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Perham wrestlers third at Rick Lee Invitational

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After a busy week which saw two blowouts of Pelican Rapids and Breckenridge, plus a nailbiting loss to New York Mills, the Perham wrestling team had weekend duty in Bemidji, where they placed third out of eight teams.

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"After our performance [against New York Mills], it looks like we learned something from that very disappointing performance on Thursday," Head Coach Robb Moser said. "I thought we wrestled with much more aggression and purpose on Saturday compared to Thursday. Hopefully, we continue to improve as January winds down."

The Yellowjackets have two duals, at Frazee and home versus Thief River Falls, plus tournaments in Staples and Dilworth remaining in January.

James Harlow, Luke Sailer, Cody Nylander and Jesse Hein were undefeated and a combined 11-0 on way to four individual titles at the Rick Lee Invite in Bemidji.

Harlow beat Ryan Bergeron, of Badger-Greenbush-Middle River in the 103-pound finals. He won his first two matches by fall.

Harlow pinned Blackduck-Cass Lake-Bena-Indus' Mason Fernezel in the opening round at 3:31. In the second round, Harlow stuck Aitkin's Jack Braton at 1:24.

Hein took the heavyweight title with a bye in the first round and major decisions over Bemidji's Alex Johnson, 8-0, in the semis and a 14-3 pummeling of BGMR's Alex Yeager in the finals.

Hein is currently ranked #2 in Class 2A, while Yeager is the #1 ranked wrestler in Class A.

Sailer pinned Aitkin's Adam Jackson at 3:39 and was victorious in close decisions, both by the score of 2-1, over Royalton-Upsala's Andy Poster and Bemidji's Jake Crosby in the finals.

Perham's fourth champion, Cody Nylander, made quick work of Roseau's Debron Dahl and Blackduck's Al Goodwin, with pins at 1:50 and 3:14 respectively. In the finals, he outlasted Royalton-Upsala's Andrew Plumski in a tight 4-3 decision.

Ty Haverland, 135 pounds, had a big day and was one match away from being Perham's fifth champion. Haverland pinned his first three opponents at 2:20, 3:13 and 1:06 before meeting Royalton's Dan Moulzolf in the finals. Moulzolf would take the title in a close decision, 10-6.

Badger-Greenbush-Middle River took the team title with 207 points. Aitkin was second at 195. Perham's total of 174.5 was good for third. Royalton was fourth at 152. The hosts, Bemidji, took fifth with 148.5. Nashwauk-Keewatin-Greenway, Blackduck-Cass Lake-Bena-Indus, Roseau and Cloquet-Esko-Barnum rounded out the field.

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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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