Bucs’ late rally tames Red Bulls

B.E. Area pockets five decisions in a row to capture win

TURNING POINT — Fairmont/Martin County West wrestler Payton Anderson (right) attempts to turn Blue Earth Area opponent Jaxen Klinkner during 132-pound Big South Conference action Friday night at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont. Anderson went on to post an 8-0 major decision for the Red Bulls, but the visiting Bucs rallied down the stretch to pocket the 40-24 team triumph. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)

FAIRMONT — The Class 2A, No. 12-ranked Fairmont/Martin County West Red Bulls stampeded out of the starting gate with five consecutive decisions during Friday night’s Big South Conference wrestling clash at Cardinal Gym.

Long-time rival Blue Earth Area, however, countered with five victories in a row — including four falls — at the opposite end of the scales.

The visiting Bucs, who earned a spot in the Guillotine’s ‘lean and mean’ portion of the Class A state team rankings, erased an early 18-0 deficit to exit Fairmont High School with a 40-24 dual-meet victory in hand.

“We knew coming into the meet that they (Red Bulls) were very solid from six (106 pounds) to 60 (160),” said Blue Earth Area mentor Randy Wirtjes. “The biggest thing was not to allow their wrestlers in those lower weights to earn bonus points.

“When our guys were put on their backs on the mat, they knew they had to fight hard to get out of that position, and that’s what we did tonight.”

Conner Simmonds staked the Red Bulls to a quick 3-0 lead on the team ledger by generating two points per period to post a 6-0 decision over the Bucs’ Davis Sunken at 106 pounds.

Four of the Red Bulls’ five state-ranked grapplers then stepped to the canvas to reel off four consecutive decisions to build an 18-0 margin for the home team.

Eighth-grade phenom Jaxson Rohman, who holds the No. 2 spot in the Class 2A 106-pound rankings, moved to the 113-pound bracket and assembled a textbook 19-6 major decision over the Bucs’ Max Ehrich. Ehrich, an up-and-coming eighth-grader, however, prevented Rohman from producing a technical fall, which would have earned five team points as opposed to four via the major decision.

“Max Ehrich, Koby Nagel and Jaxen Klinkner all did a nice job of not allowing Fairmont (/Martin County West) to earn that extra bonus point,” said Wirtjes. “It’s the little things that can make all the difference in wrestling.”

Jordan Wolter, who’s ranked No. 8 in the Class 2A 120-pound state poll, outdueled Class 1A, No. 10-ranked 120-pounder Caden Ochsendorf in the closest clash of the night. Wolter generated the only takedown of the opening 2-minute segment before opting for the ‘up’ position to start the second period. The hard-working Ochsendorf did not allow a point to keep within striking distance of his Red Bull rival.

Wolter proved his mettle by not giving up a point from the ‘down’ position during the third and final frame to earn the 2-0 victory and extend FHS/MCW’s lead to 14-0.

Red Bulls’ 126-pounder Zach Ringnell, who holds the No. 7 spot at 138 in Class 2A, posted a 9-1 major decision over Koby Nagel before the Red Bulls’ Payton Anderson proved why he merited the No. 10 spot in the Class 2A 132-pound rankings. Anderson collected an 8-0 major decision over Jaxen Klinkner to cap the home team’s early 18-point edge on the scoreboard.

“We put them on their backs, but we just couldn’t keep them there long enough to earn the fall tonight,” said Red Bulls head coach Adam Williamson. “The Bucs, on the other hand, did do that at the heavier weights.”

Dalton Nagel generated four team points via a 15-7 major decision over the Red Bulls’ Nate Simmonds at 138 before the Bucs’ Cole Klinkner added three more points on the strength of a 10-4 decision over Mario Maldonado at 145 to trim the gap to 18-7.

Class 1A, No. 5-ranked 152-pounder Zach Buseman collected an 11-5 decision over Miles Fitzgerald to whittle the Bucs’ deficit to 18-10 before Collin Steuber slammed the brakes on the visitors’ three-match winning streak.

Steuber, who holds the No. 9 spot in the Class 2A 152-pound state poll, moved to 160 and earned a pivotal six-point fall over the Bucs’ Roger Ziegler with only 8 seconds remaining in the 6-minute match.

Wyatt Tungland, however, quickly reversed the scoring trend in the Bucs’ direction by pinning Parker Anderson in 2:20 at 170 before BEA’s Jesus Quintero duplicated his teammate’s performance by earning a fall in 1:53 over Conner Tordsen at 182 to narrow the visitors’ deficit to 24-22.

“I thought Jordan Huse really came through with a key fall for us at 195 tonight,” said Wirtjes.

Huse needed 50 seconds to record the fall over Dominick Ortiz before Class 1A No. 3-ranked 220-pounder Jared Armon received a forfeit from the Red Bulls to put the dual meet’s decision out of reach for the Bucs at 34-24.

Trevor Oppedal capped BEA’s comeback victory by pinning the Red Bulls’ Theo Krumholz in 55 seconds at heavyweight.

“The match could have gone either way tonight. The Red Bulls are a good team, and we feel fortunate to leave here with a win,” said Wirtjes.

Fairmont/Martin County West (5-1) competes in the Pipestone Invitational at 10 a.m. today.

Blue Earth Area (8-3) travels to Waseca on Thursday night for a Big South dual meet.

Varsity Meet

B.E. Area 40, FHS/MCW 24

106 pounds: Conner Simmonds (FHS/MCW) dec. Davis Sunken, 6-0.

113: Jaxson Rohman (FHS/MCW) major dec. Max Ehrich, 19-6.

120: Jordan Wolter (FHS/MCW) dec. Caden Ochsendorf, 2-0.

126: Zach Ringnell (FHS/MCW) major dec. Koby Nagel, 9-1.

132: Payton Anderson (FHS/MCW) major dec. Jaxen Klinkner, 8-0.

138: Dalton Nagel (BEA) major dec. Nate Simmonds, 15-7.

145: Cole Klinkner (BEA) dec. Mario Maldonado, 10-4.

152: Zach Buseman (BEA) dec. Miles Fitzgerald, 11-5.

160: Collin Steuber (FHS/MCW) pinned Roger Ziegler, 5:52.

170: Wyatt Tungland (BEA) pinned Parker Anderson, 2:20.

182: Jesus Quintero (BEA) pinned Conner Tordsen, 1:53.

195: Jordan Huse (BEA) pinned Dominick Ortiz, 0:50.

220: Jared Armon (BEA) won by forfeit.

285: Trevor Oppedal (BEA) pinned Theo Krumholz, 0:55.


JV Meet

B.E. Area 27, FHS/MCW 19

90: Jesse Potts (FHS/MCW) dec. Ty Peterson, 4-2.

106: Jacob Beeler (BEA) pinned Christian Bachenberg, 1:40.

106: Caleb Beeler (BEA) pinned Kain Sanders, 3:40.

113: Katerina Lange (FHS/MCW) pinned Manning Lane, 1:46.

106: Gabe Haugh (BEA) pinned Kailey Wiederhoeft, 0:54.

113: Riley Anderson (BEA) dec. Andrew Lawrence, 6-3.

195: Stendsay Weringa (BEA) pinned Shayne Steinbrink, 1:00.

113: Lucas Jagodzinske (FHS/MCW) pinned Adam Schavey, 1:27.

120: Blake Jagodzinske (FHS/MCW) major dec. Cole Warmka, 8-0.