (DL) - L, 9-2
182 lbs. - Isaac Morales - DNP
Justin Mackenthun (PLPRB) - L, pin :52
Tyran Jones (TRF) - L, pin 1:27
195 lbs. - Josh Edlund - 1st
Jesse Klatt (Perham) - W, pin :38
Mat Pepper (UCB) - W, 5-3
220 lbs. - Miguel Hernandez - DNP
Tommy Weaver (FF) - L, pin 1:52
Brandon Thompson (EGF) - L, 15-8
285 lbs. - A.J. Biermaier - 5th
Luke Juve (F-B) - L, pin 5:04
Taylor Tenner (FF) - W, pin 1:33
James Huwe (DL) - L, pin 2:38
Chris Baxter (PR) - W, pin 1:05