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Prowlers knock out Jackets

The number three seeded Thief River Falls/Goodridge Prowlers ended any chance the Perham Yellowjacket wrestling team had of making an unexpected trip to the state tournament in the section semifinals at Thief River Falls, 38-16.

Entering the Section 8AA-wrestling tournament as the number two and three seeds, meant both teams had byes in the opening rounds.

Both teams had no trouble advancing out of the quarterfinals. Perham defeated Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena/Indus, 66-6. The Prowlers took out Walker/Hackensack/Akeley/Nevis 55-22.

Perham defeated the Prowlers in their only dual meet of the season, 36-30, in late January. The Yellowjackets also outscored the Prowlers in the first tournament of the season, the Wadena-Deer Creek Invitational. Perham put up 172 points to Thief River Falls/Goodridge's 147.

"The regular season means very little," Head Coach Robb Moser said. "It's now about who shows up on any given day."

Sam Pirrota showed up early getting the Jackets on the board with a pin at 3:36 over Stephen Holecek. But Pirrota's 6-0 gap would quickly disappear.

Noah Bernier pinned James Harlow, back in the lineup after missing a few weeks, at the buzzer of the match, 5:57, to tie the score.

A forfeit at 119 pounds gave the Prowlers the lead for good.

Josh Werner dropped a tight match to Jacoby Bergeron, 8-7, at 125 pounds.

The Prowlers took the next two matches.

At 140 pounds, Jacob Monson scored a major decision over Nolan Dyrdal, 15-4, to cut the lead to 22-10.

Ty Haverland won a 7-3 decision at 145 pounds to cut it to 22-13, but the Jackets would stay off the board until the final heavyweight match where Jesse Hein was victorious 5-3 over Nick Cervantes.

Cervantes is ranked fourth in Class 2A heavyweight rankings. Hein remains ranked second.

The Prowlers upset top seed Staples-Motley in the finals to move on to the state tournament. The Jackets have the individual round of sections coming up. Individual wrestlers will look to qualify for state at this weekend's tournament in Fergus Falls, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25-26.

The top two wrestlers in each weight class will advance to the state meet the first weekend of March, in St. Paul, at the Xcel Energy Center.

In their opening round versus Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena/Indus, Perham was victorious in every match but a forfeit at 112 pounds.

Hein scored a remarkable 13-second fall over Nick Grundmeier.

The Yellowjackets were hampered, by of all things, a clerical error.

"It was not handled well," Moser said. "It was a huge mix up with some ugly consequences."

The issue was with a roster change. Wrestling coaches have to submit their weigh ins, the actual weights, and their section team online prior to the tournament, which was completed Thursday.

The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) and the tournament director received the roster. On Saturday morning, the Perham coaching staff was asked for any last minute changes to the roster, to which there was one change.

Coach Moser marked the change and signed off. Should have been problem solved.

The confusion was that tournament officials were using the program roster that was sent in from the beginning of the week.

"Almost every coach will tell you that the program roster means nothing. The MSHSL is the important one."

When Perham tried to wrestle from their MSHSL roster at 112 pounds that was not on the program roster, even though officials had allowed him to go through skin checks and weigh-ins, there was a problem and a delay while a MSHSL official was reached for a ruling.

"We weren't trying to pull a fast one--in fact we were trying to get a guy with limited varsity experience another win."

According to the tournament director, Perham was forced to forfeit that weight or the one above it or below it for the rest of the tournament.

In essence, Perham was forced to forfeit the weight because of a clerical error and a philosophy that they wanted to wrestle as many kids as they could in the section tournament.

Thief River Falls/Goodridge 38 Perham 16

103 Sam Pirrota (PER) Fall Stephen Holecek (TRF) 3:36

112 Noah Bernier (TRF) Fall James Harlow (PER) 5:57

119 Austin Hjelle (TRF) Won by Forfeit

125 Jacoby Bergeron (TRF) Dec. Josh Werner (PER) 8-7

130 Chaz Abrahamson (TRF) Maj. Dec. Luke Sailer (PER) 11-3

135 Holden Nelson (TRF) Dec. Brady Sazama (PER) 11-8

140 Jacob Monson (PER) Maj. Dec. Nolan Dyrdal (TRF) 15-4

145 Ty Haverland (PER) Dec. Cody Bannert (TRF) 7-3

152 Nathaniel Holecek (TRF) Dec. Gene Schleeter (PER) 7-1

160 Logan Alten (TRF) Dec. William Parks (PER) 6-5

171 Craig Williams (TRF) Maj. Dec. Payton Jordah (PER) 11-3

189 Ben Kucera (TRF) Dec. David Langlie (PER) 9-2

215 Jon Erickson (TRF) Cody Nylander (PER) 6-3

285 Jesse Hein (PER) Dec. Nick Cervantes (TRF) 5-3

Perham 66 Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena/Indus 6

103 Sam Pirotta (PER) Dec. Andrew Nisson (BCLB) 10-5

112 Kyle Michalex (BCLB) Won by Forfeit

119 Brandon Lueders (PER) Won by Forfeit

125 Luke Sailor (PER) Fall Tanner George (BCLB) 3:04

130 Josh Werner (PER) Tech Fall Daven Staples (BCLB) 16-0

135 Brady Sazama (PER) Fall Joseph Nehl (BCLB) 3:13

140 Ty Hoverland (PER) Maj. Dec. Cooper Jedlicka (BCLB) 10-1

145 Jacob Monson (PER) Fall Nate Jablonski (BCLB) 2:49

152 Andrew Moberg (PER) Dec. Brady Grass (BCLB) 7-2

160 Gene Schleeter (PER) Fall Tanner Templin (BCLB) 1:54

171 Garrett Biegler (PER) Dec. Butch Strand (BCLB) 5-4

189 David Langlie (PER) Fall Craig Brodeau (BCLB) 3:07

215 Cody Nylander (PER) Fall Alex Goodwin (BCLB) 2:51

285 Jesse Hein (PER) Fall Nick Grndmeier (BCLB) :13

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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