No. 4 Red Bulls defend Valley Conference wrestling crown

BARRING THE ARM — Fairmont/Martin County West wrestler Mario Maldonado (top) bars the arm of Madelia/Truman/Martin Luther opponent Jed Altenburg during the 170-pound match of the two teams’ Valley Conference dual-meet tournament on Saturday in Lake Crystal. Maldonado helped the Class AA No. 4-ranked Red Bulls repeat as the league champions. (Photo by Greg Abel)

LAKE CRYSTAL — The Class AA No. 4-ranked Red Bulls coasted to their fourth consecutive Valley Conference dual-meet wrestling championship.

Fairmont/Martin County West lost only one match on its way to a quadrangular sweep. The Red Bulls began with a 70-0 win over the Madelia/Truman/Martin Luther Jayhawks, followed with a 68-0 win over St. Clair/Loyola and finished with a 66-6 win over the host Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial Knights.

Before the duals began, the coaches agreed to wrestle 12 of the 14 usual weight classes, dropping the 106- and 190-pound matches.

Every match in the FHS/MCW dual against LCWM ended by pin.

No. 5-ranked 113-pounder Lucas Jagodzinske got the meet started for the Red Bulls with a fall over Ean Gillman in 33 seconds, while No. 2-ranked 120-pounder Jaxson Rohman followed with a pin in 1:26 over the Knights’ Tyler Ash.

Blake Jagodzinske pressed LCWM’s Trayton Hewitt’s shoulders to the mat in 2:57 to take six points from the 126-pound match before No. 7-ranked 126-pounder Connor Simmonds followed with a slap of the mat against Tucker Wills in 2:26 at 132 pounds.

No. 4-ranked 132-pounder Cale Steuber pushed 138-pound opponent Seth Rosin’s shoulders to the canvas in 32 seconds before No. 6-ranked 145-pounder Payton Anderson earned a slap of the mat in 53 seconds against Camden Ludeman. Anderson’s win marked the 150th of his career.

Miles Fitzgerald pinned Bryer Larson in 1:56 to take the 152-pound bout and No. 9-ranked 160-pounder Nate Simmonds followed with a slap of the mat in 1:32 against the Knights’ Tristan Jones.

No. 9-ranked 170-pounder Mario Maldonado flipped the Knights’ Dylan Connor to his back and pushed his shoulders to the mat at the 1:38 mark for six more Red Bull points, before the Red Bulls’ Jacob Rahn forced Matt Thofson’s shoulders to the mat in 1:26 in the 220-pound bout.

Everardo Hernandez ended the Red Bulls’ quadrangular sweep with a pin of Alex Sullivan in 3:59 in the heavyweight match.

Garrett Myren took the Red Bulls’ only loss of the day when the Knights’ Avery Northquest pinned him in 3:56.

Red Bull head coach Adam Williamson said his team was excited to get a full dual meet against LCWM and he thought the team was beginning to peak.

“We knew that was going to be the one full dual, so the guys were really charged up for that and going for another conference title,” said Williamson. “They just wanted to put up a big number on our side and that’s the kind of work ethic they have. It’s the time of year when we need to be peaking and that’s what we were looking like today.”

The Red Bulls collected 16 forfeits out of 24 matches against MTML and St. Clair/Loyola.

A Red Bull pinned his opponent in three of the four matches wrestled against the Jayhawks.

Connor Simmonds wrestled the first Red Bull match of the day at 132 pounds and forced three near-falls before pinning the Jayhawks’ Gach Mar in 5:53.

Fitzgerald made quick work of his 152-pound match against Amauri Perez-Garcia when he pinned the Jayhawk grappler in 1:14. Fitzgerald got an early takedown, then pushed Perez-Garcia’s shoulders to the mat after a quick stop for blood time.

Mario Maldonado earned the final Red Bull pin of the opening dual when he got a slap of the mat in 2:51 against Jed Altenburg.

James Joyner took four points for the Red Bulls at 145 pounds when he took a 16-8 major decision over Ramiro Zamora. Joyner used five penalty points to his advantage when Zamora repeatedly had trouble getting into the correct starting position.

FHS/MCW used two pins, a technical fall, one decision and eight forfeits to shut out St. Clair/Loyola.

Connor Simmonds earned a slap of the mat against 132-pound opponent Lucas Kruse in 2:55 before Fitzgerald earned his second pin of the day in 1:03 at 152 pounds against Chase Baker.

Jaxson Rohman employed his catch-and-release strategy to take down 126-pound opponent Jack Klinder eight times during the match. Rohman added a reversal and a three-point near-fall to build his 21-6 edge for the technical fall.

Anderson earned an 8-4 decision over the Cyclones’ Gage Baker at 145 pounds. Anderson went into the third period ahead 6-4 and started in the down position, but quickly forced a reversal for two points to lock up the win.

Williamson said the team had a good work ethic and he was glad he got a chance to get everyone involved.

“We were happy with everybody’s effort,” Williamson said. “We had the chance to get everyone in there at least once today, so that was awesome. We’re trying to solidify our section lineup for the team sections this week. We were trying to get everyone some action and the team came through on all three duals, everyone stayed focused and had high effort all day long.”

After the duals completed, the coaches voted to name Jesse Potts, Lucas Jagodzinske, Blake Jagodzinske, Rohman, Connor Simmonds, Nate Simmonds, Steuber, Anderson, Maldonado, Rahn and Hernandez as all-conference, with Jordan Wolter receiving an honorable mention. Wolter missed the competition due to an injury.

LCWM’s Northquest and St. Clair/Loyola’s Gage Baker also were named to the all-conference team.

FHS/MCW hosts the winner of Luverne and Fulda/Murray County Central at 7:15 p.m. Thursday in the Section 3AA Team quarterfinals in Fairmont.

FHS/MCW 70

MTML 0

113: Lucas Jagodzinske (FMCW) won by forfeit.

120: Jaxson Rohman (FMCW) won by forfeit.

126: Blake Jagodzinske (FMCW) won by forfeit.

132: Connor Simmonds (FMCW) pinned Gach Mar, 5:53.

138: Cale Steuber (FMCW) won by forfeit.

145: James Joyner (FMCW) major dec. Ramiro Zamora, 16-8.

152: Miles Fitzgerald (FMCW) pinned Amauri Perez-Garcia, 1:14.

160: Nate Simmonds (FMCW) won by forfeit.

170: Mario Maldonado (FMCW) pinned Jed Altenburg, 2:51.

182: Max Olson (FMCW) won by forfeit.

220: Jacob Rahn (FMCW) won by forfeit.

285: Everardo Hernandez (FMCW) won by forfeit.

FHS/MCW 68

St. Clair/Loyola 0

113: Jesse Potts (FMCW) won by forfeit.

120: Lucas Jagodzinske (FMCW) won by forfeit.

126: Jaxson Rohman (FMCW) tech. fall Jack Klinder, 21-6.

132: Connor Simmonds (FMCW) pinned Lucas Kruse, 2:55.

138: Cale Steuber (FMCW) won by forfeit.

145: Payton Anderson (FMCW) dec. Gage Baker, 8-4.

152: Miles Fitzgerald (FMCW) pinned Chase Baker, 1:03.

160: Nate Simmonds (FMCW) won by forfeit.

170: Mario Maldonado (FMCW) won by forfeit.

182: Garrett Myren (FMCW) won by forfeit.

220: Shayne Steinbrink (FMCW) won by forfeit.

285: Jacob Rahn (FMCW) won by forfeit.

FHS/MCW 66

LCWM 6

113: Lucas Jagodzinske (FMCW) pinned Ean Gillman, 0:33.

120: Jaxson Rohman (FMCW) pinned Tyler Ash, 1:26.

126: Blake Jagodzinske (FMCW) pinned Trayton Hewitt, 2:57.

132: Connor Simmonds (FMCW) pinned Tucker Wills, 2:26.

138: Cale Steuber (FMCW) pinned Seth Rosin, 0:32.

145: Payton Anderson (FMCW) pinned Camden Ludeman, 0:53.

152: Miles Fitzgerald (FMCW) pinned Bryer Larson, 1:56.

160: Nate Simmonds (FMCW) pinned Tristan Jones, 1:32.

170: Mario Maldonado (FMCW) pinned Dylan Connor, 1:38.

182: Avery Northquest (LCWM) pinned Garrett Myren, 3:56.

220: Jacob Rahn (FMCW) pinned Matt Thofson, 1:26.

285: Everardo Hernandez (FMCW) pinned Alex Sullivan, 3:59.

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