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Yellowjackets win five section titles, send seven to state

Perham's Dawson Kellogg drives Park Rapids Area's Cody Dravis to the mat for a takedown during their championship match at 170. Jason Groth/FOCUS1 / 2
Perham's Jack Fudge works for the escape against Detroit Lakes' Fabyon Greer. Fudge earned his first career trip to individual state with a win over Greer. Jason Groth/FOCUS2 / 2

After claiming the Section 8AA Team Championship in dramatic fashion, the Perham wrestling team set its sights on sending as many as possible to the Class AA Individual Championships. The Yellowjackets crowned five section champions and qualified seven individuals to the state meet from the Section 8AA Championships in Hawley on Feb. 23 and 24.

“I thought our kids wrestled really hard. The quality of the tournament is really up,” Perham head coach Robb Moser said. “We saw that we were going to have to wrestle hard to get some guys through. Naturally, you feel bad about the guys we thought were right there, but at the same time you feel good where luck did go their way. All the section champions that we had, that’s pretty rare.”

Zach Peterson

Owen Werner, Jack Fudge, Dawson Kellogg, Zach Peterson and Ty Moser advanced with championship wins. Matthew Bush finished second, earning a spot at state and Leighton Rach won a true second match, qualifying for state.

Ty Moser

“I don’t know when the last time that has happened,” Moser said of crowning five section champions. “You kind of expect it, unfarily, with Zach and Ty as one seeds and Jack was a one seed, but he is a younger dude. Dawson wrestled well and it was a heck of a deal. We thought Owen would get there too. For Jack and Owen, these are first time guys getting to state and it’s not easy to punch that ticket for the first time. It’s a cool experience for them.”

Moser said the mindset becomse unique after the team section meet. He said it’s a tricky balancing act and said it’s a good thing that they are all going to state as a team.

“We always like to say at this time of the year, you are lucky to get to go to practice, because a lot of kids are not,” Moser said.

Owen Werner

The Yellowjackets captured five first place finishes, two second place finishes and three third place finishes. They earned two fifth place finishes, a sixth and an eighth place finish during the tournament.

Werner started the championship run at 106 with a narrow 1-0 decision over Sauk Centre-Melrose’s Lazaro Garcia.

Fudge captured his first section title at 138 when he edged out Detroit Lakes’ Fabyon Greer. Fudge won the match by out-pointing Greer, 4-3.

Kellogg stamped his name into the state tournament winning one of the toughest weight classes in the tournament, which was full of many tough weight classes. Kellogg was the aggressor early, defeating Park Rapids Area’s Cody Dravis by decision, 6-1.

Peterson followed with a decision win on Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton’s Jacob Arends. Peterson went on the attack early, building up a strong lead, capturing a 10-5 victory.

Ty Moser followed with a victory over Brenan Peralta, capturing the championship at 195. It was the first loss of the season for the Thief River Falls wrestler. Moser earned an 8-1 decision victory.

Bush made it to the finals at 152, but was defeated by Detroit Lakes’ Austin Baker. Baker captured a quick fall at 44 seconds, winning the match. Bush advanced to the finals with a victory over Peter Koering by a 12-4 major decision.

Rach was edged out in the finals at 132 when he was defeated by Jake Davis 1-0. Davis got a late point in the third and held on for the win. Rach had to wait an extended amount of time for his true second match. Rach was able to get a lead on DGF’s Matthew Pollock. Rach was able to avoid Pollock ‘s attempts at a takedown, clinching the second spot.

Dylan Johnson came in third at 113, while Gabe Bellefeuille was third at 120 and Dylan Fudge captured third at 145. Wyatt Guck finished fifth at 160, while Jose Lopez came in fifth at 220. Gareth Covington came in sixth at 126, while Colton Kostynick came in eight at 285.

The seven Yellowjacket wrestlers head to the Class AA Championships, which begin on Friday, March 2 at 9 a.m. at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Section 8AA Individual Championships

106: Owen Werner (PER) def. Lazaro Garcia (SC-M) (Dec. 1-0)

113: Ashton Clark (PRA) def. Brody Ullyott (DL) (Dec. 7-2)

120: Jake Andrez (PRZ) def. Blake Weber (DL) (Dec. 4-1)

126: Cade Lundeen (TRF) def. Jack Fuchs (DGF) (Maj. Dec. 11-2)

132: Jake Davis (TRF) def. Leighton Rach (PER) (Dec. 1-0)

138: Jack Fudge (PER) def. Fabyon Greer (DL) (Dec. 4-3)

145: Luke Glasener (SC-M) def. Brandon Tomala (PRZ) (Dec. 8-7)

152: Austin Baker (DL) def. Matthew Bush (PER) (Fall:44)

160: Josh Bernier (TRF) def. Braydon Ortloff (DL) (Dec. 5-2)

170: Dawson Kellogg (PER) def. Cody Dravis (PRA) (Dec. 6-1)

182: Zach Peterson (PER) def. Jacob Arends (DGF) (Dec. 10-5)

195: Ty Moser (PER) def. Brenan Peralta (TRF) (Dec. 8-1)

220: Sam Wamre (UCB) def. John Urseth (PL/PRB) (Fall 3:18)

285: Dustin Portales (FF) def. Connor Swanson (TRF) (Dec. 3-2)

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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