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Pirates put 'little things' together to earn two wins on Senior Night

Jacob Shames
Crookston Times

Eleven matches in, the Crookston wrestling team's dual with Moorhead could have gone either way. So could Cade DeLeon's match with Ashton Larry.

DeLeon and Larry had scrapped for six minutes without a winner at 182 pounds. DeLeon had hit Larry with a well-executed ankle pick, but it came just a tick after the buzzer. With the Pirates leading the Spuds 30-23, the sudden-death overtime period was set up to be a turning point one way or another.

And DeLeon rose to the occasion. Just 11 seconds into the period, the junior made a "beautiful" move, in the words of Crookston coach Wes Hanson, to pin Larry to the canvas. The Pirates' sideline jumped and roared for DeLeon's first pin of the season, which put them right on the brink of winning.

"That was just a culmination of a lot of little things coming together for Cade DeLeon," Hanson said. "He's continually improving. He's holding position, he's doing a lot of little things right, and he did those for the entirety of the match. That's something he's struggled with, being able to wrestle a complete match."

Crookston ultimately closed out a 44-26 win over Moorhead, and beat Fosston/Bagley, 48-27, in the final match of Thursday night's home triangular. DeLeon's bout encapsulated everything it took for the Pirates to earn that sweep.

Hunter Kresl nears a pin of Moorhead's Jack Greelis.

It was the "little things," according to Hanson. Not getting too high in the top position. Being solid in the neutral position, controlling ties, moving opponents around the mat. Wrestling smart, too, as in knowing when to go for an attack to try and pick up points, and knowing when to simply hold onto the lead.

Being a large Class AAA school, Moorhead isn't a regular opponent for Crookston (16-6), and Hanson thought it was big for his team to get the chance to take them on. The Pirates made the most of it.

"Just the style of wrestling and the little things that we're doing are piecing together," Hanson said. "It's fun to see."

Crookston's lineup saw a few changes. Senior Zach Brown, who normally wrestles at 132 pounds, switched with sophomore Ethan Bowman at 126. Cameron Weiland (Sr.) and Braxton Volker (So.) made a similar switch, with Weiland at 138 and Volker at 145.

The reason behind these switches was an individual one, as each wrestler has to get weigh-ins at the class they want to compete in for the postseason. While Hanson's confident that Bowman will return to his normal weight class eventually, it's all about keeping options open with the postseason a few weeks away.

"We're just making sure we have guys in the best location for them and for the team," Hanson said.

Ethan Bowman competed at 132 pounds for the first time this season, winning both of his matches Thursday.

That was the case on Thursday, at least. Brown beat Evan Fankhanel, a ranked opponent, by 6-3 decision. Bowman dropped Will Borud in 40 seconds, giving Crookston an 18-6 advantage. 

Moorhead mounted a comeback, with two falls and a technical fall over a five-match span, but it essentially ended with DeLeon's victory. Ethan Boll (So.) scored a major decision over Jackson Gotta at 195 pounds, making it a mathematical impossibility. Hunter Kresl (So.) then won a 9-0 major decision over Jack Greelis at 220 pounds for an exclamation point.

That brought up Fosston/Bagley, which eliminated Crookston from last year's Section 8A team playoffs with a 36-34 win.

"We've had a lot of really good duals with Fosston/Bagley, and we knew coming in we had to be at our best if we wanted to come away with a victory," Hanson said. "It was good to see a section team, and there was a lot of really good matchups throughout that dual."

The Pirates are used to getting out to big leads with their lower weights, but the Brawlers said otherwise. Aiden Wolfe gave them a 9-0 lead by beating Nolan Dans at 113 pounds, and after Carter Coauette (So.), Brown and Bowman won their matches, Keegan Senger pinned Weiland to tie it at 15.

Crookston's middle weights carried it through this time, with Volker pinning Mason Erickson at 145 pounds, Spencer Ness (Fr.) winning his second match of the evening at 152 pounds, and Hunter Knutson scoring a fall over Jayce Thompson at 160.

Braxton Volker pinned Moorhead's Ian Mohler at 145 pounds in just 39 seconds.

Carter Sorenson and Dane Schoenborn, both of whom are ranked for Fosston/Bagley, won their matches at 170 and 182 pounds, but that was it for the Brawlers. Boll and Greg Gonzalez (Sr.) picked up first-period pins at 220 and 285 pounds, respectively.

"That was some of the best wrestling we've put together this year as a team," Hanson said. "Just proud of our guys for their progress."

Thursday night was Senior Night at CHS. Before the match against Moorhead, Brown, Dans, Weiland, Gonzalez and Cade Coauette were recognized for their contributions to Crookston wrestling.

"They're all just great young men and they're having success on the mat and they've been an absolute blast to coach through the years," Hanson said. "I'm very fortunate and thankful to be their coach, and proud of all their accomplishments."

UP NEXT: The Pirates travel to Wadena Friday for a triangular against Wadena-Deer Creek and Staples-Motley. 

Greg Gonzalez wrestles Moorhead's Jaydon Coley.

CROOKSTON 44, MOORHEAD 26

  • 106 pounds: Dane Ellingsberg (Moorhead) win by forfeit
  • 113 pounds: Nolan Dans (Crookston) over Nicholai Smith (fall 2:47)
  • 120 pounds: Carter Coauette (Crookston) over Lee Ellingsberg (dec. 12-7)
  • 126 pounds: Zach Brown (Crookston) over Evan Fankhanel (dec. 6-3)
  • 132 pounds: Ethan Bowman (Crookston) over Will Borud (fall 0:40)
  • 138 pounds: Arzheen Shahin (Moorhead) over Cameron Weiland (tech. fall 5:59)
  • 145 pounds: Braxton Volker (Crookston) over Ian Mohler (fall 0:39)
  • 152 pounds: Spencer Ness (Crookston) over Jack Olstad (fall 2:47)
  • 160 pounds: Haakon Peterson (Moorhead) over Cade Coauette (fall 1:37)
  • 170 pounds: Jack Newcomb (Moorhead) over Hunter Knutson (fall 1:52)
  • 182 pounds: Cade DeLeon (Crookston) over Ashton Larry (fall 6:11 OT)
  • 195 pounds: Ethan Boll (Crookston) over Jackson Gotta (major dec. 11-3)
  • 220 pounds: Hunter Kresl (Crookston) over Jack Greelis (major dec. 9-0)
  • 285 pounds: Jaydon Coley (Moorhead) over Greg Gonzalez (dec. 4-0)

CROOKSTON 48, FOSSTON/BAGLEY 27

  • 106 pounds: Noa Halberg (Fosston/Bagley) win by forfeit
  • 113 pounds: Aiden Wolfe (Fosston/Bagley) over Nolan Dans (dec. 7-4)
  • 120 pounds: Carter Coauette (Crookston) win by forfeit
  • 126 pounds: Zach Brown (Crookston) over Alex Johnson (fall 1:23)
  • 132 pounds: Ethan Bowman (Crookston) over Zach Thompson (dec. 11-4)
  • 138 pounds: Keegan Senger (Fosston/Bagley) over Cameron Weiland (fall 3:56)
  • 145 pounds: Braxton Volker (Crookston) over Mason Erickson (fall 1:13)
  • 152 pounds: Spencer Ness (Crookston) over Kaden Sanford (dec. 4-3)
  • 160 pounds: Hunter Knutson (Crookston) over Jayce Thompson (fall 2:22)
  • 170 pounds: Carter Sorenson (Fosston/Bagley) over Cade Coauette (fall 1:09)
  • 182 pounds: Dane Schoenborn (Fosston/Bagley) over Cade DeLeon (fall 0:27)
  • 195 pounds: Layten Fuentes (Crookston) win by forfeit
  • 220 pounds: Ethan Boll (Crookston) over Jessie Beckman (fall 1:25)
  • 285 pounds: Greg Gonzalez (Crookston) over Alex Hagen (fall 1:27)

The Times welcomes your feedback. You can send any comments or questions to our office at (218) 281-2730 or sports editor Jacob Shames at jshames@crookstontimes.com.

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