Section 8-3A Wrestling: Warriors send 3, Flyers 2 to state

Isaiah Jillson

WILLMAR — Mikkey White knew what few others did.

Isaiah Jillson was seeded fifth in the 120-pound bracket of the Section 8-3A Individual Tournament Saturday, Feb. 22.

He finished second to advance to the Class 3A State Tournament along with teammates Atlie Danielson and Cade Barrett, both of whom finished second in their weight classes.

“It’s a little bit of a surprise,” White said of Jillson advancing to state. “If you didn’t know anything about him you would be surprised. He got the five seed. He had lost to the No. 3 seed, but he had beaten the No. 1 seed. Honestly, going into that tournament, we felt he had a good chance of winning it. As the five seed, we knew he had a pretty good chance. We weren’t surprised.”

Jillson, a freshman, opened with a 2-1 decision over Willmar’s Steven Cruze. He then clipped the No. 1 seed, Andy Heckman of Sartell, 6-4 before falling to Moorhead’s Evan Frankhanel 3-2 in the championship.


Danielson, a senior, opened with a 7-2 victory over Sauk Rapids’ Andrew Wollak. Danielson suffered a pin to Bemidji’s Seth Newby for second. It will be Danielson’s first state appearance.

“When it comes down to it, toward the end of the season, everyone is on their game and you can’t mess up,” White said. “Atlie messed up a little bit and that kid got him. Nothing against Atlie and his performance. He just got put in a bad spot and the Bemidji kid took advantage of it.

“We had high hopes for him all season long and this was just one of the next steps. It’s not like we expected this, but we expected this. He’s worked so hard. He deserves this.”

Barrett posted a 30-second pin his first match, but then took a 5-3 loss to St. Cloud Tech’s Isaiah Green in the championship.

Barrett had to wrestle a true-second match and pinned Bemidji’s Caleb Bahr in 3:39 to advance to his first state tournament.

“He’s another guy, where we really had high hopes to win that tournament,” White said. “We hadn’t seen Isaiah Green from Tech yet. We knew he was a good wrestler and it was going to be a challenge for Cade, but he’s been looking really good lately.”

Brainerd’s Gabe Wagner was a victim of poor timing. The 145-pounder became sick Thursday and Friday. He battled to a third-place finish despite not being 100%.

“Saturday morning he felt horrible,” White said. “He had nothing in his gas tank. He tried. He tried as hard as he could. His style of wrestling requires him to have power and he just didn’t have any power.”


Little Falls Gabe Nagel was 100%. The Flyers’ junior scored consecutive pins before winning the 170-pound title with a 10-0 victory over Willmar’s Ethan Roux.

Austin Litke also posted a section championship at 106 pounds. The sophomore won his title with an 8-0 victory over a 1:34 fall in the semifinals.

106: 1-Austin Litke (LF) 2-0, 4-Isaiah Germann (Brd) 2-2
113: 1-Spencer Johnson (Sar) 3-0, 4-Elijah Germann (Brd) 2-2, 5-Joey Wilczek (LF) 2-2
120: 1-Evan Fankhanel (M) 3-0, 2-Isaiah Jillson (Brd) 2-1, 8-Bryce Udy (LF) 0-2
126: 1-Jared Spohn (SRR) 3-0, 4-Cole Ostrowski (Brd) 2-2, 8-Wyatt Baum (LF) 0-2
132: 1-Ryan Schereber (Buf) 3-0, 4-Kyle Eschenbacher (Brd) 2-2, 8-Calvin Sherwood (LF) 1-2
138: 1-Seth Newby (Bem) 2-0, 2-Atlie Danielson (Brd) 1-1
145: 1-Ryan Luthi (M) 3-0, 3-Gabe Wagner (Brd) 3-1, 8-Ryan Kloeckl (LF) 0-2
152: 1-Jonas Anez (W) 3-0, 3-Simon Pantzke (LF) 2-2, 6-Blake Wgeishofski (Brd) 1-3
160: 1-Owen Herbst (Buf) 3-0, 4-Aiden St. Onge (LF) 2-2, 5-Jadon Petrie (Brd) 2-2
170: 1-Gabe Nagel (LF) 3-0, 4-Damien Bentho (Brd) 2-2
182: 1-Tyler Hugg (SCT) 3-0, 5-Forrest Gibson (Brd) 2-2, 6-Nathaniel Kludt (LF) 1-3
195: 1-Kaden Streed (W) 3-0, 5-Dalton Barrett (Brd) 2-2, 6-Peyton Carll (LF) 1-3
220: 1-Isaiah Green (SCT) 2-0, 2-Cade Barrett (Brd) 2-1
285: 1-Aaron Voigt (SCT) 3-0, 6-Cole Larkin (Brd) 1-3
Next: Brainerd, Little Falls in Class 3A State Individual Tournament at Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 28.

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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