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DJ Schneibel shines to nab Rugby’s first state champion since 2001

By Staff | Feb 23, 2018

Alex Eisen/MDN Rugby junior DJ Schneibel (left) holds off South Border's Riley Molter (right) in the 285-pound championship match last week at the Fargodome. Schneibel won with a 5-0 decision.

FARGO – Arm raised to the rafters of the Fargodome and then Rugby junior DJ Schneibel jumped into the arms of his coaches.

It was a sight to behold, as 285-pound Schneibel celebrated with his feet off the ground in a bear hug.

The heavyweight was floating on cloud nine.

“It’s the most amazing feeling I have ever experienced,” Schneibel said after the match. “I just want to thank the coaches for preparing me for this. It’s been a long process, but it’s been well worth it.’

Schneibel is Rugby’s first individual state champion since David Folden in 2001. No. 1-seeded Schneibel defeated South Border’s No. 2 Riley Molter, 5-0, to break the 17-year drought.

“I wrestled him before,” Schneibel said. “The first time was more feeling him out and then this time the game plan was to go after him more.”

Schneibel narrowly defeated Molter, 1-0, in their last meeting at the East-West tournament. It was a more comfortable victory this time around.

“First period, toward the middle, I got him in a front headlock, snapped and spun,” Schneibel said. “Second period, it was my choice, so I selected to go down. I ended up scoring a point because he kept trying to push me out of bounds.”

A reversal toward the end of the second period put a stranglehold on the victory. Then, a stalemate in the third period confirmed Schneibel as a champion.

“The last 10 seconds I happened to look over,” he said. “Then, in my head, I started the countdown. The final whistle blew and It’s still not real.”

Comprehending a victory of this magnitude for the program and for himself deserves to take a while.

The junior can go for history next season as Rugby’s first wrestler to ever win two state championships.

Eisen is a sports reporter for the Minot Daily News.

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