Thief River Falls snaps Perham's streak at the top of Section 8AA

Perham's Jack Fudge secures the pin in his match at 152 against Thief River Falls' Brandon Zuniga during the Section 8AA Team Tournament. (Jason Groth / Perham Focus)

The Thief River Falls Prowlers picked up a pair of key upsets and held off the five-time Section 8AA Champion, Perham Yellowjackets, 38-32 at the Hive on Feb. 14. The Prowlers ensured there would be a new Section 8AA Team Champion with the upset win.

“Thief River Falls came to battle and it just wasn’t our night,” Perham head coach Dave Vetsch said. “They got the upsets that they needed and we couldn’t battle back. Congratulations to Thief River Falls.”

The Yellowjackets suffered some key losses that they weren’t able to overcome in the dual. Instead of giving up three points when they were upset, the Yellowjackets gave up costly pins, enabling the Prowlers to build a big lead heading into the upper weights, which Perham wasn’t able to overcome.

“They wrestled phenomenally. Their head coach said it was probably the best match they have wrestled,” Vetsch said. “They were ready, prepared and they pulled off a couple of upsets and it was just hard to come back.”

Perham opened with a pair of key wins at 106 and 113. Kaden Feldt earned a fall win over Nick Svir in 34 seconds, which was followed by a major decision 14-5 win from Aaron Lorentz at 113. Lorentz defeated Kale Geisser, giving Perham the early 10-0 lead.


However, Kehan Nelson followed with a pin on Josh Mellema at 120 at the two minute and 22 second mark. It was a run of five straight wins for the Prowlers. Griffin Lundeen followed with a 3-0 decision win over Gareth Covington at 126.

Cody Wienen followed with a key win at 132. He was trailing Gabe Bellefeuille but was able to turn him and get a pin at the four minute and 42 second mark at 132.

Brady Kasprick followed with a 3-1 decision victory over Blake Lorentz at 138 and Jake Davis defeated Braylon Rach by a technical fall 26-11 at 145.

Perham got back in the win column when Jack Fudge defeated Brandon Zuniga by fall at 3:17 at 152. However, Thief River Falls answered back with a pin of its own from Aaron Bruggeman. He defeated Isaac Lung at 5:42 of their match at 160.

Brian Ramos wasted little time when he won in 28 seconds against Dakota Fellman at 170.

Mason Iverson secured the dual for Thief River Falls when he defeated Gordon Enyart by an 8-3 decision at 195.

Perham followed with a pair of wins at 220 and 285. Dawson Kellogg defeated Kirby Klein with a pin in 33 seconds.

Rowdie Lindquist returned from his knee injury to pick up a major decision 20-7 win over Jolson Sargent at 285. Lindquist was cleared a couple of days prior to the match with Thief River Falls and wrestled with a heavy leg brace on his injured leg. However, it ultimately didn’t slow him down on his way to a four-point win.


“He is just a hard worker and has a big heart. He just wanted to come back for the team,” Vetsch said. “He tore an ACL and prolonged surgery and was hoping to make it to the state tournament with the team. There is nothing but good things to say about Rowdie and how he worked back to get cleared to come wrestle.”

Detroit Lakes defeated Thief River Falls 38-30 in the Section 8AA Championship to earn the trip to the Class AA Tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

The Yellowjackets now focus on the Section 8AA Individual Tournament which begins on Feb. 21 and Feb. 22 in Pequot Lakes.

Vetsch said it’s now all about the kids and their goal of getting to the state tournament.

“It’s all about themselves and to make it to the state tournament, they have to do it themselves,” Vetsch said. “I told them they are on their own and we will push them as much as we can in the next week to get them there.”

Vetsch said his first season went well. He said they had a lot of ups and downs with injuries. He said the section is very tough and thought it was a great season.

The Yellowjackets finished with a 19-4 record overall.


Section 8AA Team Championships


Perham 32, Thief River Falls 38

106: Kaden Feldt (PER) def. Nick Svir (TRF) (Fall :34)

113: Aaron Lorentz (PER) def. Kale Geisser (TRF) (Maj. Dec. 14-5)

120: Kehan Nelson (TRF) def. Josh Mellema (PER) (Fall 2:22)

126: Griffin Lundeen (TRF) def. Gareth Covington (PER) (Dec. 3-0)

132 : Cody Wienen (TRF) def. Gabe Bellefeuille (PER) (Fall 4:42)


138: Brady Kasprick (TRF) def. Blake Lorentz (PER) (Dec. 3-1)

145: Jake Davis (TRF) def. Braylon Rach (PER) (Tech. Fall 26-11)

152: Jack Fudge (PER) def. Brandon Zuniga (TRF) (Fall 3:17)

160: Aaron Bruggeman (TRF) def. Isaac Lung (PER) (Fall 5:42)

170: Brian Ramos (PER) def. Dakota Fellman (TRF) (Fall :28)

182: Cole Johnson (TRF) def. Aaron Burr (PER) (Fall 1:53)

195: Mason Iverson (TRF) def. Gordon Enyart (PER) (Dec. 8-3)

220: Dawson Kellogg (PER) def. Kirby Klein (TRF) (Fall :33)


285: Rowdie Lindquist (PER) def. Jolson Sargent (TRF) (Maj. Dec. 20-7)

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