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Perham wrestlers bring home the hardware at NYWA State Tournament

The fans look on as Brian Ramos goes for the fall during the NWYA State Wrestling Tournament. Ramos captured first place honors in the 160-pound division of the seventh-and-eighth grade class. Submitted photo

Four individuals left the Rochester Civic Center and the NYWA Tournament with hardware on April 6-8. Brian Ramos, Tiegan Detloff, Braylon Rach and Beckham Bunkowske brought home the hardware for the Perham group of wrestlers.

The contingent of wrestlers were led by Ramos, an eighth-grader, who took an individual championship trophy home with him to remember the event by.  

Tiegan Detloff, Brian Ramos, Braylon Rach and Beckham Bunkowske

Ramos was wrestling in the seventh-and-eighth grade 160-pound division.  He started his tournament strong with a tech fall win, followed up with a pin to put him into the semi-finals.  

In the semi-finals, Ramos won by a 9-4 decision putting him into the finals.  In the finals. Ramos went into three overtimes to beat Jacob Meissner of Osseo by a 3-2 decision.

Detloff wrestled in the third-and-fourth-grade tournament in the 85-pound division.  Detloff also started strong with a pin in one minute and 30 seconds, he followed that up with a 5-0 decision elevating him into the semi-finals.  In the semi-finals, Detoff kept up his strong wrestling, winning 9-0 to put him into the finals for the second year in a row. In the finals, Detloff lost by pin fall to Kade Bush from Chaska.  Detloff was the only third-grader to place in his weight class.

Rach wrestled in the fifth-and-sixth grade 120-pound division. Rach started the tournament strong with a quick pin and a major decision to put him into the semi-finals.  

In the semi-finals, Rach ran up against a tough wrestler from Waconia and went down in defeat, sending him into the wrestle backs. Rach followed with a win to put him into the third place match. Rach beat Alex DePestel from Minneota 7-2 for the third place title.

Bunkowske was the youngest wrestler to place for the Yellowjackets.  Bunkowske wrestled in the kindergarten division at 60 pounds. Bunkowske started strong with two tech fall wins to elevate him into the semifinals.  

In the semifinals, Bunkowske was defeated by fall and forced to come back through the wrestle backs.  In the wrestle backs, Bunkowske was defeated 4-3 in a close match, which placed him into the fifth place match.  Bunkowske defeated Scott Kappes from Breckenridge 9-8 to take fifth place honors.

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Perham youth wrestling competes at state

One of the signs of spring is wrestlers from grades kindergarten-through-eighth grade making the trek from all parts of Minnesota to Rochester to wrestle in the youth state tournament.  This year was no different as an estimate of 3,800 wrestlers battled their way to make it to the state tournament. Wrestlers were split up by age and by weight. Perham had wrestlers competing in all levels including: Kindergarten, first-second, third-fourth, fifth-sixth, and seventh-eighth grade.

To get to the state tournament is no small feat in itself.  Wrestlers have to place first or second at the district level, then place first, second or third at Regional, with some of the brackets having up to 36 wrestlers in them.  Once they qualified for state, they are put into a bracket with 15 other kids who qualified from around the state.

Perham sent 15 wrestlers to the state tournament this year.  They had had four kids place in the top-six, with one individual champion.  

Wrestlers included:

  • Kindergarten: Beckham Bunkowske.
  • First-and-second grade: Bo Bush.
  • Third-and-fourth grade: Dresdan Wegscheid, Tiegan Detloff, Paxon Legatt, Isaac Adams, and Owen Langner.
  • Fifth-and-sixth grade:Chandler Mickelson, Gage Aanenson, Payton Legatt, Hudson Hackel, Braylon Rach, Carson Byer, and Jaxon Vetsch.

Seventh-and-eighth grade: Brian Ramos

Another feature to the state tournament is the state invite.  This is for wrestlers who finish fourth at the Region. Perham had four wrestlers in the invite as well.  Wrestlers included: Halo Roth, who took fourth place, Aaron Aanenson, Carson Ziese, and Caleb Aanenson.

K-6 wrestling team finishes strong year

The Perham Kindergarten-through-sixth grade wrestling team capped off a strong year with the NYWA State Tournament in Rochester, Minn.

They started the year off competing in The Brawl in St. Michael-Albertville, which is billed as “the largest k-6 wrestling tournament in the United States.”  The Yellowjackets wrestled in the up-and-comers division against 16 teams and came away as champions. From there, the team wrestled in many other tournaments and were highly competitive in all of them.  

Their competitiveness showed when the young ‘Jackets went to the NYWA Regional tournament in Fosston, Minn.  The team came away with a second place finish and an invite to the state tournament in Rochester.

The ‘Jackets made it to the finals. They opened with a bye in the first round, which was  followed up with wins over United North Central and Deer River. The ‘Jackets were defeated by Bemidji in the narrowest of margins 38-37 to claim second place.

The state tournament started out great for the ‘Jackets with a  42-36 win over Minneota. Perham was defeated by New London-Spicer and Wayzata, which put them in fourth place in their pool on day one.   In the first round, Perham tied Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 36-36, but were defeated by criteria ruling. The Yellowjackets wrestled with the Brainerd Warriors and suffered a 42-30 defeat. The Yellowjackets finished 16th overall out of 32 teams competing in the field.

Members of the team that will be moving on to the varsity wrestling room after finishing their sixth grade year will be Chandler Mickelson, Levi Kruzel, Hudson Hackel, Jaxson Vetsch, Braylon Rach, Carson Byer and Gage Aanenson.