State Wrestling: Dircks ends season with a win

The Brainerd Warriors saw three student-athletes competing on Day Two of the Class 3A State Individual Wrestling Tournament.

Two wrestlers battle for position.
Brainerd's Easton Dircks, right, battles for position against Owatonna's Trey Hiatt in the 132-pound wrestlebacks Saturday, March 4, 2023, during the Class 3A State Individual Tournament at Xcel Energy Center.
Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!

ST. PAUL — Easton Dircks’ season ended against a familiar opponent.

The Brainerd Warriors freshman wrestled back into the fifth-place match of the 132-pound bracket of the Class 3A State Individual Tournament Saturday, March 4, at Xcel Energy Center. That’s where he ran into Willmar’s Sulley Anez.

Dircks defeated Anez during the Section 8-3A Tournament and did it again at state with a 6-3 decision.

“It can be hard to go up against a guy who you are familiar with and they’re familiar with you,” Brainerd head coach Mikkey White said. “They’ve wrestled so many times and know each other’s style. A lot of times it ends up being like wrestling somebody from your own practice room. At the same time, Easton has beaten him a couple of times so he’s got a little upper hand, too.

“We felt good going into that match. Easton felt confident, but nothing is guaranteed and he knew it was going to be tough.”


Dircks, who placed fourth last season, ends the season with a 44-5 record as he finished 3-2 at state.

“Leaving the tournament, you definitely like leaving with a win,” White said. “It always feels better. It’s such an emotional tournament with highs and lows. There are just so many different spots during the tournament where you’re excited and then disappointed, but to be able to leave that tournament with a win, I think Ethan is happy with fifth place. And I think he’s happy to leave it with a win.”

Isaiah Jillson's career ended with a pin, unfortunately, it was Apple Valley’s Jayden Haueter whose hand was raised as he eliminated Jillson from the 145-pound wrestlebacks with a pin at 5:00.

Haueter was ranked third in the final Class 3A Rankings and was seeded No. 2 for the 145-pound bracket. Jillson finishes the season with a 44-4 record and as Brainerd’s all-time wins leader.

“That bracket had a lot of good wrestlers in it and as far as seeding, that kid was seeded No. 2 and Isaiah was drawn in,” White said. “He wasn’t a seeded wrestler. Even though he was the No. 2 ranked wrestler, it’s a coach's thing in a way. It has nothing to do with rankings. It’s a completely separate deal. Isaiah hadn’t been in the state tournament last year and there were quite a few in that bracket who were at state last year. So they take that into consideration.

“It was tough. It was a hard path to get to the podium.”

Eli Wiskow’s Saturday was one and done, too. Brainerd’s 220-pounder faced St. Michael-Albertville’s Myles Dehmer, who pinned Wiskow in 1:39.

Wiskow’s senior season ended with a 25-9 record.


“It’s tough and it says a lot about the caliber of wrestling we see when we get to the state tournament,” White said. “Both of those guys, they’re good wrestlers. They’ve been successful. They’re some of the top wrestlers we’ve had in the history of Brainerd. Then we go down to the state tournament and everybody is good down there. It’s tough to have them not have an opportunity to not continue throughout that tournament.

“I’m just really proud of all the work that they’ve put into the year. They’ve had really good seasons and really good careers. They have been really good for our program, not just on the wrestling side, but as people. We’ll miss them.”

Day Two

132: Wrestlebacks: Easton Dricks (Brd) dec. Trey Hiatt (Owatonna) 9-3; Parker Lyden (Forest Lake) dec. Dircks 7-0; Fifth-place match: Dircks dec. Sulley Anez (Willmar) 6-3

145: Wrestlbacks: Jayden Haueter (Apple Valley) pinned Isaiah Jillson (Brd) 5:00

220: Myles Dehmer (St. Michael-Albertville) pinned Eli Wiskow (Brd) 1:39

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or Follow on Twitter at

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
What To Read Next
Get Local