Wrestling: Warriors seeded fifth for Section 8-3A tournament
The Brainerd Warriors will open Section 8-3A Team Tournament at Moorhead.
BRAINERD — There’s more motivation than just an upset victory for this year’s Brainerd Warriors.
Brainerd landed the No. 5 seed for the Section 8-3A Team Tournament which will begin 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15. The Warriors will face No. 4 seeded Moorhead in the quarterfinal round.
An upset, however, and Brainerd would be wrestling in front of its hometown fans as Brainerd High School is hosting the semifinal and final rounds of the tournament Friday, Feb.17.
“We want to be able to wrestle in the semis at home,” Warriors head coach Mikkey White said. “I think it’s not only good for us, but it’s good for wrestling and our community to be able to come watch one of their teams at their home site.
‘We’re really looking forward to getting a win on Wednesday.”
The Little Falls Flyers (17-7 overall, 5-2 against section teams) earned the No. 3 seed and will host No. 6 St. Cloud (9-16). No. 2 Willmar (19-6) will host No. 7 Buffalo (7-16). The Cardinals were ranked No. 12 in Class 3A in the last Guillotine poll. Class 3A’s No. 5 ranked Bemidji (27-2) was awarded the No. 1 seed and will host No. 8 Sartell (6-10).
Section 8-3A was conducted by a coaches' vote, but White said the regular-season head-to-heads made seeding simple.
The Warriors, who competed in the Mound Westonka individual tournament Friday, Feb. 10, finished the regular season with a four-match win streak.
Brainerd faced Moorhead Jan. 17 and fell 41-26. The Warriors had two open weights that would have been Damien Bentho at 170 pounds and Eli Wiskow at 220 pounds.
“We’ve got everybody back and healthy,” White said. “We had a couple of good duals (Thursday night) for us so we’re really looking forward to wrestling this section tournament basically at full strength.
“When we lost to Moorhead earlier in the year, we were not at full strength. Not that they’re not a good team. They’re a solid team and we’re going to have to give it everything we’ve got to win that dual. I feel like it’s a winnable dual for us if we come out and wrestle hard and do everything we’re supposed to do I think we can come out with a win.”
The semifinals will start at 5 p.m. with two duals going simultaneously. The final round will be at 7 p.m. The cost of admission to the tournament’s final three matches is $10 for adults and $5 for students.