PHS Wrestling: Jackets go 0-2 at State
By John George
The Peham Yellowjackets quest for a third-straight appearance in the State Class AA Championship match ended early at this year's State Tournament at the XCel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Perham ran into a very tough opponent in the quarterfinal round Thursday morning, the Section 6AA champs, Foley. The No. 5 ranked Falcons dashed Perham's run at another title shot with a 39-18 win.
The No 2 ranked Jackets fell behind early, dropping the first three matches and falling behind, 14-0.
Perham was dealt a huge blow at 119 pounds, where Jacob Werner was ahead 2-0 when he injured his left ankle. He was unable to return.
Sam Warne and Joe Berns picked up back-to-back wins at 125 and 130 pounds, but Foley bounced back to take the next two for a 26-6 lead.
Charlie and Nate Schmitz won at 152 and 171, respectively, and Casey Sazama had a pin at 215, but the Jackets couldn't bounce back from their early losses.
Jackets out in two
Things didn't go much better for Peham in the Consolation semifinals on Friday morning against No. 9 Mora. The Jackets fell behind again, made a big come back, but eventually fell to the Mustangs, 27-26.
Mora (26-5) lost to No. 3 Plainview-Elgin-Millville on Thursday, 41-15.
Mora began the match with three-straight wins to go up 9-0. Warne got Perham on the board with a tech fall at 125 pounds, but a pair of ranked Mustangs, No. 10 Seth Sanftner at 130 and No. 1 Andrew Youngblom at 135, won to give Mora a 18-5 advantage.
Charlie Schmitz swung momentum back to the Jackets with a pin at 152 pounds, cutting the deficit to seven at 21-14. Mora's No. 10 Blake Menard won at 160, Perham won three-straight, starting with a 2-1 win for Chris Scheidecker at 171 pounds.
Nate Schmitz followed with a pin at 189, cutting the Mora lead to one, 24-23. Casey Sazama completed the comeback with a 8-4 win at 215 and the Jackets were up, 26-24.
The match came down to the championship, where Mora's Derek Coleman picked up a 5-1 win over Jesse Hein.
Mora, the Section 7AA champs, went on to Saturday's Consolation Finals against No. 6 Scott West. The Mustangs were making their first State Tournament appearance. They lost to Plainview-Elgin-Millville in the quarterfinals, 41-15.
"We've had better days," head coach Robb Moser said. "It really shows how good Class AA is. There are a lot of quality teams here. There's a level of toughness in every team here.
"We had a bit of bad luck too," Moser continued. "Jacob's injury hurt us. But that's not to say if he had better luck we would have beat these teams. Things just didn't fall our way. Foley is really, really good. And Mora's no slouch. I'm not sure we'd beat either of these teams had we wrestled at any point of the season when we were at the top of our game."
The Jackets finish the season with a 25-7 record.
Class AA finals
Foley went on to beat No. 3 Plainview-Elgin-Millville in the semifinals to advance to the Class AA championship where they met the defending champ, Simley. Simley was able to defend their title, beating Foley, 34-21.
In the third place match, P-E-M beat St. Michael-Albertville, 28-25, and in the consolation finals, Scott West beat Mora, 53-8.
Frazee Consolation champs
It wasn't a good day for Lakes Area teams Thursday as No. 4 ranked Frazee lost to No. 2 Kenyon-Wanimingo in the Class A quarterfinals, 35-22.
The Hornets rebounded with a 49-15 win over unranked Royalton/Upsala in the consolation semifinals Friday morning.
In Saturday's Consolation Championship, Frazee beat Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial, 42-25.
In the Class A third place match, Medford beat Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, 29-24. In the Class A finals, No. 1 Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg beat No. 2 Kenyon-Wanamingo, 32-25.