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No. 5AA Chase Curtis will represent Perham at the state wrestling tournament after taking the 120-pound championship at Saturday's Section 8AA finals. Robert Williams/FOCUS

Curtis, Nelson crowned 8AA wrestling champions

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PERHAM — Underclassmen Ben Nelson and No. 5AA Chase Curtis were crowned Section 8AA wrestling champions as part of a group of five Yellowjackets making a trip to next weekend’s state wrestling tournament.

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Sam Pirrotta, Cole Schmitz and William Parks earned a trip to St. Paul with second place finishes.

Nelson, a freshman, swept three matches to gain the 113-pound title controlling the final match leading 2-0 into the third period. He built a 4-0 lead and defeated Detroit Lakes’ Payton Jackson 4-1.

“Ben has quietly put together a great season,” Head Coach Robb Moser said. “ He lost the whole season last year and you could really see that in the beginning of the season. He has really worked hard to get where he is at.  Ben is one of most reliable guys in the room. He has really learned how to wrestle well with his length and leverage — he is so hard to score points on. What a great season for him as a ninth grader. We have not had many ninth graders be section champs.”

Curtis, a sophomore, was awarded his first state ranking of the season at 120 pounds the day of the tournament on Friday and backed up the accolade cruising to the finals with a 17-0 shutout technical fall and pin in the quarters and semifinals.

In his final match, Curtis built a 5-1 lead over Thief River Falls’ Josh Bernier and managed the third period for a convincing 7-2 victory.

“Chase had his best tournament of the season on Friday and Saturday,” said Moser. “He probably has not been as consistent as he would have liked to be this season.  I thought Friday and Saturday he was dialed in for every match.  His style is not super flashy.  He physically wears guys out and controls them. It is good to see Chase peaking at this time of the year. I think the tough schedule during the season really helped prepare him for a run at the end of the year.”

Pirrotta, a senior, had a shot at making it three consecutive title for Perham but fell to No. 6AA Stephen Holecek of Thief River Falls 7-0 in the finals. The duo had faced off in Perham’s win at Thief River Falls in early December with Holecek taking the match 7-5.

Pirrotta earned his trip to St. Paul taking runner-up honors with a 9-5 decision over Ben Schindler of Fergus Falls.

Junior Cole Schmitz and United Clay Becker’s Jonah Lange needed overtime to decide the 170-pound finals. Schmitz trailed 4-2 late in the match, tied the score on a takedown and let Lange loose with an escape going for the win. Lange was penalized a point for stalling in the waning seconds to send the match to an extra minute. After missing on a leg shoot, Schmitz was taken down by Lange for the 7-5 victory.

Schmitz rallied in the second place match defeating Eli Deziel, of East Grand Forks/Sacred Heart, 3-,1 in another overtime match.

Parks will make his second straight trip to the state individual tournament after locking down second place at 182.

Parks ran into Pequot Lakes/Pine River Backus’ Justin Mackenthun in the finals. Mackenthun defeated Parks 5-3 in a late January meeting and followed that up with a 5-0 shutout decision in Saturday’s finals. Mackenthun controlled the match frustrating Parks, not allowing the Perham junior to get any offense going.

Detroit Lakes will send the most individuals to Xcel Energy Center with six wrestlers. DL won three titles, Parker Jackson (152), Kirby Siewert (220) and James Huwe (285), along with three runners-up.

Siewert had the most exciting final Saturday winning his match with less than one second on the clock scoring a very late takedown of Thief River Falls’ Tyshaun Brown for a 3-1 victory. Siewert was slippery and seemed to escape trouble multiple times before getting to the right leg of Brown and sending him to the mat as the referee’s scoring “two” just nipped the final horn that would have sent the match to extra time.

No. 4AA Huwe used an escape point to take out No. 5AA PLPRB’s Jared Adkins 1-0 at heavyweight.

No. 5AA Jackson makes his second consecutive trip to state. Jackson scored a takedown with 2.1 seconds remaining in the first period over Albany’s Carter Holthaus and that was all the points the Laker junior would need in a 3-1 finals victory.

Perham and Thief River Falls both will send five wrestlers to state. Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus will send three; Sauk Centre/Melrose, Albany, United Clay Becker, Fergus Falls will all send two. Fosston-Bagley will have one representative.

Other intriguing Saturday matchups were No. 4AA Fergus Falls Abram Aho (195) who bloodied and punished SCM’s Arturo Stefanoni in the finals for a 10-4 victory. Stefanoni also advanced to St. Paul and earned his trip in the loss to Aho, who looked very impressive in victory.

The 138-pound title match between Nick Mergen of Albany and Austin Hjelle of Thief River Falls was the most active on the mat with both wrestlers flying around. Mergen won 5-1 but both wrestlers advanced after Hjelle took true second.

United Clay Becker’s multi-sport star Mason Swegarden won the 145-pound title and was also awarded the Section 8AA $500 scholarship that was handed out at the tournament. Swegarden was selected by criteria set by the coaches in the section out of list of deserving candidates.

The Minnesota Class AA state tournament begins Thursday, Feb. 27 with the team competition leading to Friday and Saturday’s individual tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Section 8AA Individual Wrestling Championships

106 Results

1st Place – Anthony Phillipson of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus

2nd Place – Braydon Ortloff of Detroit Lakes

3rd Place – Antonio Ortiz of Sauk Centre-Melrose

4th Place – Dylan Fudge of Perham

5th Place – Lucas Womack of Albany

6th Place – Marc Hendricks of Ottertail Central

8th Place – Cade Lundeen of Thief River Falls

8th Place – Riley Eidsmoe of Roseau

1st: Anthony Phillipson (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) 30-2, Sr. over Antonio Ortiz (Sauk Centre-Melrose) 24-11, Fr. (M. For.).

2nd: Braydon Ortloff (Detroit Lakes) 25-14, 8th. over Antonio Ortiz (Sauk Centre-Melrose) 24-11, Fr. (M. For.).

3rd: Braydon Ortloff (Detroit Lakes) 25-14, 8th. over Dylan Fudge (Perham) 24-16, 7th. (Fall 3:38).

5th: Lucas Womack (Albany) 27-11, So. over Marc Hendricks (Ottertail Central) 11-18, 8th. (Fall 1:37).

113 Results

1st Place – Ben Nelson of Perham

2nd Place – Payton Jackson of Detroit Lakes

3rd Place – Brett Dale of Roseau

4th Place – Marcus Mergen of Albany

5th Place – Riley Byklum of United Clay Becker

6th Place – Jordan Winter of Sauk Centre-Melrose

8th Place – Cody Sele of Thief River Falls

8th Place – Zach Ziegler of East Grand Forks/Sacred Heart

1st: Ben Nelson (Perham) 26-13, Fr. over Payton Jackson (Detroit Lakes) 21-15, 8th. (Dec 4-1).

2nd: Payton Jackson (Detroit Lakes) 21-15, 8th. over Brett Dale (Roseau) 17-16, Fr. (Dec 8-4).

3rd: Brett Dale (Roseau) 17-16, Fr. over Marcus Mergen (Albany) 19-18, So. (Dec 7-0).

5th: Riley Byklum (United Clay Becker) 19-15, Fr. over Jordan Winter (Sauk Centre-Melrose) 15-20, Fr. (Dec 5-0).

120 Results

1st Place – Chase Curtis of Perham

2nd Place – Josh Bernier of Thief River Falls

3rd Place – Spencer Sikkink of Fergus Falls

4th Place – Spencer Richards of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus

5th Place – Chandler Mooney of Roseau

6th Place – Jacob Hudock of Albany

8th Place – Austin Baker of Detroit Lakes

8th Place – Matt Vanyo of East Grand Forks/Sacred Heart

1st: Chase Curtis (Perham) 29-10, So. over Josh Bernier (Thief River Falls) 28-11, 8th. (Dec 7-2).

2nd: Josh Bernier (Thief River Falls) 28-11, 8th. over Spencer Sikkink (Fergus Falls) 16-17, Fr. (Fall 3:33).

3rd: Spencer Sikkink (Fergus Falls) 16-17, Fr. over Spencer Richards (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) 21-17, Fr. (MD 13-5).

5th: Chandler Mooney (Roseau) 20-13, 7th. over Jacob Hudock (Albany) 14-22, So. (Dec 7-3).

126 Results

1st Place – Stephen Holecek of Thief River Falls

2nd Place – Sam Pirrotta of Perham

3rd Place – Ben Schindler of Fergus Falls

4th Place – Sam Naddy of Ottertail Central

5th Place – Jarret Lange of United Clay Becker

6th Place – Brandon Mager of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus

8th Place – Javi LaMora of East Grand Forks/Sacred Heart

8th Place – Kolten Kuhlmann of Sauk Centre-Melrose

1st: Stephen Holecek (Thief River Falls) 32-7, Jr. over Sam Pirrotta (Perham) 31-8, Sr. (Dec 7-0).

2nd: Sam Pirrotta (Perham) 31-8, Sr. over Ben Schindler (Fergus Falls) 30-12, Jr. (Dec 9-5).

3rd: Ben Schindler (Fergus Falls) 30-12, Jr. over Sam Naddy (Ottertail Central) 31-10, So. (Dec 5-3).

5th: Jarret Lange (United Clay Becker) 13-13, So. over Brandon Mager (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) 18-16, Sr. (M. For.).

132 Results

1st Place – Will Funk of Sauk Centre-Melrose

2nd Place – Noah Bernier of Thief River Falls

3rd Place – Nate Adkins of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus

4th Place – Brett Jerome of Roseau

5th Place – Luke Payne of Detroit Lakes

6th Place – Dylan Schwartz of Ottertail Central

8th Place – Eddie Bushaw of East Grand Forks/Sacred Heart

8th Place – Tyler Fudge of Perham

1st: Will Funk (Sauk Centre-Melrose) 26-7, So. over Noah Bernier (Thief River Falls) 30-6, Jr. (DQ).

2nd: Noah Bernier (Thief River Falls) 30-6, Jr. over Nate Adkins (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) 6-5, So. (Fall 2:43).

3rd: Nate Adkins (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) 6-5, So. over Brett Jerome (Roseau) 27-12, Jr. (Dec 3-2).

5th: Luke Payne (Detroit Lakes) 22-13, Jr. over Dylan Schwartz (Ottertail Central) 23-14, Sr. (Dec 4-2).

138 Results

1st Place – Nick Mergen of Albany

2nd Place – Austin Hjelle of Thief River Falls

3rd Place – Triston Rubner of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus

4th Place – Casey Warner of Roseau

5th Place – Ben Marx of Fosston/Bagley

6th Place – Dylan Perrine of Perham

8th Place – Bryant Swiers of Detroit Lakes

8th Place – Luke Glasener of Sauk Centre-Melrose

1st: Nick Mergen (Albany) 35-4, Jr. over Austin Hjelle (Thief River Falls) 35-6, Sr. (Dec 5-1).

2nd: Austin Hjelle (Thief River Falls) 35-6, Sr. over Triston Rubner (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) 20-5, Sr. (RULE).

3rd: Triston Rubner (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) 20-5, Sr. over Casey Warner (Roseau) 22-11, Jr. (Fall 3:49).

5th: Ben Marx (Fosston/Bagley) 29-12, Sr. over Dylan Perrine (Perham) 15-15, So. (Dec 3-1).

145 Results

1st Place – Mason Swegarden of United Clay Becker

2nd Place – Alexi Bode of Fosston/Bagley

3rd Place – Colin Neitzke of Perham

4th Place – Dillon Nichols of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus

5th Place – Mitchell Kotschevar of Albany

6th Place – Miquel Perez of East Grand Forks/Sacred Heart

8th Place – Rodrigo Milla of Sauk Centre-Melrose

8th Place – Kory Juvrud of Ottertail Central

1st: Mason Swegarden (United Clay Becker) 38-2, Sr. over Alexi Bode (Fosston/Bagley) 36-5, Sr. (Dec 9-2).

2nd: Alexi Bode (Fosston/Bagley) 36-5, Sr. over Colin Neitzke (Perham) 29-10, Jr. (RULE).

3rd: Colin Neitzke (Perham) 29-10, Jr. over Dillon Nichols (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) 19-12, Jr. (Dec 8-5).

5th: Mitchell Kotschevar (Albany) 12-21, So. over Miquel Perez (East Grand Forks/Sacred Heart) 5-7, Sr. (Fall 1:57).

152 Results

1st Place – Parker Jackson of Detroit Lakes

2nd Place – Carter Holthaus of Albany

3rd Place – Jace Loge of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus

4th Place – Nick Wamre of United Clay Becker

5th Place – Austen Schultz of Perham

6th Place – Noah Minten of Ottertail Central

8th Place – Jake Antrim of Fergus Falls

8th Place – Jake Ubert of Fosston/Bagley

1st: Parker Jackson (Detroit Lakes) 39-3, Jr. over Carter Holthaus (Albany) 31-3, Sr. (Dec 3-1).

2nd: Carter Holthaus (Albany) 31-3, Sr. over Jace Loge (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) 7-4, Sr. (Dec 7-0).

3rd: Jace Loge (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) 7-4, Sr. over Nick Wamre (United Clay Becker) 22-19, Jr. (Dec 9-3).

5th: Austen Schultz (Perham) 14-8, Sr. over Noah Minten (Ottertail Central) 12-24, Jr. (Fall 3:55).

160 Results

1st Place – Dane Ringquist of Fergus Falls

2nd Place – Jarrett Nosal of Detroit Lakes

3rd Place – Nick Gravdahl of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus

4th Place – Patrick Glynn of Perham

5th Place – Sam Manecke of Fosston/Bagley

6th Place – Jake Brinkman of Thief River Falls

8th Place – Blake Skogstad of Roseau

8th Place – Dalton Reinke of Sauk Centre-Melrose

1st: Dane Ringquist (Fergus Falls) 35-6, Sr. over Jarrett Nosal (Detroit Lakes) 26-7, Sr. (Dec 10-5).

2nd: Jarrett Nosal (Detroit Lakes) 26-7, Sr. over Nick Gravdahl (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) 32-7, Jr. (RULE).

3rd: Nick Gravdahl (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) 32-7, Jr. over Patrick Glynn (Perham) 25-14, Jr. (Fall 3:54).

5th: Sam Manecke (Fosston/Bagley) 26-16, So. over Jake Brinkman (Thief River Falls) 17-17, Jr. (Dec 8-3).

170 Results

1st Place – Jonah Lange of United Clay Becker

2nd Place – Cole Schmitz of Perham

3rd Place – Eli Deziel of East Grand Forks/Sacred Heart

4th Place – Ozzy Miller of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus

5th Place – Rayn Jacobson of Detroit Lakes

6th Place – Zach Larsen of Fosston/Bagley

8th Place – Devin Jensen of Roseau

8th Place – Brayan Guevara of Albany

1st: Jonah Lange (United Clay Becker) 35-5, So. over Cole Schmitz (Perham) 27-12, Jr. (SV-1 7-5).

2nd: Cole Schmitz (Perham) 27-12, Jr. over Eli Deziel (East Grand Forks/Sacred Heart) 25-12, Sr. (SV-1 3-1).

3rd: Eli Deziel (East Grand Forks/Sacred Heart) 25-12, Sr. over Ozzy Miller (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) 31-9, Sr. (Fall 5:41).

5th: Rayn Jacobson (Detroit Lakes) 11-14, So. over Zach Larsen (Fosston/Bagley) 20-22, So. (Fall 3:44).

182 Results

1st Place – Justin Mackenthun of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus

2nd Place – William Parks of Perham

3rd Place – Gus Makovsky of Fergus Falls

4th Place – Zach Greenwood of East Grand Forks/Sacred Heart

5th Place – Beau Kringen of Roseau

6th Place – Clayton Mensen of Sauk Centre-Melrose

8th Place – Tanner Schnathorst of Detroit Lakes

8th Place – Isaiah Ruhl of United Clay Becker

1st: Justin Mackenthun (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) 29-3, Sr. over William Parks (Perham) 31-7, Jr. (Dec 5-0).

2nd: William Parks (Perham) 31-7, Jr. over Gus Makovsky (Fergus Falls) 29-12, Sr. (RULE).

3rd: Gus Makovsky (Fergus Falls) 29-12, Sr. over Zach Greenwood (East Grand Forks/Sacred Heart) 14-15, Jr. (Fall 3:09).

5th: Beau Kringen (Roseau) 16-14, Sr. over Clayton Mensen (Sauk Centre-Melrose) 7-21, Jr. (Fall 3:58).

195 Results

1st Place – Abram Aho of Fergus Falls

2nd Place – Arturo Stefanoni of Sauk Centre-Melrose

3rd Place – Daniel Ukkelberg of Ottertail Central

4th Place – Jesse Klatt of Perham

5th Place – Zach Como of Fosston/Bagley

6th Place – Chris Foster of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus

1st: Abram Aho (Fergus Falls) 32-4, Sr. over Arturo Stefanoni (Sauk Centre-Melrose) 18-11, Sr. (Dec 10-4).

2nd: Arturo Stefanoni (Sauk Centre-Melrose) 18-11, Sr. over Daniel Ukkelberg (Ottertail Central) 24-16, Fr. (RULE).

3rd: Daniel Ukkelberg (Ottertail Central) 24-16, Fr. over Jesse Klatt (Perham) 21-17, So. (Dec 7-2).

5th: Zach Como (Fosston/Bagley) 24-15, Jr. over Chris Foster (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) 9-14, Fr. (Dec 3-0).

220 Results

1st Place – Kirby Siewert of Detroit Lakes

2nd Place – Tyshaun Brown of Thief River Falls

3rd Place – Luke Juve of Fosston/Bagley

4th Place – Evan Deziel of East Grand Forks/Sacred Heart

5th Place – Trent Jahnke of Perham

6th Place – Nick Weaver of Fergus Falls

1st: Kirby Siewert (Detroit Lakes) 26-13, Sr. over Tyshaun Brown (Thief River Falls) 26-13, Sr. (Dec 3-1).

2nd: Tyshaun Brown (Thief River Falls) 26-13, Sr. over Luke Juve (Fosston/Bagley) 31-11, Jr. (SV-1 14-12).

3rd: Luke Juve (Fosston/Bagley) 31-11, Jr. over Evan Deziel (East Grand Forks/Sacred Heart) 17-16, Jr. (Inj. 0:00).

5th: Trent Jahnke (Perham) 22-15, Jr. over Nick Weaver (Fergus Falls) 3-12, Jr. (Fall 2:53).

285 Results

1st Place – James Huwe of Detroit Lakes

2nd Place – Jared Adkins of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus

3rd Place – Chris Kucera of Thief River Falls

4th Place – Issac Flores of East Grand Forks/Sacred Heart

5th Place – Kieren Oksanen of Roseau

6th Place – Jesse Bucholz of Perham

8th Place – Taylor Tenner of Fergus Falls

8th Place – Charlie Barhorst of Sauk Centre-Melrose

1st: James Huwe (Detroit Lakes) 32-9, So. over Jared Adkins (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) 25-7, Sr. (Dec 1-0).

2nd: Jared Adkins (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) 25-7, Sr. over Chris Kucera (Thief River Falls) 30-9, Sr. (RULE).

3rd: Chris Kucera (Thief River Falls) 30-9, Sr. over Issac Flores (East Grand Forks/Sacred Heart) 25-9, So. (Fall 5:20).

5th: Kieren Oksanen (Roseau) 23-13, Jr. over Jesse Bucholz (Perham) 21-19, Jr. (Fall 4:36).

Sam Pirrotta, Jesse Klatt, Patrick Glynn and Colin Neitzke were named Section 8AA All-Academic winners:

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Robert Williams
Robert is the Sports Editor of Detroit Lakes Newspapers. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 
(218) 844-1442
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