PREP WRESTLING: W/MLBO headed to stateMARSHALL — Andrew Larson was on the Windom/Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin’s JV wrestling squad at the start of the season.
MARSHALL — Andrew Larson was on the Windom/Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin’s JV wrestling squad at the start of the season.
Coach Brad Schlomann said that in the beginning of the season that Larson would have a key victory in the Section 3AA championship dual that same year, the coach wouldn’t have bought it.
Not because Larson is a poor wrestler, but because he wasn’t a starter on the varsity team.
So when Larson pulled off a 4-3 decision over Dawson Boyd/Lac Qui Parle Valley’s Joe Weeding Friday night, Schlomann was shocked.
“As soon as he came off the mat, I pulled him aside and asked, ‘How the heck did you just do that?’,” Schlomann said. “And he just looked at me and said, “Because I want to go to the state tournament Coach.’”
And the Cobras are doing just that. After defeating Morris Area/Hancock/Chokio-Alberta 37-28 in the semifinals, W/MLBO pulled off a 38-30 win over DB/LQPV to win the section championship and are advancing to the team state tournament March 1-3 in Minneapolis.
“I’m so out of it. it’s so incredible,” W/MLBO senior Matt Willaby said. “It will probably take a while just for it to sink in. It’s just been perfect all the way through. Each match all the way through we found a way to do it. It built and built and built and we found this here and it’s like heaven. I love it.”
It is the first time since 2008 that the Cobras have made it to the state tournament—the seniors were in eighth grade at that time. During Schlomann’s time as an assistant coach, W/MLBO also made it to State in 2002 and 2003. This will be his first time making it to the tournament as a head coach.
The Cobras had four wrestlers earn bonus points in the championship match.
Blake Spinks (132 pounds) recorded a tech fall over the United’s Jalen Baldwin, 145-pounder Drake Borsgard pinned Wyatt Ireland at the 1:14 mark of his match, Willaby pinned Jordan Staab at the 4:34 mark of the 182 pound match and Vince Johnson pinned Jared Rolland at the 5:47 mark of the 195 pound match.
Tim Larson, Andrew’s older brother, also recorded his 100th career win when he recorded a 5-3 decision over DB/LQPV’s Garth Ochsendorf in the 160-pound weight class.
“I knew it was coming up soon,” Tim Larson said of his milestone win. “I didn’t know if I’d get it in team sections. I really wanted to get it here if I could. It feels really good. What a great time to get it. Best timing possible.
“I just came out and I was really fired up from my brother’s match and Drake’s match. They really got things going. I came out with so much fire and intensity and I was just ready to wrestle.”
The Cobras were able to clinch the ride to the state tournament during the 195-pound match. W/MLBO was up 32-18 going into that match, so the United were going to have to win all three remaining matches by bonus points if they wanted to clinch the section championship. However, if DB/LQPV lost that match, it lost the title too.
Johnson was able to come out and dominate the entire match, leading Rolland 7-1 after the second period.
And after riding his opponent for nearly the whole third period, Johnson got the pin in the final 20 seconds.
“I was pretty confident I could win,” Johnson said. “I had a good feeling. I knew what I had to do and I did it. I just threw him on his back and just kept working and didn’t get out of position. I just barbwired him at the end and I decided I wanted to get a pin instead of just sitting there. The coaches might’ve wanted me to just sit there, but I wanted the pin.
“It was so exciting. I knew at that point we made it and it was amazing. I’m so happy.”
In W/MLBO’s dual against MAHACA in the semifinals, five wrestlers got bonus points for the Cobras.
Wyatt Stevens (106 pounds) recorded a pin at the 3:10 mark of his match, 113-pounder Joe Fischenich recorded a 12-3 major decision, 160-pounder Tim Larson recorded a pin at the 0:31 mark of his match, Willaby recorded a pin at the 2:32 mark of the 182-pound match and Johnson got the pin at the 0:41 mark of the 195-pound match.
Adrian also wrestled in the semifinals, with the final match determining who would advance to the championship.
The Dragons lost to DB/LQPV 33-26 after heavyweight Jake Diekmann was pinned at the 3:14 mark of the match. Adrian was losing just 27-26 entering that match.
Four Dragon wrestlers had bonus points in the match. Tony Lynn (113 pounds) recorded a tech fall over the United’s Action Herman, 132-pounder Nate Loosbrock earned a major decision over Baldwin, 145-pounder Nate Lynn recorded a tech fall over Ireland and 182-pounder Mitchell Sieve recorded a pin over Mike Bothun at the 3:15 mark of his match.
Adrian finished the season 20-10.
W/MLBO finished the season 19-5. Both teams will participate in the individual section tournament on Feb. 25 in Dawson.
The Cobras will advance to the state tournament, which begins on March 1.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been this popular, or will ever be this popular again,” Schlomann said as dozens of Cobra fans congratulated him after the section championship match. “I’m so excited, I can’t even form words. Everybody wrestled great. I’m just a little tiny puzzle piece in all of this. We wouldn’t have accomplished this if it weren’t for each member of this team. We wrestled well and we’re excited to make the next advancement.”
W/MLBO 37, MAHACA 28
106 Stevens (W) fall 3:10 Ascheman, 6-0
113 Fischenich (W) maj. dec. 12-3 Travis Ostby, 10-0
120 J. Willaby (W) dec. 7-2 E. Nelson, 13-0
126 Johnson (M) dec. 9-3 Suess, 13-3
132 Spinks (W) dec. 10-6 Smith, 16-3
138 Boyd (W) dec. 8-2 Berning, 19-3
145 S. Nelson (M) fall 4:27 Mutz, 19-9
152 Tim Ostby (M) fall 1:34 A. Larson, 19-15
160 T. Larson (W) fall 0:31 A. Nelson, 25-15
170 Metzger (M) fall 5:19 Blomgren, 25-21
182 M. Willaby (W) fall 2:32 Ehlers, 31-21
195 Johnson (W) fall 0:41 Moser, 37-21
220 Harrison (M) dec. 5-0 Flatgard, 37-24
Hwt. Gibson (M) maj. dec. 10-1 Litfin, 37-28
DB/LQPV 33, Adrian 26
106 J. Bothun (D) dec. 11-9 Elias, 3-0
113 T. Lynn (A) tech fall Herman, 3-5
120 Fulton (D) dec. 6-5 Bullerman, 6-5
126 Weedking (D) maj. dec. 11-3 Heitkamp, 10-5
132 Loosbrock (A) maj. dec. 13-5 Baldwin, 10-9
138 Mulder (A) dec. 5-1 Abraham, 10-12
145 N. Lynn (A) tech fall Ireland, 10-17
152 Weeding (D) dec. 4-3 Rogers, 13-17
160 Ochsendorf (D) dec. 8-4 Slater, 16-17
170 Haas (D) tech fall Albertson, 21-17
182 Sieve (A) fall 3:15 M. Bothun, 21-23
195 Garms (A) dec. 5-1 Staab, 21-26
220 Struxness (D) fall 1:59 Vasquez, 27-26
Hwt. Schmitt (D) fall 3:14 Diekmann, 33-26
W/MLBO 38, DB/LQPV 30
106 Stevens (W) dec. 7-4 J. Bothun, 3-0
113 Fischenich (W) dec. 5-0 Herman, 6-0
120 J. Willaby (W) dec. 8-6 Fulton, 9-0
126 Weedking (D) fall 0:38 Suess, 9-6
132 Spinks (W) tech fall Baldwin, 14-6
138 Abraham (D) fall 1:46 Boyd, 14-12
145 Borsgard (W) fall 1:14 Ireland, 20-12
152 A. Larson (W) dec. 4-3 Weeding, 23-12
160 T. Larson (W) dec. 5-3 Ochsendorf, 26-12
170 Haas (D) fall 0:34 Blomgren, 26-18
182 M. Willaby (W) fall 4:34 Staab, 32-18
195 Johnson (W) fall 5:47 Rolland, 38-18
220 Struxness (D) fall 0:59 Flatgard, 38-24
Hwt. Schmitt (D) fall 2:09 Litfin, 38-30
Daily Globe Sports Reporter Jocelyn Syrstad can be reached at 376-7335.