RHS falls short of state duals
A mere two points separated Velva and Rugby, as the two wrestling squads competed for the final state dual berth out of Region III.
The Panthers fell on the short end of a 42-40 semifinal. Only two teams advance to state and the Aggies joined Bishop Ryan. The Lions beat Velva 47-24 for the region championship.
RHS rebounded with two wins in consolation action, but the Panthers left the mat stunned earlier in the day.
The No. 3 seed RHS advanced with a quarterfinal win over No. 6 Kenmare-Bowbells by a 40-24 score.
A tougher foe followed with the No. 2 Aggies, who built leads of 12-0 and 24-12 through the weight classes 138 to 182. RHS steadily closed the gap and tied the match at 30-30 with 106-pound eighth-grader Riley Zachmeier’s second period pin of seventh-grader Michael Thomas at 3:21.
Freshman Joey Berg (113) gave RHS its only lead of the match with a 13-3 major decision over freshman Tyler Irmen. The Panthers led 34-30. Unfortunately for RHS, the remaining three matches were uncontested with Velva taking two of the three forfeits.
“The kids that needed to win did not perform,” RHS coach Craig Zachmeier said. “We should have made it. But the good part is we can focus on the individuals now.”
The Aggies hardest-fought win in the dual was at 138 in the opening match. Junior Jeseb Mogen pinned RHS freshman Kaden Jaeger with 58 seconds left in the third period. High points included big days for the team’s seniors. Devon Berg (195), Bennie Mygland (170) and Reid Mundahl (152) joined three others in going undefeated through the day’s four duals. Joey Berg, Zachmeier and sophomore heavyweight Spencer Koehmstedt also finished with unblemished records.
In the biggest dual of their day, the three seniors pinned opponents.
“It was a match that I had to win to stay alive in the duals, so I just went out there and I wrestled like I know I can,” Mygland said. “I just have to stay technically sound and work harder.”
The Panthers are in Kenmare today for the Region 3 individual tournament. Riley Zachmeier (32-16) is the top seed at 106; Joey Berg (27-12) is the No. 2 seed at 113; eighth-grader Dylan Grove (10-16) is No. 6 at 132; Jaeger is the top seed at 138; eighth-grader Collin Kraft (10-13) is No. 6 at 145; Mundahl is No. 2 at 152; eighth-grader David Schneibel Jr. (10-15) is No. 6 at 160; Mygland (19-14) is No. 3 at 170; sophomore Ethan Morin (21-14) is No. 2 at 182; Devon Berg (32-11) is No. 1 at 195; Koehmstedt (20-21) is No. 2 at 220.
The state tournament is Feb. 19-21 in Fargo.
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