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Wrestlers ‘get into the grind’ with busy schedule

By Staff | Dec 20, 2019

Sue Sitter/PCT Rugby's Brady Volk lifts Des Lacs/Burlington's Weston Wahus off his feet in the championship round for the 160-pound division at last Friday's Kenmare Invitational Wrestling Tournament.

The Rugby High School Panther wrestlers’ busy schedule took them from their home gym to Kenmare last week, providing opportunities to improve their skills on the mat.

The Panthers hosted Northern Lights and Bishop Ryan last Thursday evening in the RHS gym, where the team fell behind Bishop Ryan 21-51. Northern Lights edged out the Panthers in team points, scoring 33 over Rugby’s 28.

The Panthers took a break from the matches to honor senior wrestler Brady Volk and his parents, along with senior classmates Morgan LaRocque and Ali Mundahl and their parents. LaRocque and Mundahl serve as team statisticians.

The Rugby Duals saw some wins by Riley Odden and Brady Volk in their divisions over Northern Lights among other positive results for the Panthers.

Coach Craig Zachmeier said of the duals, “Overall, I’m pretty happy about the battle. I’m a little disappointed about our offense. I thought we needed to be more aggressive.”

Zachmeier added, “I thought we wrestled a little bit too scared for my liking, so we’ll just keep working and learning. I’d say we wrestled better today than we did last weekend so it’s little steps, and hopefully, all of it comes together here as we keep improving.”

Looking ahead to the next day’s tournament in Kenmare, Zachmeier estimated “about nine or ten teams” would participate in the event.

“We should come out right in the middle,” Zachmeier predicted.

The Panthers fell short of Zachmeier’s prediction at the Kenmare Invitational last Friday, placing sixth of nine teams in the tournament with 74.5 points.

Key Rugby varsity wins came from John Jundt, Brenden Kleespie, Odden, Austin Schneibel and Cole Schneibel.

Volk battled his way to first place, winning the title for the 160-pound division after a battle with Stanley’s Kyler Grimm, Dylan Tabbert of Williams County and Weston Wahus of Des Lacs/Burlington/Lewis and Clark. The final match had several timeouts as Volk struggled to keep a nosebleed under control before he won by 9-4 decision over Wahus.

Zachmeier said he was pleased with Volk’s first-place finish.

“We should’ve had a few other ones get first, too,” Zachmeier noted. “We went backwards from last weekend.”

Looking ahead to the wrestling schedule, which includes two matches a week, Zachmeier noted, “Now, we get into the grind. We’ll get better. It was a tough day. We’ve got stuff to improve on. We’ll get into the grind and we should separate ourselves from the rest.”

Other Rugby results for the Kenmare Invitational were: 126-pound division: Jundt, third place, 6-4 M. Forfeit over Austin Harbin of Mondak; 132-pound division: Kleespie, fourth place, loss by 11-9 decision to Cole Henderson, Northern Lights; 138-pound division: Riley Odden, second place, loss by 5-3 decision to Keyton Meiers, Stanley; 145-pound division: Austin Schneibel, sixth place, loss by fall to Angel Guerrero, Williams County; 285-pound division: Cole Schneibel, loss to Zane Miller, Kenmare by 3-1 decision.

Panther junior varsity results for the Kenmare Invitational were: 145-pound division: Cole Anderson, second place after fall to Lucas Seibuhr, Velva; Bailey Zachmeier, fourth place after win by fall against Austin Porter, Kenmare; 160-pound division: Isaac Christenson, first place over Kelson Mascol, Velva by fall in 1:57; 285-pound division: Landon Zietz, third place over Dominic Cunahan, Mondak, by fall in 1:38.

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