Jacket wrestlers miss medal round
St. Paul -- Class 2A action at the state individual individual wrestling tournament saw four Yellowjacket wrestlers entered but none of the four-pack were able to advance to the medal rounds.
Jesse Hein, ranked number two in the state and entering the tournament undefeated was heralded as a potential finals match-up faced with the task of unseating returning champion Austin Goergen of Calendonia/Houston.
Goergen did repeat as champion with a 3-0 victory over Kasson-Mantorville's Sam Stoll.
"Jesse's weight was very difficult," Head Coach Robb Moser said. "In all my years of being a wrestling coach, I have never seen a weight as deep as the 285 pounders in AA."
Moser cited Hein having beat Alex Yeager from Greenbush twice this year handily--Yeager breezed through the Class A field to a state championship.
Hein (41-2) got off on the right foot defeating Nic Grimley, (33-8) of Monticello, by a score of 6-4. The match was a stalemate until Hein sent Grimley flying onto his back. After that, Grimley's fortitude was tanked by Hein's aggressiveness.
A clock malfunction ran nine seconds off early in the waning moments of the third period. The match ended, but was resumed for the following nine seconds giving Grimley a last gasp, but he would fail to get anywhere near a takedown.
Hein next faced Derek Butcher, (29-9), of Dassel-Cokato, a match that went to overtime.
The wrestlers traded escape points and were stuck at one after three periods. The duo battled as they had the entire match, mostly on their feet, looking for any advantage.
Butcher found it late in overtime doing to Hein what he has done to all his opponents. Butcher got leverage and sent Hein slamming to the mat and got the fall at 6:46.
Hein stayed alive with a victory in wrestlebacks. He pinned Juan Salas, of South Saint Paul, at 1:12 and looked like the same wrestler that entered the tournament with no tallies in the loss column.
One match from the third place match, Hein squared off against Karl Eichinger (37-2), from Princeton.
The match was a brutal heavyweight battle. Hein scored a late takedown in the second period and avoided an escape from Eichinger. Tied at two, Eichinger would get a point late and had Hein in a position he had many of his opponents in this year.
Eichinger kept a forearm on the back of Hein's head and kept him face into the mat working on Hein's left arm.
Hein would need a 30-second injury timeout with a sore shoulder but was able to resume wrestling. Eichinger won the match 3-2.
"Both of the guys that Jesse lost to were tough," Moser said. "In his first loss, Jesse went for it in overtime. Unfortunately, the guy hit the perfect move at that time. I would rather have our wrestlers make aggressive mistakes than passive mistakes. In the second loss, Jesse lost on a penalty point. Sometimes it is very difficult to adjust to a different style of refereeing--you certainly do see changes down there."
Hein finished fourth at last year's state tournament.
"Jesse is a winner," Moser said. "He will be back next year and he will be better."
At 215 pounds, Cody Nylander met with one moment of bad luck that sent him to wrestlebacks after the first round.
His first round opponent, Mike Kellner (34-11), of Stewartville, was the benefactor of momentum leading to a fall over Nylander at 3:22.
Nylander (31-9) had gained an advantage in a tied match and sent Kellner to the match for back points but Nylander's momentum ended up spinning him onto his back where he was unable to escape from Kellner's pin.
"Cody probably got caught off guard a little in his first match but still was only one match away from placing," Moser said.
Kellner defeated Jake Nase (31-9), of Chisago Lakes Area, 2-0, giving Nylander new life in wrestlebacks.
Nylander took advantage-defeating Nase easily, 7-1.
His next opponent, Mario Arroyo (37-9), would prove the demise of Nylander's tournament.
Arroyo was an agile 215-pounder in only his second year of wrestling. His speed and agility aided in a 9-2 defeat of Nylander in the consolation quarterfinals. Arroyo would finish third by injury default.
Luke Sailer (29-14), at 125 pounds, got off to a good start defeating Tyler Jobe (31-9), Grand Rapids, 5-2 in the first round.
He faced Tanner Rohlick (32-7), of Wabasso/Red Rock Central in his second match and was defeated by a score of 5-2. He gave up two points going for a leg in the first period but would score a quick deuce on a reversal to tie the match at two after one period. Rohlick held him off the scoreboard the remaining two periods for the win.
Mason Brownlee (25-8), of Montgomery Lonsdale/Le Center ended Sailer's run, 7-2, in the consolation round.
"Luke and Cody wrestled well," said Moser. "Anytime you can get a win at the big show as a sophomore, you will take it."
Brandon Lueders (29-13), 119 pounds, lost in a valiant effort in the first round to Zach Beaumaster (25-14), by a score of 4-2.
Beaumaster kept Lueders at bay controlling the latter moments of the match, as the Yellowjacket attempted to get two to tie.
"I thought Brandon got a tough draw," Moser said. "Unfortunately, that is the way it goes sometimes."
Beaumaster lost in the next round eliminating Lueder's shot at the wrestleback round.
All four of Perham's entrants are underclassmen and bode well for next year's return trip to St. Paul.