Panthers get wins at Region 3 duals
The Rugby Panther wrestlers traveled to the far western edge of the state last Saturday to compete in the Class B Region 3 Duals at Grenora High School.
Ten schools in total participated in the tournament, and coach Craig Zachmeier said he was pleased with the Panthers’ results.
“We got everybody matches today, and we started out really slow, and they did pretty well,” Zachmeier told the Tribune.
Panthers Brenden Kleespie and John Jundt started their day strong in the preliminary dual against the Mondak Thunder, with Kleespie defeating Mondak Thunder’s Erica Christian in the 113 pound category by a technical fall (18-2). 120-pounder Jundt won his match over Mondak’s Ashden Christian by a fall in 1 minute, 46 seconds.
Panthers Riley Zachmeier, Isaac Christianson and Brady Volk scored points over Mondak by forfeit in the 145, 152 and 160 pound categories, respectively. Dylan Grove took Mondak’s Austin Richardson down in 2 minutes, 45 seconds.
Mondak’s Tanner Koch took Panther Riley Odden down by sudden victory in the 126-pound category with an 8-6 decision.
132-pound Logan Berg of Mondak won by fall over Rugby’s Austin Schneibel in 36 seconds, while Mondak’s D’Marco Land took down 138-pound Aden Jensen in 4 minutes, 55 seconds.
Although Mondak’s Brandon Ledahl and Elliot Rudningen won by forfeit in the 182 and 285-pound categories, the Panthers scored more total points, defeating the Thunder 35-27.
The quarterfinals brought tougher matches, however, when Rugby faced Velva’s Aggies and fell behind with a score of 24-15.
120-pound Gunnar Mogen defeated Panther Jundt by fall in 4 minutes, 47 seconds, but the next match saw Panther victories when Rugby’s Schneibel defeated Aggie Triton Kaercher by a 10-0 major decision in the 126-pound category. Panthers Jensen and Zachmeier won their 132 and 138 pound matches, with Jensen scoring a fall against Braetyn Yanish in 4 minutes, 29 seconds, and Zachmeier scoring a technical fall against Lucas Seibuhr with a 15-0 decision. Velva’s Braetyn Yanish took down Rugby’s Isaac Christianson in 1 minute, 14 seconds.
The Panthers defeated Kenmare-Bowbells in the first of two consolation rounds that followed, scoring 34 points to the Honkers’ 12.
Panther Jensen won by fall over Kenmare-Bowbells’ Wry Miller in 1, minute 29 seconds in the 138-pound category, while Christianson won over Honker Isaac Nelson by a 17-5 major decision. Rugby’s Volk and Grove took down Honkers Andrew Christensen and Alex Bly in the 160 and 170-pound categories, with Christensen falling in 2 minutes, 38 seconds, and Bly falling in 47 seconds.
Rugby’s Kleespie took down Honker Joshua Mariner, with Mariner falling in 1 minute, 33 seconds. Honker Derrick Handeland fell to Rugby’s Jundt in 3 minutes, 46 seconds. Rugby’s Schneibel fell to 126-pounder Jaxson Holter in 1 minute, 20 seconds, while Odden fell to Honker Diontrea Andersen in 3 minutes, 33 seconds.
The Panthers moved on to the second consolation match, falling to Northern Lights by a score of 46-33.
Zachmeier won his match over Northern Lights’ Lyle Lunday by fall in 55 seconds, while Volk defeated Darrion Wilson by a 14-1 major decision. Grove took down Northern Lights’ Jacob Rogers by fall in 1 minute, 49 seconds. Northern Lights’ Havlin Delong fell to Panther Kleespie in 1 minute, 44 seconds, and Panther Jensen scored a technical fall over Northern Lights’ Gavin Houle. Schneibel scored default points for the Panthers in the match.
Christianson fell to Northern Lights 145-pounder John Lunday in 1 minute, 32 seconds, and Northern Lights’ Jakob Hudson scored a 14-3 major decision over Rugby’s Jundt.
As the Panther wrestlers changed and prepared to board the bus for their long ride home, Coach Zachmeier said, “The (Rugby) kids who stepped on the mat were winning way more matches than they were losing against Region 3 kids.”
The coach said he looked forward to today’s Class B Individual Regionals in the Rugby High Gym. “That’s the big one,” he noted.
However, Zachmeier said practices for the big day may prove challenging, as major snow events put a crimp on school and bus schedules during the week.
“(Practices are) depending on the weather. The weather got us (last week), so, my plan was to do 2 a day, one in the morning and one at night, up through Wednesday, but I think the weather might hurt us there,” he noted. “So, we’ll play it by ear.”
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