Friday, July 19, 2019
Kasson-Mantorville’s Nic VanOort shakes the hand of members of the Simley wrestling team after the KoMets were upset in the Section 1AA championship dual on Feb. 16.

AN UNEXPECTED ENDING

Simley upsets K-M to take section championship

Entering the Section 1AA team wrestling tournament, the paths of Kasson- Mantorville and Simley seemed intertwined. The two teams were ranked first and second in The Guillotine’s Class AA rankings and in each of the past two years, the KoMets were able to get the best of the Spartans in the section championship dual on their way to state championships.

Like all good rivalries, however, the pendulum would swing back toward Simley in this year’s section championship. While the KoMets would put on a show for a jam-packed Taylor Arena, they would fall short of reaching the state tournament in a 30-23 defeat.

“They were just able to get the bonus points that we weren’t able to get,” K-M head coach Jamie Heidt said. “It was an incredible dual, both teams battled hard but they got some bonus points and they were able to win some close matches.”

To set up the matchup, both Simley and K-M ran through the field with little resistance. With the KoMets punching their ticket with dominating wins over La Crescent and Lake City, Simley did the same making short work of Stewartville and P-E-M to give the fans of Southeastern Minnesota what they wanted.

Things started off well for the KoMets as they looked like they were going to take control of the dual early. Jace Minelli would win an important swing match at 106 pounds over Peyton Spychalla and Logan Vaughan (113 pounds #3AA) would dominate Corey Primeau for a technical fall at 113 pounds to open the dual on the right foot. Brian Finley would come close to a technical fall of his own at 126, but would settle for a 14-1 major decision and an early 12-0 lead for the KoMets.

“That was a great way to start the dual,” Heidt said. “We came out there, got some bonus points, Jace got a big win and then you follow it up with Logan and Brian getting some big victories for us.”

Simley would return the favor in the next set of matches as Chase DeBlaere (#1AA at 120 pounds) would earn a major decision over Robby Horsman to get Simley on the board. Another pair of top-ranked wrestlers would also help the Spartans rally with Ryan Sokol earning a technical fall over Matthew Harfmann and Cael Berg earning a decision over Tanner Paulson to tie up the dual.

From there, it would be a matchup between Antonio Everett (#4AA) and Carlos Ruffo (#5AA) at 145 pounds. In what was one of the many swing matches on the afternoon, Everett was able to use his power to earn the upper hand and give Simley the lead for the first time with a 7-3 decision.

Kail Wynia would be up next for the KoMets and while his season has been marked by steady improvement, he would have a tall task against #3AA Gavin Nelson at 152 pounds. The freshman held his own and made Nelson work for a technical fall over Matthew Harfmann and Cael Berg earning a decision over Tanner Paulson to tie up the dual.

From there, it would be a matchup between Antonio Everett (#4AA) and Carlos Ruffo (#5AA) at 145 pounds. In what was one of the many swing matches on the afternoon, Everett was able to use his power to earn the upper hand and give Simley the lead for the first time with a 7-3 decision.

Kail Wynia would be up next for the KoMets and while his season has been marked by steady improvement, he would have a tall task against #3AA Gavin Nelson at 152 pounds.

The freshman held his own and made Nelson work for a victory, but a late flurry at the end would give Nelson a couple of extra points and escape with an 8-3 decision. With the KoMets down 18-12, Bennett Berge (#2AA) came out on a mission at 160 pounds against Jacob Hageman (#3AA). In what could be one of many matches that could be seen multiple times in the next couple weeks, Berge was able to gain momentum for the KoMets and get the 9-6 decision to close the gap.

The KoMets would opt to swap Dalton Andrist and Patrick Kennedy in the lineup as Andrist (#2AA at 182 pounds) would take the mat next to face Nolan Wanzek (#4AA at 170 pounds). The senior Andrist would give Wanzek a hard-fought battle, but once again Simley would be on the

other side of the coin taking a crucial 5-2 victory.

Patrick Kennedy (#1AA at 170 pounds) would take his turn in the biggest match of the season against Esiquio Diaz. In a match where bonus points would be key, Kennedy went for the pin over the sophomore, but Diaz just wouldn’t budge. As the match went into the third period, Kennedy would have to settle for a tech fall, which left K-M behind 21-20.

A battle between Grant Parrish (#3AA at 195 pounds) and Bennett Tabor (#2AA at 195 pounds) would go in Simley’s favor in a 6-0 decision and Garsen Schorr (#2AA at 220 pounds) would also get a shutout in a 3-0 decision to leave it up to the final match between Anthony Moe-Tucker and Daniel Kerkvilet.

Facing one of the top recruits in the nation, Moe-Tucker would try to save the KoMets’ season, but Kirkvilet would score a pin 28 seconds into the match, to hand K-M its first loss since the 2014-15 Section 1AA championship.

The loss was crushing for the KoMets, but they understand that there is work to be done.

While the ultimate goal of a team title is gone, several wrestlers will be going for individual titles beginning with the Section 1AA tournament this week. It’s a situation that will put the one-thing-at-a-time KoMets to the test.

“We always focus on all avenues of wrestling,” Heidt said of the team’s mindset. “We compete in individual and team tournaments throughout the year and while winning another team title was one of our goals, we also want to get as many wrestlers on the podium this weekend as possible at sections. We’re back to work and our team

is going to go out there and finish strong because there’s a lot of wrestling left this season."

 

 

See full story in this week’s print edition or subscribe online. Please subscribe here or current subscribers can login here.

Steele County Times & DCI

Steele County Times
507-583-4431
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917

Dodge County Independent
507-634-7503
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
507-634-2661
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

 

Sign Up For Breaking News

Stay informed on our latest news!

Manage my subscriptions

Subscribe to Greer Citizen newsletter feed