Red Bulls capture River Riot championship

FANCY FOOTWORK — Fairmont/Martin County West wrestler Lucas Jagodzinske (black singlet), who checks to make sure his feet are inside the circle to earn two points for a takedown against Waseca’s Mason Gehloff during dual-meet action on Dec. 7, captured the 106-pound championship at the Redwood River Riot on Saturday in Redwood Falls to help guide the Red Bulls to the team crown. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)

REDWOOD FALLS — The Class 2A No. 11-ranked Fairmont/Martin County West Red Bulls continued their regular-season stampede by capturing top honors at the 33-team Redwood River Riot on Friday and Saturday in Redwood Falls.

The Red Bulls crowned three individual champions — Lucas Jagodzinske, Jaxson Rohman and Payton Anderson — to help pace their winning margin of 216.5-158.5 over runner-up and Class 2A No. 9-ranked Litchfield.

Marshall garnered third place with 117 points, Class 1A No. 6-ranked Sibley East finished fourth at 113, while St. Peter rounded out the top five with 112. Blue Earth Area claimed 18th with 64.5 points.

“All of our guys did their part in contributing to winning our first-ever team championship at the River Riot,” said Red Bulls head coach Adam Williamson, whose lineup produced a third-place showing in the 2016 event. “We had eight reach the quarterfinals to put us in the lead in the standings after Day 1 on Friday, and we just kept the momentum going on Saturday.”

Jagodzinske captured the 106-pound gold medal by posting a 9-1 major decision over Worthington’s Damon Schutz in the quarterfinals, compiling an 8-3 victory over Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove’s Ayden Homer in the semifinals and defeating Wabasso/Red Rock Central’s Mason Irlbeck in the championship clash. The unranked Jagodzinske earned a 6-0 decision over the Class 1A, No. 4-ranked Irlbeck.

The Class 2A, No. 2-ranked 113-pound Rohman reeled off three consecutive victories on Saturday to produce his River Riot crown.

Rohman rolled to a 14-5 major decision over Hsa Khee Lar of Marshall in the quarterfinals, pinned Tri-City United’s Nick Johnson in the semifinals in 5:13, while besting Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg’s Will Magaard in the gold-medal round via an 11-3 major decision. Magaard holds the No. 1 spot at 106 in Class 1A, while Johnson — who went on to place third at 113 — currently is ranked No. 5 at 106 in Class 2A.

Payton Anderson earned the Red Bulls’ third individual championship by garnering three wins during Saturday’s 138-pound bracket.

Anderson, the No. 1-ranked 138-pounder in Class 2A, pinned New Ulm’s Cole Ranweiler in the quarterfinals in 1:56 before chalking up a 7-0 semifinal decision over Sibley East’s Lincoln Carpenter to gain the finals.

Anderson then earned a 5-1 gold-medal decision over Class 3A No. 7-ranked 138-pounder Gavin Peterson of Maple Grove.

Collin Steuber of the Red Bulls delivered a second-place showing at 170; teammates Connor Simmonds (120), Jordan Wolter (132) and Nathan Simmonds (152) each netted bronze medals; Miles Fitzgerald (145) finished fifth; Cale Steuber (126) took seventh; while Class 2A No. 7-ranked 170-pounder Tristan Lange (182) netted eighth place.

Steuber, who holds the No. 1 spot at 182 in Class 2A, merited back-to-back falls on Saturday to earn a spot in the 170-pound finals against Class 1A No. 3-ranked 182-pounder Nick Altermatt of Wabasso/RRC. Altermatt edged Steuber by a narrow 8-5 decision for the gold medal.

Steuber opened the quarterfinals by pinning Mankato West opponent Noah Langsjoen in 3:54 before needing only 2:47 to earn the slap of the canvas against Marshall’s Zach Stahl in the semifinals.

During 120-pound action, Connor Simmonds battled his way through the wrestlebacks to earn a spot in the bronze-medal match. Simmonds needed only 50 seconds to pin Minneapolis South’s Gideon Cole during Saturday’s opener before chalking up a 10-2 major decision over Mankato West’s Gannon Rosenfeld.

Connor Simmonds then pinned Rocori’s Austin Moscho in 1:23, edged Litchfield’s Jerry Simes by a 3-0 decision and bested Class 2A No. 10-ranked 120-pounder Hsa La Eh of Marshall by an 8-6 overtime decision to pocket third place.

Class 2A No. 10-ranked Jordan Wolter needed just 1:04 to pin TCU’s Adam Fredrickson in 132-pound quarterfinal action Saturday before dropping a 5-1 semifinal decision to Class 2A No. 7-rated Afton Kaping of Litchfield.

Wolter then bounced back with a 58-second fall over St. Peter’s Michael Connor in wrestleback action before pressing South St. Paul opponent Nick Pelach’s shoulders to the mat in 1:05 during the third-place match.

At 152 pounds, FHS/MCW’s Nathan Simmonds reeled off five consecutive wins to earn a bronze medal. Simmonds quickly pinned Rocori’s Brock Humbert in just 43 seconds before needing only 48 seconds to dispose of Alexandria’s Trappier Botz.

Simmonds continued his pinning ways with a 53-second fall over TMB/WWG’s Jake Byrne in consolation action before edging Maple River’s Wyatt Simon, 6-3. The Red Bulls’ 152-pounder claimed third place by squeezing by KMS’ Caleb Collins, 4-3.

During 145-pound action, FHS/MCW’s Miles Fitzgerald posted a 6-1 quarterfinal decision over Holdingford’s Alex Lange before falling to eventual weight-bracket champion and Class 2A No. 7-ranked 145-pounder Justin Kopet of TCU, 9-4, in the semifinals.

Redwood River Valley’s Tayte Harazin edged Fitzgerald 3-0 to send the Red Bulls to the fifth-place match. Fitzgerald generated an 11-1 major decision over Litchfield’s Andrew Loch to close out his tournament.

For Blue Earth Area, Class 1A No. 6-ranked 170-pounder Zach Buseman captured second place during 160-pound action in Redwood Falls.

Buseman rolled to an 8-0 major decision over Class 2A No. 4-ranked 152-pounder Tanner Stark of New Ulm in Saturday’s 160-pound quarterfinal before squaring off against another ranked grappler in Wabasso/RRC’s Jared Schroepfer in the semifinals.

Buseman edged Schroepfer by a 4-3 decision to earn a spot in the championship round against Class 2A No. 10-ranked 152-pounder Logan Nelson of Litchfield. Nelson pinned Buseman for the gold medal in 1:09.

Blue Earth Area’s Davis Sunken lost a 10-0 quarterfinal at 113 to New London-Spicer’s Blake Vagle to open Saturday before besting New Ulm’s Jackson Bode in the wrestlebacks with a 10-2 major decision. Sunken edged Jeris Lemm of Alexandria, 2-0, before losing an 11-1 major decision to TCU’s Nick Johnson. Sunken then placed sixth for the Bucs, getting pinned by Maple River’s Trevor Pearson in the fifth-place match in 3:48.

Class 1A No. 10-ranked heavyweight Trevor Oppedal of BEA received a forfeit from Class 1A No. 7-ranked 285-pounder Jaden Podratz of Sibley East in Saturday’s quarterfinals before Oppedal lost a 9-2 semifinal decision to eventual heavyweight champion Zachary Jakes of Mankato West.

Canby’s Josh Hansen edged Oppedal by a 3-1 wrestleback decision to send the Bucs’ 285-pounder into the fifth-place match. Oppedal edged Dawson-Boyd/Lac Qui Parle Valley’s Sam Henriksen by a 3-0 decision to close out his day.

The Red Bulls compete in the Rumble on the Red at the FargoDome in Fargo, N.D., Dec. 28-29. Blue Earth Area plays host to Le Sueur-Henderson and New Prague at 5 p.m. Tuesday in Blue Earth.


Team Standings (Top 10 of 33): 1. Fairmont/Martin County West 216.5; 2. Litchfield 158.5; 3. Marshall 117; 4. Sibley East 113; 5. St. Peter 112; 6. Wabasso/Red Rock Central 109.5; 7. Mankato West 106; 8. Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove 102.5; 9. Sartell-St. Stephen 97; 10. Maple River 95.5; 18. Blue Earth Area 64.5.