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Simley wins battle of state-ranked teams

Perham's Dawson Kellogg locks in, trying to get the fall against Simley's Bennett Tabor at 170. Kellogg earned a 14-0 major decision win. Jason Groth/FOCUS1 / 2
Perham's Zach Peterson grabs the arm and gets ready to turn Simley's Freddy Rivera at 182. Peterson earned the fall win for the Yellowjackets during the Super Dual with Simley. Jason Groth/FOCUS2 / 2

It was a learning experience for the fifth-ranked Perham Yellowjackets when they hosted the Simley Spartans for the KLN Super Dual at the Prairie Wind Middle School gymnasium on Jan. 13.

The state’s second-ranked team opened the Yellowjackets eyes with a 46-25 victory, handing Perham its first defeat of the season.

Ty Moser

“I think they showed us a little bit about being a little bit stronger and being just a little bit better,” Perham head coach Robb Moser said. “They weren’t flashy, they were super fundamentally sound. We knew they were going to be good. They have a reputation and they have earned it.”

The Yellowjackets came up on the short-end of a couple of toss-up matches, which helped the score get away from Perham. Moser said it was a challenge the kids needed and the intensity that they needed. He said it was a good eye-opener for the team as they are about a month away from the section tournament.

Moser said they can take away many different things from wrestling a team like Simley. One of them is what do they have to do to get closer to a program like Simley. He said it refocuses and energizes the team for the final run of the season.

“One of them is that we need to be more focused and we have to better at fundamentals,” Moser said. “They are not flashy, they are fundamentally good. It gives you an idea about your offseason. They do a lot more freestyle. We have fought the idea of being one sport athletes, and I’m not suggesting they are, but if you want to get to that level, you have to do a little more than five days in the summer. It makes you reevaluate that. We were talking to them about what their kids do for a weight program and how committed they are. I think we are going to have to do that, but with that being said they are a school that has an enrollment over 1,000 and ours is 400.“

Dylan Johnson started the Yellowjackets off on the right foot. He earned a quick fall in just 33 seconds, knocking off Jessie Kounlabout at 106.

However, Simley came back with five straight wins. The first one, Zach Miller earned three near fall points late in the second period on Owen Werner. He continued that momentum in to the third, earning a 6-1 decision win.

Dylan Fudge

Cael Berg followed with a fall victory over Gareth Covington at 120. Gavin Nelson caught Gabe Bellefeuille in a headlock and turned it into a fall in the third period at 126. Bellefeuille was leading at the time, but Nelson turned the momentum in the third.

Luis Fierro earned a technical fall victory over Ezekiel Pechtel at 132, 26-11, while Jake Gliva followed with a technical fall, 26-10, over Jack Fudge at 138.

Perham returned to the win column when Dylan Fudge defeated Antonio Everett 6-2. Fudge earned a late take down in the first period, followed by another in the second. Fudge almost got caught when he tried a throw in the third period, but was able to escape, preserving the decision win.  Quayin Short and Jacob Hageman earned victories at 152 and 160, extending the Simley lead when they defeated Matthew Bush by technical fall 16-1 and Wyatt Guck by major decision

9-1, respectively.

Perham picked up three wins in a row from its state-ranked powers at 170, 182 and 195. Dawson Kellogg earned a 14-0 major decision victory over Bennett Tabor. Tabor was called for multiple stalling penalties, trying to avoid a fall against Kellogg. Kellogg dictated most of the match, working the back, trying to turn over Tabor. He picked up near fall points in the first and the third period.

Peterson was on the attack from the start, going right at Freddy Rivera. He earned the fall at 1:14 of the first period, earning six key points.

Moser followed against Blake Holzem at 195. Moser took a 7-3 lead into the second period and went right at Holzem, securing the pin at 2:49 of the match.

Simley closed out with a pair of fall wins at 220 and 285. Daniel Kerkvliet defeated Jose Lopez at 220, while Luke Zaiser knocked off Rowdie Lindquist at 285.

The loss dropped the Yellowjackets to 19-1 overall in dual meet competition. The Yellowjackets return home on Thursday, Jan. 18 when they host Detroit Lakes in a Section 8AA clash.

Simley 46, Perham 25

106: Dylan Johnson (PER) def. Jessie Kounlabout (SIM) (Fall :33)

113: Zach Miller (SIM) def. Owen Werner (PER) (Dec. 6-1)

120: Cael Berg (SIM) def. Gareth Covington (PER) (Fall :51)

126: Gavin Nelson (SIM) def. Gabe Bellefeuille (PER) (Fall 5:37)

132: Luis Fierro (SIM) def. Ezekiel Pechtel (PER) (Tech Fall 26-11)

138: Jake Gliva (SM) def. Jack Fudge (PER) (Tech Fall 26-10)

145: Dylan Fudge (PER) def. Antonio Everett (SIM) (Dec. 6-2)

152: Quayin Short (SIM) def. Matthew Bush (PER) (Tech Fall 16-1)

160: Jacob Hageman (SIM) def. Wyatt Guck (PER) (Maj. Dec. 9-1)

170: Dawson Kellogg (PER) def. Bennett Tabor (SIM) (Maj. Dec. 14-0)

182: Zach Peterson (PER) def. Freddy Rivera (SIM) (Fall 1:14)

195: Ty Moser (PER) def. Blake Holzem (SIM) (Fall 2:49)

220: Daniel Kerkvliet (SIM) def. Jose Lopez (PER) (Fall 1:12)

285: Luke Zaiser (SIM) def. Rowdie Lindquist (PER) (Fall 1:10)

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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