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Rohman wins state crown; Chargers end Red Bulls’ run

STATELY EFFORT — Martin County Red Bulls 126-pound wrestler Jaxson Rohman (bottom) lifts Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield opponent Gabe Nelson off the mat for a double-leg takedown during the two teams’ Class AA state semifinal meet Friday at St. Michael-Albertville High School. Rohman went on to win the Class AA 126-pound individual state championship Friday night. (Photo by Kyle McAreavy)

ST. MICHAEL — The Chargers lit up the scoreboard in the final six weights.

No. 4-ranked Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield won the final six matches to overcome the No. 3-ranked Martin County Red Bulls, 41-23, in the Class AA state team wrestling semifinals Friday at St. Michael-Albertville High School in St. Michael.

The Red Bulls’ season ends with a dual-meet record of 28-2.

“Through all the adversity and challenges, our kids persevered and found success,” Martin County head coach Adam Williamson said. “We got to wrestle a full season and made the most of it.”

The Red Bulls had strung together five wins over six weights leading to a 23-10 lead going into the 160-pound dual, but the Chargers stormed back.

No. 2-ranked 160-pounder Jude Link started the Chargers’ run with a pin of Carver Rohman in 1:46, then brother and No. 7-ranked 170-pounder Tate Link outpointed the Red Bulls’ No. 4-ranked 160-pounder Blake Jagodzinske, 4-3, on the strength of a second-period reversal at 170.

No. 9-ranked 182-pounder Will O’Brien gave the Chargers their first lead since the 120-pound matchup when he shoved Gage Cyphers’ shoulders to the mat in 2:39 in the 182-pound matchup, then Hayden Hoernemann extended the advantage to 31-23 when he got a slap of the mat in 3:37 against Wyatt Williamson.

No. 8-ranked 195-pounder Beau Nelson moved up to 220 pounds for the Chargers, outpointing Max Olson, 11-3 for a major decision before Brendan Rokala ended the dual with a slap of the mat against Alec Thompson in 1:18 at heavyweight.

“I’m so proud of all that our team accomplished this season,” Adam Williamson said. “A final four finish is amazing, the guys all went out and wrestled tough and left it on the mat.”

The Chargers jumped out to a 7-0 lead through the first two matches of the day.

No. 6-ranked 106-pounder Andrew Joedeman started the dual with a 9-6 decision over Rylan Cutler, then No. 7-ranked 113-pounder Victor Franco outpointed Cooper Steuber for an 11-2 major decision.

No. 7-ranked 120-pounder Jesse Potts got the Red Bulls into the dual when he took No. 10-ranked Alex Joedeman to his back with 1:42 left in the second period and earned a slap of the mat at the 3:15 mark.

Top-ranked 126-pounder Jaxson Rohman put Martin County in the lead when he amassed 10 takedowns and a three-point near fall to build a 23-8 technical fall over Gabe Nelson.

No. 8-ranked 132-pounder Kain Sanders made it three in a row for the Red Bulls.

The Chargers’ Monte Gillman took Sanders to his back and earned a two-point near fall to start the match, but Sanders escaped with 1:10 left in the first period, then took Gillman to his back with 1:07 left and earned a slap of the mat at the 55 second mark.

No. 5-ranked 138-pounder Jerry Simes brought the Chargers within 17-10 when he outpointed No. 3-ranked Lucas Jagodzinske, 7-4.

Aden Welcome got the Red Bulls back on track at 145 pounds when he used two takedowns, an escape and a stalling point to build a 6-0 decision over Shelby Fischer-Lund, then No. 2-ranked 145-pounder Connor Simmonds moved up to 152 pounds for Martin County.

Simmonds and No. 5-ranked 152-pounder Eddie Simes battled through the first two periods scoreless, then Simmonds started the third period in the down position.

For the first minute of the final period, Simmonds was unable to escape, but after a pause when the wrestlers moved out-of-bounds, Simmonds threw his mouthguard to the sideline and escaped with 50 seconds remaining. Neither wrestler could land a shot in the final seconds as Simmonds walked away with a 1-0 decision to build the Red Bulls’ 23-10 advantage going into the Chargers’ final run.

With the win, the Chargers moved on to face undefeated and No. 1-ranked Simley in the state championship dual, with Simley finishing its undefeated campaign with a 68-6 win. Simley did not win a dual by less than 29 points through the season.

After an intermission, four Red Bulls hit the St. Michael-Albertville mats with a chance at an individual title.

All four medaled, but one achieved the ultimate goal.

Rohman proved his season-long No. 1 rank correct when he won all three of his matches to take the top spot in the 126-pound bracket.

Rohman started the individual tournament using his catch-and-release strategy to build a 26-10 technical fall over Annandale/Maple Lake’s Zach Pribyl.

He then matched up with Big Lake’s No. 4-ranked Nolan Reiter. Rohman took Reiter to the mat three times in the first period and forced a three-point near fall to go into the first break up 9-2. Rohman then earned a two-point near fall in the second period before taking Reiter to the mat in the third period and earning another two-point near fall and a stalling point for a 16-4 major decision.

Going into the championship dual, Rohman said he knew the work he put in made him nearly unbeatable.

“I knew that nobody could beat me if I was on my best,” Rohman said. “I made sure this year that nobody would be close to me. I trained hard and ate healthy for four months to get ready for today.”

Rohman’s hard work paid off when he once again matched up with Morris Area/Hancock Area/Chokio-Alberta’s No. 3-ranked Ethan Lebrija, who Rohman beat via a 7-5 decision in the Section 2AA-3AA super-section in Redwood Falls.

Rohman learned from his first matchup with Lebrija, taking him to the mat six times and adding a two-point near fall and an escape to build a 15-6 major decision to claim his second state individual title.

“I knew that all my hard work has paid off,” Rohman said of the moment his hand was raised as a champion once again. “And I ended up exactly where I belonged.”

“Jaxson had this goal from the moment he was a young wrestler,” Adam Williamson said of Rohman’s season. “He’s had an amazing career and topped it off the best way possible. Six state medals and finishing with his second state championship is pretty phenomenal.”

Lucas Jagodzinske was next up for the Red Bulls in the individuals.

Jagodzinske started his 138-pound elite-eight tournament with a 4-0 decision over DCL’s No. 5-ranked Jerry Simes in a rematch from the Red Bulls’ team dual, but Byron’s No. 2-ranked Maxwell Peterson worked to a 13-8 decision to send Jagodzinske to the third-place match.

Princeton’s No. 4-ranked Kyle Boeke then built a 10-5 decision over Jagodzinske to take third.

Simmonds hit the mat for a chance at a 145-pound title and won his elite-eight matchup with Watertown-Mayor/Mayor Lutheran’s Bryce Burkett via a 6-1 decision.

Thief River Falls’ No. 5-ranked Brady Kasprick then used a third-period takedown and three-point near fall with 1:10 left to overcome Simmonds’ 3-0 lead going into the final period, building a 5-4 decision and sending Simmonds to the third-place match.

Simmonds faced Detroit Lakes’ No. 7-ranked Brody Ullyott in the final matchup, with Ullyott building a 6-3 decision to claim third.

Blake Jagodzinske was the final Red Bull in the individual portion, working to a 4-1 decision over Thief River Falls’ No. 10-ranked Cody Wienen in the opening round.

DCL’s No. 2-ranked Jude Link then battled to a 19-7 major decision to send Jagodzinske to the third-place match, but an injury default kept Jagodzinske from matching up with Kasson-Mantorville’s No. 3-ranked Cole Glazier.

Class AA Team Semifinals

Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield 41

Martin County 23

106: Andrew Joedeman (DCL) dec. Rylan Cutler, 9-6.

113: Victor Franco (DCL) major dec. Cooper Steuber, 11-2.

120: Jesse Potts (MC) pinned Alex Joedeman, 3:15.

126: Jaxson Rohman (MC) tech. fall Gabe Nelson, 23-8.

132: Kain Sanders (MC) pinned Monte Gillman, 0:55.

138: Jerry Simes (DCL) dec. Lucas Jagodzinske, 7-4.

145: Aden Welcome (MC) dec. Shelby Fischer-Lund, 6-0.

152: Connor Simmonds (MC) dec. Eddie Simes, 1-0.

160: Jude Link (DCL) pinned Carver Rohman, 1:47.

170: Tate Link (DCL) dec. Blake Jagodzinske, 4-3.

182: Will O’Brien (DCL) pinned Gage Cyphers, 2:39.

195: Hayden Hoernemann (DCL) pinned Wyatt Williamson, 3:37.

220: Beau Nelson (DCL) major dec. Max Olson, 11-3.

285: Brendan Rokala (DCL) pinned Alec Thompson, 1:18.

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