Hotakainen of NY Mills claims 2nd at State

Kevin Cederstrom Immediately following his state championship match Jared Hotakainen couldnt help feeling disappointed with the results. But after a little time to reflect the senior 125-pounder was happy with 2nd place at the stat...

Kevin Cederstrom

Immediately following his state championship match Jared Hotakainen couldnt help feeling disappointed with the results. But after a little time to reflect the senior 125-pounder was happy with 2nd place at the state wrestling tournament, and knew reaching the state finals was quite an accomplishment.

Im very pleased now. I was pretty sad after the match because I knew I could have won it, Hotakainen said of losing 3-1 in the state finals to Joe Murphy of Trinity School at River Ridge.

To reach the finals Hotakainen wrestled as good as he had ever in his career. He felt good going into the tournament. He was confident and had his sights set on a state championship.


Hotakainen capped off a great career for the New York Mills Eagles wrestling team - winning over 150 matches - and has little to be disappointed in. He entered the individual tournament wrestling at the top of his game and carried the goal of a state title.

He defeated Matt Pearson of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 6-2 in the first round, then beat Andrew Lockrem of Frazee 4-1 in the quarterfinals. After he defeated Hank Virnig of Pierz 6-0 in the semifinals Hotakainen knew he was in position to do something special.

My goal all year was to be a state champ, he said Sunday at a welcome home for the team. After I won in the semis I was just excited because it took all that pressure off. As soon as I won I knew I couldnt stop there and be satisfied.

Hotakainen (28-3) squared off with Murphy (43-1) in the championship. Both wrestled a conservative first period with neither scoring after two minutes. Murphy chose the down position to start the second period and scored an escape to lead 1-0 after two periods. Hotakainen chose down to start the third and earned an escape to tie the score 1-1. Murphy got the best of Hotakainen on their feet later in the period and scored a takedown to lead 3-1. Hotakainen couldnt escape or score a reversal and lost to Murphy 3-1.

He calmly shook hands with Murphy, walked to his coaches and shook their hands before calmly strolling off the mat, ending his Eagles career.

Burg places 5th

Jason Burg battled through the wrestlebacks after losing in the quarterfinals to place 5th at 130 pounds. Burg pinned Kevin Vogt of Southland in the first round Thursday. He then lost 12-3 to Kevin Steinhaus of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg in the quarterfinals, sending him into the wrestlebacks. He beat Danny Borgerding of Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 8-0 to guarantee at least 6th place, then lost 4-3 to Cameron Jurgenson of Dawson-Boyd before facing Adam Ourada of Wabasso in the fifth place match on Saturday.

Burg won by decision and slapped hands with his coaches. He wrestled well and put together a solid performance all weekend, both individually and in the team tournament. He was 4-2 individually and 2-0 for the team.


Our individual tournament wrestlers did well, they had a lot of offense, and we were scoring points even in the matches we lost, Eagles head coach Eric Niemi said. I feel that if you can place in the state tournament you are capable of winning it, so Hotakainen and Burg had great tournaments.

Jeremy Hagen, and seniors Brandon Marsh and Devlin Hessig just missed out on the medal round in the individual tournament. All three were one win away from placing in the top six.

Hagen won his first round match at 140 pounds and lost in the quarterfinals. In the wrestlebacks he beat Benny Andres of Pierz 3-1 and needed one more win to place. Unfortunately, Hagen didnt get the chance because he injured his elbow on Friday during the Eagles loss to Pierz in the team competition.

Marsh lost 4-3 in double overtime to Raymen Rice of Eden Valley-Watkins in the first round of the individual tournament at 189 pounds.

Marsh started off well in the wrestlebacks and beat Brian Bothun of Dawson-Boyd 10-2. He then lost 4-2 to Mitch Grussing of MACCRAY in the next round, ending his tournament. With time running out in the third period, and down by two, Marsh just missed sending the match into overtime by a second when he took Grussing down just as time expired.

Proving just how close things can get at the state tournament, and how little room there is for error Marsh beat eventual individual state champion Matt Leither of ACGC 8-5 in the Eagles team loss on Thursday.

Hessig picked up a tough draw to start his tournament at 215 pounds. He faced returning state champion Justin Schwanz of Saint James in the first round and was pinned in the second period. He beat Travis Hanson of Canby 5-1 in the first round of wrestlebacks but fell 7-2 to Cody Luberts of Pierz in the next round.

Niemi commented: Marsh did beat the individual state champ in team competition and Hessig and Hagen had some tough luck, but still had outstanding tournaments. I cant say enough about all the athletes we have in our program right now. They have all done well and should be congratulated on a fine season.


With two wrestlers in the top five and three others one match away from placing Niemi was pleased with the overall performance.

This was the best individual tournament Ive had as a coach, Niemi told the welcome home crowd Sunday. We were definitely in every match. Thats all you can ask for. We had a tremendous individual tournament, and thats something Im very proud of.

Eagles 0-2 in team competition

NY Mills took on Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City in the team quarterfinals on Thursday. The Eagles had a good chance of taking down ACGC to advance to the semifinals but couldnt pull off the win. ACGC won 8 of the 14 matches, including pins at 103 and 160 pounds. They also won by technical fall at 152 pounds. The Eagles picked up a pin by Andrew Frost at 215 pounds.

Mills trailed 13-0 after the first three matches before Jared Hotakainen picked up a major decision at 125 pounds. ACGC won a decision at 130 and Jason Burg scored a major decision at 135 pounds to cut the lead to 16-8. The Eagles lost at 140 pounds and Jeremy Hagen won a decision at 145 pounds, but the ACGC tech. fall at 152 and a pin at 160 all but sealed the Eagles fate. NY Mills lost at 171 to trail 33-11 and won the final three matches but it was too little, too late.

Following the loss to ACGC the Eagles had to face defending state champs Pierz on Friday. Mills picked up a forfeit at 112 pounds and took a 15-14 lead after Burg won at 135 pounds. But the Eagles suffered a costly setback when Jeremy Hagen injured his elbow in the 145-pound match and couldnt continue, giving up six team points. Pierz took a 23-15 lead on the injury default and cruised from there, winning five of the final six matches.

Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 33, NY Mills 24

103-Jeremy Anderson (ACGC) fall :56 over Troy Hofland (NYM)


112-Ben Meyer (ACGC) dec. 20-6 over Jesse Bauck (NYM)

119-Bill Wheeler (ACGC) dec. 6-4 over Jordan Novak (NYM)

125-Jared Hotakainen (NYM) dec. 12-3 over John Hoeper (ACGC)

130-Matt Pearson (ACGC) dec. 3-0 over Dan Malone (NYM)

135-Jason Burg (NYM) dec. 11-2 over Travis Frederickson (ACGC)

140-Erick Larson (ACGC) dec. 6-3 over Luke Tervola (NYM)

145- Jeremy Hagen (NYM) dec. 7-2 over Micah Larson (ACGC)

152-AJ Frederickson (ACGC) tech. fall 15-0 over Josh Guck (NYM)


160-Eric Peterson (ACGC) fall 2:51 over Brendan Frost (NYM)

171-Nic Leither (ACGC) dec. 9-4 over Mark Simpson (NYM)

189-Brandon Marsh (NYM) dec. 8-5 over Matt Leither (ACGC)

215- Andrew Frost (NYM) fall 5:15 over Jared Peterson (ACGC)

Hwt- Andy Hendrickx (NYM) dec. 12-1 over Joshua Lies (ACGC)

Pierz 44, NY Mills 18

103-Clint Poster (P) TF 17-2 over Troy Hofland (NYM)

112-Jordan Novak (NYM) won by forfeit


119-Tanner Tetrick (P) fall 2:33 over Jesse Bauck (NYM)

125-Hank Vernig (P) dec. 11-7 over Dan Malone (NYM)

130-Jared Hotakainen (NYM) fall 2:43 over Isaac Gruber (P)

135-Jason Burg (NYM) dec. 4-2 over Scott Janson (P)

140-Benny Andres (P) dec. 6-1 over Luke Tervola (NYM)

145-Charles Boser (P) injury default over Jeremy Hagen (NYM)

152-Warren Gall (P) fall over Josh Guck (NYM)

160-Chad Britz (P) fall 1:10 over Brendan Frost (NYM)

171-Jerron Boser (P) dec. 7-4 over Mark Simpson (NYM)

189-Brandon Marsh dec. (NYM) 6-1 over Kyle Welle (P)

215-Cody Lubertz (P) dec. 10-5 over Andrew Frost (NYM)

Hwt-Scott Saehr (P) dec. 6-3 over Devlin Hessig (NYM)

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