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Shane Novak, left, was awarded for his 100th career victory earlier this season by Head Coach Eric Niemi. Novak joins Noah Pesola and Seth Hofland as Eagle representatives to state.

Eagles send three wrestlers to state

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Three New York Mills wrestlers are headed to the individual portion of the 1A state wrestling tournament this coming weekend.

Shane Novak, 112 pounds, Seth Hofland, 152 pounds, and Noah Pesola, 171 pounds, will all be making the trip to St. Paul.

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Novak took out Ottertail Central's Dylan Schwartz by fall at 1:41 and Stuart Brandt of Barnesville by major decision, 11-3, in the semifinals.

In the finals, Novak faced Mitch Andrews of Border West. Andrews came out on top of a nail biter 3-2 decision.

"Novak wrestled a real veteran in Andrews from Wheaton and I think increased his odds of upsetting him if they meet in the placing rounds," Head Coach Eric Niemi said.

Novak has accumulated an impressive 34-5 record this year.

At 152 pounds, Seth Hofland took the long way to the state berth.

He defeated Mason Berg, of Barnesville, by fall at 1:28. Another close 3-2 decision, this time in the semifinals to OTC's Brendan Hart, sent Hofland on the trek to the true second match.

He pinned Breckenridge's Zach Willprecht within a minute at 51 seconds. In the third place match, he faced Chalmer Combellick of Border West and came out victorious within a minute again pinning Combellick at 57 seconds.

The state berth rested on the true second place match with Derrick Rude of Wadena-Deer Creek. Hart defeated Rude in the championship finals setting up the deciding match between one-loss opponents.

Hofland dominated Rude 5-1 to advance to state and does so with a record of 32-10.

"Hofland has been capable of winning big matches for a couple of years now," Niemi said.

NY Mills' third state entrant is Noah Pesola at 171 pounds. Pesola took a similar track to state as Hofland.

Pesola pinned his first opponent, Kyle Johnson of Barnesville, at 3:33, before losing a semifinal match to Kevin Hahn of Parkers Prairie, 8-0.

The loss matched Pesola up with Andy Bounds of Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale, where Pesola was victorious in a 3-1 decision.

Pesola took the third place match with Cole Prause of Breckenridge by fall at the tail end of the second period, 3:58.

Eventual section champ Hahn, who took Pesola out in the semifinals, also sent Pesola's final opponent, Charlie Maanum to the true second match defeating Maanum 4-1.

Pesola took control of the match and punched his ticket to state with a 10-4 victory. His record this year is 24-13.

Tyler Patron made a similar path to a state berth as Hofland and Pesola, finishing one match away from a trip to St. Paul.

Patron won his first match, 4-2, over Barnesville's Josh Harris before meeting the eventual section champion Greg Erlandson, of Breckenridge. Erlandson won a 5-2 decision.

Patron pinned Ethan Supler of West Central Area at 4:43 and took his third place match defeating Isaac Lustila of Wadena-Deer Creek, by technical fall, 22-6, at 5:56.

The victory pitted him against Wylie Pullis of Border West, who pinned Patron at 5:16 to advance.

Peter Stark landed a third place finish winning three of his four matches.

In the opening round, Stark defeated Michael Whitney, of Breckenridge, 3-1, before recording his only loss of the tournament, 6-2, to Austin Maanum.

Stark reeled off wins over Pelican Rapids' Brandon Sherman, by fall at 2:14 and a 6-4 decision over WDC's Jacob Wegscheid for third place.

Taylor Ericksrud was NY Mills' only fourth place finisher.

Ottertail Central's Greg Blum pinned Ericksrud at 3:50, but he would win his next two matches, 5-0, over Gage Odegaard of Wadena-Deer Creek and 7-5 over Parkers Prairie's Mitch Westerberg.

Barnesville's Hans Peppel would even Ericksrud's record at 2-2 for the tournament and take third place by fall at 5:00.

Five Eagle wrestlers ended the tournament with fifth place finishes: Tommy Selander, 103, Tyler Ehnert, 119, Kyle Vorderbruggen, Michael Meyer, 140, and Ty Bell, 160 pounds.

Andrew Mindermann finished in sixth place at 135 pounds.

"I saw a lot of good things out of our team we definitely have some guys that ended their season that would represent our area well at the state tournament."

The state tournament will be held at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul beginning Thursday, Mar. 3 running through Saturday, Mar. 5. The team portion of the tournament will be held Thursday. Individuals do battle Friday and Saturday.

Single sessions are $14 for adults and $9 for students. Day passes are $26 and $17. More state information can be found at the Minnesota State High School League's website, www.mshsl.org.

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Robert Williams
Robert has been the Sports Editor for the Focus since 2010 covering multiple state and national championship teams and is a mainstay at state tournaments each season covering the successful, athletic programs of Perham and New York Mills High Schools.
(218) 346-5900 x223
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