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Perham steamrolls the competition

Perham's Dawson Kellogg works for the fall win on his way to the Heart O' Lakes Championship. Submitted photo1 / 4
Perham's Gabe Bellefeuille works over his opponent during the Heart O'Lakes Individual Tournament on Jan. 27 in Lake Park. Submitted photo2 / 4
Perham's Leighton Rach gains control of his opponent during the Heart O'Lakes Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 27 in Lake Park. Submitted photo3 / 4
Zach Peterson's opponent has nowhere to go as Peterson gains control throughout on his way to the HOL Individual Title. Submitted photo4 / 4

After seven individual titles and a team title, the Perham wrestling team is the king of the Heart O'Lakes Conference after cruising to the tournament win on Jan. 27 in Lake Park.

This year's event had a different feel to it compared to past years as the Mid-State teams left to form their own dual style jamboree the day prior in Staples-Motley. Detroit Lakes cruised through that event.

This year's tournament was another opportunity for Perham and Frazee to show off their strength. The Yellowjackets captured seven individual titles, four runner-up finishes, two third-place finishes and four fourth-place finishes.

"Our kids wrestled very well. It was a fun tournament and the intensity that our kids brought was good and what they need to have for the end of the season," Perham head coach Robb Moser said. "I didn't see any wrestlers have a letdown at all, in terms of overall match letdown. Our conditioning is there and our fundamentals are getting better."

Moser said it was good to see so many of the Yellowjackets wrestlers break out and be successful in the tournament.

Moser feels the tournament will be a springboard for Gabe Bellefeuille and Leighton Rach. Both wrestlers have had success in the past, but have had to battle different things during the season.

Moser said he felt that Zach Peterson was the wrestler of the tournament. He based it on his dominant performance over state-ranked Jacob Arends in the finals.

"For him to tech fall his way through the tournament, there was no question who the best 182-pounder was," Moser said. "He took any doubt away from people. Zach has continued to have a steady year and our team just relies on him. We have almost taken it for granted. He really showed that he is the soul of our team right now."

The Yellowjackets finished with 261.5 points, while Frazee ended with 218 points for second place. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton came in third, while Barnesville was fourth and United Clay Becker was fifth.

Owen Werner, Gabe Bellefeuille, Leighton Rach, Jack Fudge, Dawson Kellogg, Peterson and Ty Moser captured HOL individual titles. Blaze Brady, Dylan Johnson, Dylan Fudge and Wyatt Guck earned runner-up finishes.

Owen Werner earned a semifinal win at 106, capturing a fall win over Pelican Rapids' Thomy Thach at the 1 minute, 26 second mark. Werner closed with an injury default victory over Perham's Blaze Brady. Brady reached the finals with a semifinal round fall win over DGF's Jordan Summers at the 1:34 mark.

Bellefeuille opened the tournament with a fall win over Lukas Volstad, before defeating Zach Haire by major decision. He defeated Barnesville's Chase Brenner in the finals by a 7-1 decision.

Rach had a memorable day, capturing his 100th career win on his way to the championship at 132. Rach earned an 11-3 major decision win over Mason Newling in the semifinals. He followed it up with a sudden victory, 4-2, over DGF's Matthew Pollock. Rach has been on a surge since coming back from his leg injury.

Jack Fudge earned a fall at 4:27 of his semifinal match with Carter Gilles. He followed it up with a fall at 2:14 when he defeated Frazee's Carter Shipman, capturing the title at 138.

Dawson Kellogg picked up a pair of pins on his way to the crown at 170. He defeated Matt Osborne by fall at 4:34, before disposing of Preston Snobl by fall at 5:38.

Peterson captured a major decision 16-3 victory in the semifinals when he defeated Brett Graham. He followed it with a technical fall 22-7 win over Arends in the finals at 182.

It was a technical fall kind of day for Ty Moser at 195. He captured two of them on his way to the title. He defeated Daniel Erlandson with a 17-2 win, before defeating Tanner Differding by tech fall 18-3, capturing the win.

The Yellowjackets return to the mat for one final dual meet when they take on Frazee on Friday, Feb. 2 at 6 p.m. in Frazee. The two teams have met once prior in a dual meet when Perham disposed of them at the Rick Lee Duals. It's the final meet of the regular season for the Yellowjackets, who prepare to defend their Section 8AA Championship on Feb. 17.

Heart O'Lakes Tournament

Team Scores

Perham 261.5, Frazee 218.0, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 140, Barnesville 90, United Clay Becker 85, Pelican Rapids 78, Breckenridge 65

Individual Results

106: Owen Werner (PER) def. Blaze Brady (PER) (Inj. Def.)

113: Michael Miller (FRA) def. Dylan Johnson (PER) (Dec. 8-4)

120: Gabe Bellefeuille (PER) def. Chase Brenner (BAR) (Dec. 7-1)

126: Tanner Schermerhorn (FRA) def. Jack Fuchs (DGF) (Dec. 3-2)

132: Leighton Rach (PER) def. Matthew Pollock (DGF) (SV-1 4-2)

138: Jack Fudge (PER) def. Carter Shipman (FRA) (Fall 2:14)

145: Brady Tweeton (BAR) def. Dylan Fudge (PER) (Maj. Dec. 9-1)

152: Mason Meyer (BRK) def. Hudson Hiemenz (FRA) (Dec. 6-2)

160: Tanner Eischens (FRZ) def. Wyatt Guck (PER) (Dec.2-0)

170: Dawson Kellogg (PER) def. Preston Snobl (BAR) (Fall 5:38)

182: Zach Peterson (PER) def. Jacob Arends (DGF) (Tech Fall 22-7)

195: Ty Moser (PER) def. Tanner Differding (BRK) (Tech Fall 18-3)

220: Luke Tweeton (FRA) def. Sam Wamre (UCB) (SV-3, 2-2)

285: Tony Malikowski (FRA) def. Hunter Macziewski (DGF) (Fall 4:15)

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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