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Pierz freshman Evan Woitalla (botton) got the Pioneers off to a good start with
Pierz freshman Evan Woitalla (botton) got the Pioneers off to a good start with

WRESTLING: Pierz’s season ends at state

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sports Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

The unranked Pierz Pioneers had a difficult time in the Class 1A state team tournament Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

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Top-ranked and top-seeded Jackson County Central, the defending state champion, hammered the Pioneers 59-16 in the quarterfinals. 

Eighth-ranked Zumbrota-Mazeppa ended 12th-ranked Pierz’s season with a 47-26 win over the Pioneers in the consolation semifinals.

Evan Woitalla and Clint Poster scored falls and Sean Huls registered a major decision for the Pioneers’ only wins against JCC.

“They were physical, they were aggressive, they were just a little bit too much for us to handle today,” Pierz coach Simon Waltman said.

Against Z-M, Huls’ technical fall at 160 pulled Pierz within 30-20 with four matches remaining. But the Cougars won the next two matches to build an insurmountable 41-20 lead.

Other Pierz winners against Z-M were Brett Brausen, Brad Meyer and Nathan Tomala by decision, and Poster and Ryley Smude by fall.

“I knew it was going to be a tough match down below,” Waltman said. “I wasn’t sure if we could get any of the first four matches. When we got pinned in the first three I thought we were in trouble. 

“When we won at 125 (Brett Brausen) and 130 (Brad Meyer) I thought that gave us a chance. Then we ran into trouble. We were winning 10-0 at 145, got caught in a headlock and got put on our back. That was a big turn in the match.”

The Pioneers finished the dual meet season 22-7 in their first trip to state since 2006.

“Obviously, when you come down here you want to win a match,” Waltman said, “but looking back at the entire season our kids had a great year. Any time you make the state tournament you’ve had a a good year.

“I’m proud of our kids. A lot of other teams want to be in our situation. I was proud of our effort. We just ran into some good teams down here.”

Class 1A consolation semifinal

Zumbrota-Mazeppa 47, Pierz 26

103: Joey Majerus, Z-M, pinned Kolton Eischens 2:54

112: Hunter Prodzinski, Z-M, pinned Evan Woitalla 3:15

119: Nick Majerus, Z-M, pinned Brandon Sullivan 5:20

125: Brett Brausen, Prz, dec. Mitchell Watkins 5-3

130: Brad Meyer, Prz, dec. Cody Heitman 6-4 ot

135: Grant Kyllo, Z-M, pinned Mitchell Boser 2:33

140: Clint Poster, Prz, pinned Austin Walstad 1:15

145: Nate Bennett, Z-M, pinned Josh Lanners 4:31

152: Nathan Tomala, Prz, dec. Dillon Downes 9-4

160: Sean Huls, Prz, tech. fall Joe Sorensen

171: Brandon Klindworth, Z-M, tech. fall Nick Lochner 5:32

189: Chad Matthees, Z-M, pinned Dustin Waytashek 1:43

215: Ryley Smude, Prz, pinned Taylor Parker 1:59

285: Cole Nelson, Z-M, pinned Travis Johnson 1:04

Class 1A quarterfinal

Jackson County Central 59, Pierz 16

103: Evan Woitalla, Prz, pinned Dakota Rossow 4:12

112: Jordan Biehn, JCC, pinned Cody Meyer 5:03

119: Eliot Jurries, JCC, tech. fall Brandon Sullivan 5:28

125: Kegan Moore, JCC, dec. Brett Brausen 9-8

130: Paden Moore, JCC, pinned Brad Meyer 3:20

135: Bronson Steuber, JCC, pinned Mitchell Boser 3:04

140: Clint Poster, Prz, pinned Dylan Riggle 3:24

145: Darick Vancura, JCC, pinned Josh Lanners :40

152: William Baker, JCC, dec. Nathan Tomala 6-5

160: Sean Huls, Prz, maj. dec. Patrick Hanson 14-1

171: Cooper Moore, JCC, pinned Nick Lochner 1:43

189: Tanner Menke, JCC, pinned Dustin Waytashek 2:49

215: Alex Tewes, JCC, pinned Ryley Smude 1:09

285: Brandon Pygman, JCC, pinned Travis Johnson 4:37

Record: Pierz finishes 22-7.

MIKE BIALKA may be reached at mike.bialka@brainerddispatch.com or at 855-5861.

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