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Wrestling: Warriors split, but lose out on conference crown

Bonus points were difficult to pin down for the Brainerd Warriors Tuesday.

During the first of two duals at Brainerd High School, the Warriors suffered a 42-25 Central Lakes Conference defeat to the Sartell Sabres. A victory would have given the Warriors a share of the conference title. The loss handed Sartell (7-0) the title outright as the Sabres have just one CLC meet remaining.

A forfeit at 220 pounds and Brainerd’s inability to collect bonus points in its wins hindered its chances.

“We had a couple of close matches in there that we could have gotten, but there were also matches where we could have gotten bigger points, too,” said Warriors co-head coach Mike Boran. “Giving what our lineup was today, we wrestled OK. We just needed to get those closer ones where we were in it in the third period, but we just didn’t get the win. That’s just how it goes sometime.”

Brainerd bounced back with a 39-34 victory over the Bemidji Lumberjacks in a key Section 8-3A matchup that will help with playoff seedings. Bemidji beat Sartell 45-15.

Brainerd fell behind Sartell 12-6 before Jake Zelinske scored an 11-2 major decision and Dan Babineau collected a technical fall in 5:33. Both worked tirelessly for a pin, but both were denied.

“We had a couple of guys dropping down in weight to get ready for the end of the season and this was the first time down for those two,” said Boran. “I think Jake at 126 wrestled a solid match and the same with Dan. Both went out and got some bonus points for us, while wrestling a weight lower. Going into a different weight class, and once you get down to that weight, it can sometimes be tough.”

Brainerd’s Luke Boran did get a 53-second pin and Warriors senior captain Jeff Flickinger had numerous opportunities for pins in his 160-pound match, but had to settle for a major decision.

“I didn’t get the team points I should have there,” said Flickinger. “I should have (technical-falled) him. The major (decision) helped out a little bit, but a five is better than a four. I should have actually gotten six points.

“It’s pretty tough, but we had a few guys that were still out of the lineup so that hurt. It will be nice to have our lineup back. Once we get everyone back, we’ll be a lot stronger and I think we can get them at section time.”

The Sabres then claimed the dual’s final five matches, including two by pin and a forfeit, to deny Brainerd a share of the conference crown.

Brainerd’s Bryton Mutz improved to 2-0 on the night with a 5:40 pin against Bemidji’s Tyler O’Beirne. Bemidji then rattled five straight wins to claim a 22-6 advantage. Dillon Solid recorded a decision followed by Boran’s second pin of the triangular. Flickinger won by forfeit as did Chris Laber. Levi Rubin and Sam Adams both earned pins leading to the Brainerd victory.

“It was big to come back and beat Bemidji and get some momentum going into our next match against Sauk Rapids,” Flickinger said. “Section championship has been the goal all season and make it to state. We’ve got the team to do it this year. We didn’t get the conference so we’re going to work toward the section title.”

Sartell 42, Brainerd 25

106: Bryton Mutz (Brd) forfeit

113: Drew Bienusa (Sar) pinned Andy Schlosser :48

120: Jake Fernholz (Sar) pinned Drew Bruen 1:05

126: Jake Zelinske (Brd) major dec. Noah Piechel 11-2

132: Dan Babineau (Brd) tech. fall Jon Pelach 5:33

138: Zach Motschke (Sar) dec. Isaiah Stewart 5-2

145: Garrett Counter (Sar) dec. Dillon Solid 8-4

152: Luke Boran (Brd) pinned Theo Deuel :43

160: Jeff Flickinger (Brd) major dec. Hodari Johnson 13-3

170: Zack Peterson (Sar) dec. Cole DeRosier 9-6

182: Daniel Vitale (Sar) dec. Levi Rubin 2-1

195: Nick Jensen (Sar) pinned Chris Laber 3:07

220: Creedence McDermond (Sar) forfeit

285: Brady Goebel (Sar) pinned James Weiss 1:55

Brainerd 39, Bemidji 34

106: Bryton Mutz (Brd) pinned Tyler O’Beirne 5:40

113: Brian Maas (Bem) pinned Andy Schlosser 2:38

120: Dylon Sauceda (Bem) dec. Drew Bruen 8-3

126: Logan Crosby (Bem) pinned Jake Zelinske 5:18

132: Craig Maas (Bem) dec. Dan Babineau 9-7

138: Robert Treuer (Bem) maj. dec. Isaiah Stewart 9-1

145: Dillon Solid (Brd) dec. Gannon Strain 5-2

152: Luke Boran (Brd) pinned Alex O’Neal 1:01

160: Jeff Flickinger (Brd) forfeit

170: Kade Johnson (Bem) pinned Cole DeRosier :23

182: Levi Rubin (Brd) pinned Josh Dreyer 1:51

195: Chris Laber (Brd) forfeit

220: Sam Adams (Brd) pinned Wyatt Yoemans :28

285: Alex Johnson (Bem) pinned James Weiss 4:58

JEREMY MILLSOP, sports writer, may be reached at 855-5856 or Follow on Twitter at

Jeremy Millsop
My career at the Brainerd Dispatch began May 11, 1999 after graduating from North Dakota State University. My areas of emphasis includes local high school sports, Central Lakes College, the lakes area golf mecca and once a year I dabble in the NHRA when the Lucas Oil Nationals come to Brainerd International Raceway.
(218) 855-5856