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Area Wrestling: Pioneers to make third straight trip to state

MINNEAPOLIS — Second-seeded Pierz won its third straight Section 7-1A team championship with a 39-18 win over top-seeded Holdingford at Patrick Henry High School Friday night.

Holdingford had edged the Pioneers 29-28 Feb. 1 during the regular season.

“Our kids really responded well to that meet we had with them before,” Pierz coach Simon Waltman said. “You can respond one of two ways — you can throw in the towel or you can work harder. The score showed how hard the kids worked in the room. I couldn’t be happier and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

The Pioneers received pins from Brandon Sullivan and Evan Woitalla and a major decision from Brandon Ortman to handle the Huskers.

Pierz, which will make its 10th state tournament appearance, will take a 28-3 dual meet record into the 1A state tournament at 11 a.m. Feb. 28.

“That’s a pretty darn good record,” Waltman said. “Going to state the last three years you have to feel good about that. We turned one of our losses around and avenged that one tonight. We’re really happy with how the kids have done. It just shows all the effort they’ve put in this year and for a long time.

“(Going to state) never gets old. It always feels good.”

In Friday’s semifinals, the Pioneers eliminated No. 3 Aitkin 51-21 with pins coming from Andrew Tomalla, Sullivan, Chris Ortman, Brad Meyer, Josh Lanners, Travis Johnson, Ryley Smude and Chris Brisk.

Aitkin’s Brian Wold won his 100th career match with a 6-1 win over Pierz’s Breck Kapsner.

Team scores

Semifinals: Pierz 51, Aitkin 21,

Semifinal: Holdingford 38, Royalton 27

Championship: Pierz 39, Holdingford 18


Pierz 51, Aitkin 21

106: Tyler Bare (A) pinned Brandon Ortman 1:29

113: Andrew Tomala (P) pinned Kenny Hesse 1:37

120: Brandon Sullivan (P) pinned Dan Nordeau 1:52

126: Chris Ortman (P) pinned Caleb Curtis 2:53

132: Evan Woitalla (P) dec. Noah Landus 10-8

138: Brian Wold (A) dec. Breck Kapsner 6-1

145: Jerod Novak (A) dec. Jordan Goebel 10-3

152: Brad Meyer (P) pinned Chris Jackson 1:07

160: Josh Lanners (P) pinned Jonah Perrine 1:42

170: Isaac Novak (A) dec. Nick Lochner 3-1

182: Alan Bast (A) pinned Grant Smude

195: Travis Johnson (P) pinned Kyle Lynn

220: Ryley Smude (P) pinned Roy Wigton

285: Chris Brisk (P) pinned Jordan Fiske


Pierz 39, Holdingford 18

106: Brandon Ortman (P) maj. dec. Jamey Koetter 15-1

113: Andrew Zachman (H) dec. Andrew Tomalla 4-3

120: Brandon Sullivan (P) pinned Zach Scott 4:48

126: Chris Ortman (P) tech. fall Clem Gerads

132: Evan Woitalla (P) pinned Jason Jarnot :33

138: Brett Kapsner (P) dec. Jake Knettel 1-0

145: Trevor Scott (H) dec. Jordan Goebel 8-2

152: Brad Meyer (B) dec. Kyle Gerads 5-2

160: Kyle Kolstad (H) pinned Josh Lanners

170: Jordan Gombos (H) dec. Nick Lochner 6-3

182: Teddy Dehler (P) dec. Matt Messman 8-4

195: Travis Johnson (P) by forfeit

220: Mitch Messman (H) dec. Ryley Smude 4-3

285: Curtis Brisk (P) dec. Bryan Scepaniak 2-0

Overall: Aitkin finishes 12-6, Prz 28-3. Next: Pierz in 2A state tournament Feb. 28-March 2 at Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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