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Handevidt keeps winning; JCC beats Luverne, Worthington in mat triangular

Though he won a state Class A individual wrestling championship last season at 145 pounds and is undefeated and ranked No. 1 this year at 152, Payton Handevidt is always thinking about getting better.

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Jackson County Central wrestler Payton Handevidt controls Luverne's Hunter Baker in the 160-pound weight class in a triangular meet Thursday in Luverne. Handevidt, who won a state individual championship last year, says he's determined to do it again. (Doug Wolter/The Globe)

LUVERNE -- Though he won a state Class A individual wrestling championship last season at 145 pounds and is undefeated and ranked No. 1 this year at 152, Payton Handevidt is always thinking about getting better.

After beating Luverne senior Hunter Baker at 160 pounds for his 18th straight victory this winter, the Jackson County Central junior took a breather prior to the Huskies’ match against Worthington in Thursday’s triangular meet. Handevidt didn’t get the first takedown on Baker until late in the first period, and he chided himself for not being aggressive enough.

“I knew that guy was going to be tough. He tried to stay away from me a little bit, trying to keep it close. But once I got my first takedown, I felt like I was in control of the match a little more,” Handevidt said.

When Handevidt gets control of an opponent, that usually means the match is over already. He’s a hard rider, able to use both arms and both legs and his muscular body to render a rival helpless. Still, he isn’t satisfied yet.

“I think I want to get better conditioned, and then diet a little better,” he said, admitting that Baker took a little steam out of him. “There’s still time. I just need to work harder in the room, focus a little more on it.”

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Handevidt has never been one to rest on his laurels. He began the 2021 campaign looking noticeably stronger and thicker than he did when he was a sophomore. But on Thursday he said he intends to be more “explosive” in all three periods.

“I can’t be satisfied with what I’ve done,” he explained, which ought to worry all of his top rivals. “I want to get better, get to the next level. Now I know where I need to be. And how much more I have to work, with the target on my back.”

As a team, Jackson County Central breezed 76-6 through Luverne, which forfeited several weight classes. The Huskies defeated Worthington 39-27 and the Trojans followed with a 78-3 win over the Cardinals, who again left several weight classes open.

Worthington’s Damon Schutz prevailed in both of his matches Thursday, pinning JCC’s Dylan Withers and Luverne’s Braydon Ripka. Other Trojans who won against JCC were Oscar Galvez (120), Zaydan Abdulrahman (132) and Cole Hennings (285). Those who saw mat time against Luverne and won included Trojans Alex Galvez (106), Dalton Larson (113), Chase Byrne (152), Jaden Hennings (160) and Evan Neuberger (182).

Luverne’s Riley Cowell, who won his JCC match by fall at 120, also won by fall in his Worthington match.

JCC 76, Luverne 6

106-Nolan Ambrose (JCC) by forfeit

113-Kie Anderson (JCC) by forfeit

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120-Riley Cowell (L) pinned Seth Stai

126-Logan Butzon (JCC) by forfeit

132-Thomas Freking (JCC) by forfeit

138-Andrew Boyum (JCC) by forfeit

145-Dylan Withers (JCC) pinned Braydon Ripka

152-Isaiah Rodriguez (JCC) pinned Jaden Reisch

160-Payton Handevidt (JCC) MD Hunter Baker 14-4

170-Matthew Haley (JCC) by forfeit

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182-William Freking (JCC) pinned Chris Rosin

195-Caleb Vancura (JCC) by forfeit

220-Tycin Bajarano (JCC) by forfeit

285-Trace Michelson (JCC) by forfeit

JCC 39, Worthington 27

106-Nolan Ambrose (JCC) pinned Alex Galvez

113-Kie Anderson (JCC) dec. Ethan Meyer 5-0

120-Oscar Galvez (W) pinned Seth Stai

126-Logan Butzon (JCC) TF Oliver Ortiz 22-5

132-Zaydan Abdulrahman (W) dec. Trey Rossow 6-1

138-Thomas Freking (JCC) pinned Miat Htoo

145-Damon Schutz (W) pinned Dylan Withers

152-Isaiah Rodriguez (JCC) dec. Chase Byrne 10-5

160-Payton Handevidt (JCC) MD Jaden Hennings 14-4

170-Matthew Haley (JCC) pinned Evan Neuberger

182-William Freking (JCC) dec. Kent Lais 10-4

195-Caleb Vancura (JCC) dec. Tanner Hennings 4-1

220-Chad Buntjer (W) by forfeit

285-Cole Hennings (W) pinned Trace Michelson

Worthington 78, Luverne 3

103-Alex Galvez (W) pinned Rayden Boyenga

113-Dalton Larson (W) pinned Uriel Hernandez

120-Riley Cowell (L) dec. Oscar Galvez 8-3

126-Zaydan Abdulrahman (W) by forfeit

132-Oliver Ortiz (W) by forfeit

138-Miat Htoo (W) by forfeit

145-Damon Schutz (W) pinned Braydon Ripka

152-Chase Byrne (W) inj. default Jaden Reisch

160-Jaden Hennings (W) pinned Hunter Baker

170-Kevin Galvez (W) pinned Jacob Madison

182-Evan Neuberger (W) pinned Chris Rosin

195-Tanner Hennings (W) by forfeit

220-Cole Hennings (W) by forfeit

285-Kasey Gerhard (W) by forfeit

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In control for the moment, Luverne's Braydon Ripka (with Cardinal headgear) eventually was pinned in this match by Jackson County Central's Dylan Withers Thursday night in Luverne. (Doug Wolter/The Globe)

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