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Yellowjacket wrestlers earn narrow victory over Park Rapids Area

Perham's Gage Paurus goes on the attack and gets the take down of Logan Johnson during their match at 152. Vance Carlson/Forum News Service1 / 2
Perham's Patrick Johnson wraps up Park Rapids Area's Nolan Booge during their match at 138. Vance Carlson/Forum News Service2 / 2

During the Yellowjackets’ seven dual winning streak, rarely have they came down to the heavyweight spot. However, against Park Rapids, it went down to the wire and Jonathan Staebler delivered in the clutch spot for the Yellowjackets.

The heavyweight wrestler, who has been an anchor all season long, came up with a quick fall over Logan Veo at the one minute and seven second mark, securing their eighth straight dual meet victory, winning the match 39-33.

“That’s really nice to have. The other 13 guys on the team are rarely out there for the deciding match, so being able to have a good 285-pounder is a real blessing,” Perham head coach Robb Moser said. “The whole team felt confident that Jonathan would do well out there and he did do well. He was focused and a little more aggressive than he normally is. That was neat to have that. In the future, we don’t want it to come down to him. It was sure nice to put the hammer on at the end with him.”

The Yellowjacket coaching staff recognized it would end up going to the end with Ty Moser at 195, Jose Lopez at 220 and Staebler at 285. Robb Moser said they gave up too many bonus points down low and lost a couple of toss up matches as well. Ty Moser delivered with a fall win, while Lopez was caught for a fall at 220. Staebler followed with the win, securing the match.

The smaller Park Rapids Area lineup packed a punch, having to pick up bonus points in their victories after dropping three of the first four matches by forfeit. Owen Werner, Dylan Johnson and Leighton Rach sandwiched forfeit wins around a loss at 120. Ashton Clark defeated Jack Fudge, 7-5, at 120. Moser said despite the loss, Fudge wrestled really well and had a nice match. He said team’s would be foolish to overlook him.

Park Rapids Area picked up a pair of key wins at 132 and 138 when Landen Burlingame defeated Ben Nelson by decision at 132 and Nolan Booge defeated Patrick Johnson by fall at 138.

The Yellowjackets responded with back-to-back wins at 145 and 152. Dylan Fudge earned a fall at 145 when he pinned Mason Hayes at 2:38. Gage Paurus followed with a 13-9 decision victory over Logan Johnson at 160.

Moser said Dylan Fudge had his most controlled match and earned big bonus points for the team. He added Paurus wrestled hard as well.

Once again, Park Rapids rallied back, winning three straight matches. Jared Sunram defeated Evan Guck by decision, 4-1, at 160. Cody Dravis earned a win over Dawson Kellogg at 170. He pinned Kellogg at 4:01, closing the gap to six points. The Yellowjackets forfeited at 182, evening the dual meet score at 27.

Perham’s Ty Moser returned the Yellowjackets to the win column. He earned a fall at 4:27 at 195. The fall victory gave the Yellowjackets a six point edge with two matches to go. Park Rapids evened the score with a fall win at 220. Jacob Bittmann defeated Jose Lopez at 3:14, setting up the battle for the dual meet at 285.

The Yellowjackets have now won eight straight duals since kicking off the season. Now, they will have an extended layoff heading over the holiday break. Currently, the next action for the Yellowjackets is on Jan. 7 when they host the annual KLN Invitational at the Prairie Wind Middle School gymnasium. Due to the cancellation of the Les Kertscher Duals, the Yellowjackets are short a few matches. They are hoping to add to the schedule, however, no announcement has been made on future additions to the Yellowjacket schedule.  

Moser said it’s an opportunity for the Yellowjackets to heal up during the extended time off.

“We do need some rehab and need some guys to get healthy. We have some injuries that we haven’t had in the past with some knees, shoulders and thumbs,” Moser said. “A lot will tell here in  the next two weeks. Either some guys will heal up and be ready to go or some guys won’t. It will be a tough deal for the team. I’m optimistic that most of the guys will heal. I’ve always thought wrestling is one of the sports that you need a mental break. I don’t think we have guys that are cutting weight that hard, it’s more about the grind of being physical and demanding.”

Perham 39Park Rapids 33106: Owen Werner (PER) wins by forfeit113: Dylan Johnson (PER) wins by forfeit120: Ashton Clark (PARK) def. Jack Fudge (PER) (Dec. 7-5)126: Leighton Rach (PER) wins by forfeit132: Landen Burlingame (PARK) def. Ben Nelson (PER) (Dec. 7-1)138: Nolan Booge (PARK) def. Patrick Johnson (PER) (Fall 3:35)145: Dylan Fudge (PER) def. Mason Hayes (PARK) (Fall 2:38)152: Gage Paurus (PER) def. Logan Johnson (PARK) (Dec. 13-9)160: Jared Sunram (PARK) def. Evan Guck (PER) (Dec. 4-1)170: Cody Dravis (PARK) def. Dawson Kellog (PER) (Fall 4:01)182: Justin Dravis (PARK) wins by forfeit195: Ty Moser (PER) def. Jack Hensel (PARK) (Fall 4:27)220: Jacob Bittman (PARK) def. Jose Lopez (PER) (Fall 3:14)

285: Jonathan Staebler (PER) def. Logan Veo (PARK) (Fall 1:07)

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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