The 2016-17 season was completed for the NRHEG wrestling team Saturday, Feb. 25 with the Section 2A Individual Tournament at Blue Earth.
As far as coach Shawn Larson was concerned, it ended a week early.
The young Panthers did not have a wrestler qualify for the state tournament, a rarity at NRHEG.
“It is unfortunate that the season came to an end for us without an individual qualifier for the state tournament, but we did have some good individual efforts,” said Larson.
The best effort was from junior Cole Staloch, who came home with third place at 152 pounds, missing state by one place.
“Cole wrestled a good tournament,” said Larson. “He lost his first match and then proceeded to win three matches in a row to get back to third place. On the way he pinned the wrestler who had beaten him in the first round. Cole's season ended with a chance to qualify for state as he wrestled in a true second match against Zach Buseman of BEA. Cole lost 3-0 but wrestled a decent match. Buseman is a multiple-time state entrant, so the task was daunting, and Cole did all that he could do.”
Two NRHEG wrestlers finished fifth, Andrew Bailey at 113 and Quinten Arndt at 285. Placing sixth were Austin Hill at 120 and Agro Gushwa at 138.
“Andrew Bailey, Austin Hill, Agro Gushwa, and Quinten Arndt were all unseeded entering the tournament and finished with a medal,” said Larson. “Each one of these guys wrestled well and showed a lot of heart. In fact, Austin and Quinten each avenged a loss from earlier in the season, which shows the improvement we have been hoping for.”
The Panthers, with no seniors on the roster, had their struggles against top-notch competition throughout the season, but according to Larson they peaked at the right time and he’s already looking forward to next year.
“I am proud of all of our guys this season and how they handled adversity,” said Larson. “I am hoping that they continue working in the offseason to get us back to the competitive way we have been in recent years.”
The state tournament is today through Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Section 2A Individual Tournament
1. (106 lbs.) Andrew Reich of NRHEG pinned Jordan Grinde of LeSueur-Henderson in 1 minute and 04 seconds.
2. (106 lbs.) Blake Legred of USC pinned Andrew Reich of NRHEG in 1 minute and 15 seconds.
3. (106 lbs.) Johnny Meyer of Medford pinned Andrew Reich of NRHEG in 1 minute and 44 seconds.
4. (113 lbs.) Keon Naranjo of LeSueur-Henderson pinned Andrew Bailey of NRHEG in 17 seconds.
5. (113 lbs.) Max Ehrich of Blue Earth Area pinned Andrew Bailey of NRHEG in 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
6. (113 lbs.) Andrew Bailey of NRHEG beat Jack Klinder of St. Clair 9-2 (Decision).
7. (120 lbs.) Riley Schultz of Westfield pinned Austin Hill of NRHEG in 39 seconds.
8. (120 lbs.) Austin Hill of NRHEG pinned Christian Tupa of Medford in 2 minutes and 54 seconds.
9. (120 lbs.) Reise Hanson of Maple River pinned Austin Hill of NRHEG in 2 minutes and 17 seconds.
10. (120 lbs.) Brennen Magers of LCWM pinned Austin Hill of NRHEG in 1 minute and 28 seconds.
11. (126 lbs.) Jesse Kaelberer of LeSueur-Henderson beat Brett Kubiatowicz of NRHEG 6-0 (Decision).
12. (126 lbs.) Koby Nagel of Blue Earth Area pinned Brett Kubiatowicz of NRHEG in 3 minutes and 17 seconds.
13. (132 lbs.) Wyatt Simon of Maple River pinned Thor Routh of NRHEG in 50 seconds.
14. (132 lbs.) Quentin Kubista of Westfield pinned Thor Routh of NRHEG in 1 minute and 29 seconds.
15. (138 lbs.) Willie Von Ruden of Medford pinned Agro Gushwa of NRHEG in 48 seconds.
16. (138 lbs.) Agro Gushwa of NRHEG pinned Joey Meyer of Westfield in 2 minutes and 16 seconds.
17. (138 lbs.) Dylan Pauly of LeSueur-Henderson pinned Agro Gushwa of NRHEG in 4 minutes and 13 seconds.
18. (138 lbs.) Jaxon Klinkner of Blue Earth Area beat Agro Gushwa of NRHEG 19-10 (Major Decision).
19. (145 lbs.) Nathan Bauer of Kenyon-Wanamingo pinned Tyler Jacobson of NRHEG in 1 minute and 40 seconds.
20. (145 lbs.) Jordan Sullivan of Westfield pinned Tyler Jacobson of NRHEG in 43 seconds.
21. (152 lbs.) Trevor Block of LeSueur-Henderson beat Cole Staloch of NRHEG 3-2 (Decision).
22. (152 lbs.) Cole Staloch of NRHEG beat Nick Masso of Medford 5-2 (Decision).
23. (152 lbs.) Cole Staloch of NRHEG pinned Jared Moore of Maple River in 51 seconds.
24. (152 lbs.) Cole Staloch of NRHEG pinned Trevor Block of LeSueur-Henderson in 1 minute and 14 seconds.
25. (152 lbs.) Zach Buseman of Blue Earth Area beat Cole Staloch of NRHEG 3-0 (Decision).
26. (195 lbs.) Jared Armon of Blue Earth Area pinned Alex Buckmeier of NRHEG in 1 minute and 25 seconds.
27. (195 lbs.) Logan Zieglar of Maple River beat Alex Buckmeier of NRHEG 4-2 (Decision).
28. (285 lbs.) Trevor Oppadal of Blue Earth Area pinned Quinten Arndt of NRHEG in 2 minutes and 28 seconds.
29. (285 lbs.) Quinten Arndt of NRHEG beat Mitchell Borwege of Medford 3-0 (Decision).
30. (285 lbs.) Connor Thorn of Maple River pinned Quinten Arndt of NRHEG in 2 minutes and 06 seconds.
31. (285 lbs.) Quinten Arndt of NRHEG pinned Ethan Morales of USC in 2 minutes and 33 seconds.