PREP WRESTLING: WHS’s Luft, Poppema among 32 area wrestlers headed to the Xcel Energy Center for state meetDAWSON — With only one week left in the wrestling season, with the state tournament taking place on Thursday-Saturday, the field of competition is slowly dwindling.
DAWSON — With only one week left in the wrestling season, with the state tournament taking place on Thursday-Saturday, the field of competition is slowly dwindling.
For 32 local wrestlers, their season will continue on to state, where they will vie for titles among the best of the best.
The individual section tournaments were held over the weekend and wrestlers from Worthington, Adrian, Windom/Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin, Fulda/Murray County Central, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove, Jackson County Central, Wabasso/Red Rock Central and Pipestone Area placed in the top-2 of their respective weight classes to advance to state.
For Worthington, those kids were Anthony Luft and Matt Poppema.
“It warms your heart to see the triumphs of some, but at the same time you’re heartbroken for those who didn’t get the results they wanted,” Worthington head coach Mark Prunty said. “It’s a rollercoaster of a day. But it is so great to see two of our hard-workers’ seasons continue.”
Luft, who finished sixth at the state tournament last year, qualified again this year after placing second at the Section 3AA tournament.
The 106-pounder lost to Fairmont/Martin County West’s Trevor Schultz in the championship match by a 5-1 decision.
Luft admitted the loss was tough considering he won the section tournament last season, but is excited to get a chance to increase his placing at state this week.
“I thought I did alright. I thought I could’ve done better,” Luft said. “There was a scramble right at the beginning of that match and he just ended up getting the two. In the third period I got out and he just grabbed my leg and sucked it in and I couldn’t get it out, so he took me down.
“Looking forward, I just want to win it all. That’s my goal. It’s been my goal all season.”
Poppema also took a second-place finish at sections.
After losing to MAHACA’s Tim Ostby by pinfall in the championship match, the 145-pounder had to wrestle a true second match to make it to state.
Poppema, a senior who has never been to the state tournament before, pinned F/MCW’s Joe Weber at the 1:17 mark to earn a trip to the tournament.
“I was so jacked,” Poppema said. “I was just warming up and I told myself I wasn’t going to lose that match. I can’t be happier. I’m just so excited. I don’t even have words to describe what I’m feeling right now.”
At 113-pounds in Class AA, W/MLBO’s Jared Willaby (first) and Adrian’s Tony Lynn (second) each advance dto state.
Adrian’s Jaydan Bullerman won the 120-pound title to advance as well.
Bullerman defeated Dawson-Boyd/Lac Qui Parle Valley’s T.J. Fulton in a 5-0 decision. Fulton was the same wrestler Bullerman lost to in the quarterfinal round of the team section tournament on Feb. 17.
“I was pumped,” Bullerman said. “He beat me last Friday so it was nice to get him this time. It was a little extra motivation for me.”
At 126 pounds, Adrian’s Nate Loosbrock (second) advanced, F/MCC’s Austin Kluis (first) and Adrian’s Ben Mulder (second) each advanced in the 132-pound weight class, while Adrian’s Nate Lynn (first) and W/MLBO’s Blake Spinks (second advanced at 138 pounds.
At 160 pounds, Adrian’s Mitchell Sieve took second-place to advance to the state tournament, W/MLBO’s Matt Willaby (first) and F/MCC’s Ben Loosbrock (second) advanced at 170 pounds and W/MLBO’s Vince Johnson took first at 182 pounds to advance.
In the 195 pound weight class T-M-B/W-WG’s Brad Schmidt — who is ranked No. 10 in the state — pinned Adrian’s Adam Garms to take the section title.
Schmidt pinned Garms at the 1:16 mark of the match. Garms ended up winning the true second match to advance to state as well.
“I tell myself before every match that I’ve worked harder than the guy I’m about to go up against,” Schmidt said. “I wanted this match really bad and I’ve worked my whole life to get to where I’m at right now. I didn’t want someone else to take that hard work away from me. It’s just amazing. I’m so happy.”
The other 16 local qualifiers came from Class A.
Eight JCC wrestlers advanced to state, which will make the Huskies’ the most represented local team at the Xcel Energy Center later this week.
Eliot Jurries took second at 126 pounds, Keegan Moore won the 138-pound title, Paden Moore took second at 145 pounds, Luke Norland took second at 152 pounds, Darick Vancura took the 160-pound title, Cooper Moore took first-place at 170 pounds, Patrick Hanson won the 195-pound title and Alex Tewes won the heavyweight section title.
PA will be represented by 182-pounder Matt Haraldson, who took second at the section tournament.
W/RRC advanced seven wrestlers to the state tournament as well.
Spencer Jenniges took first at 113 pounds, Brandon Goblirsch won the title at 120 pounds, Tanner Rohlik took second-place at 138 pounds, Mitchell Rohlik won the 152-pound title, Nathan Mattison came in second at 170 pounds, Cody Welch took second at 220 pounds and heavyweight Alex Schroepfer took home a section title as well.
The individual state wrestling tournament will begin Friday and conclude with the championship matches beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Daily Globe Sports Reporter Jocelyn Syrstad can be reached at 376-7335.
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