Panther wrestlers stand at the podium
Rugby High School wrestler Devon Berg said the State Class B Individual Wrestling Tournament held last week in Fargo is the toughest competition of the year.
“Everyone has worked toward state and they will do anything within their power to win,” Berg said.
RHS senior wrestler Reid Mundahl added: “There’s a lot of different mindsets that happen. Even though a kid may not be seeded in the state, he just might knock off the top-seeded kid in the first round.”
Berg a senior who wrestled in the 195-pound weight class was one of two Rugby wrestlers who placed at the tournament, Mundahl being the other.
Berg took fifth place after winning by a 9-1 decision against a familiar opponent, sophomore Justin Helseth of Velva.
“I had wrestled (Helseth) many times before and had always beaten him,” Berg said. “I just went out and wrestled like every other match.”
Berg won his first round of tournament matchups in a 4-1 decision over Hettinger’s Jacob Schalesky, but then lost in the quarterfinal by a 3-2 decision to Josh Gapp of May-Port-CG (Mayville-Portland-Clifford-Galesburg) High School. He was then able to win two matches, one by sudden victory over Central Cass’s Jaden Lemar, and the other by pinning Seth Zink of Carrington at the 1 minute 24 second mark. Beulah-Hazen’s Alex Barbion pinned Berg by the 2 minute 25 second mark in the consolation semi-finals, which then led to the 5th place match.
Mundahl who wrestled in the 152-pound weight class took seventh in the tournament, winning his last match by forfeit.
Prior to that matchup, Mundahl faced a familiar opponent in the third consolation round: Nate Volk of Central Cass
“I actually wrestled (Volk) twice in a tournament earlier in the year, which was in Casselton. So I kind of knew what his style was and what to be ready for,” Mundahl said. “I knew I had to be very aggressive and control the match. I always try to be the more aggressive athlete on the mat.”
Mundahl established an early 4-0 lead, but Volk won the match in a 11-6 decision.
In the first round, Mundahl pinned Killdeer’s David Arthur by the 1 minute 51 second mark, but then lost to Harvey-Wells County’s Carson Koble in a 10-3 decision in the quarterfinals. Mundahl then pinned Watford City’s Clay Jorgenson in the second round of consolation matchups.
Rugby wrestling coach Craig Zachmeier said that for Berg and Mundahl, and for the team as a whole, placing at state was no easy task.
“Would I have liked to have seen (Berg and Mundahl) place higher? Absolutely. But placing at state is an accomplishment,” Zachmeier said.
For more state wrestling results, see this week’s scoreboard (page 10).
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