Central Minnesota State Wrestling Preview 2014
Over three months have passed since area wrestling rooms opened their doors for the 2013-2014 season. Many area wrestlers have put in the time, they have cut the weight, and now… They will get to compete at the tournament that decides greatness. A tournament that has been a dream of theirs since the day they put on a pair of wrestling shoes. The opportunity to win a state title, and be immortalized in the record books as one of the best to ever roam the halls of their respective schools.
It’s the Minnesota State High School Wrestling Tournament, and we’re going to take a look at some local kids that will be representing our area this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
THE TWO AREA TEAMS THAT WILL BE COMPETING AT STATE:
The Falcons, ranked 2nd in Class AA, punched their ticket to the team portion of the state tournament after they defeated Monticello in the section 6AA finals. Now, in what’s said to be head coach Lyle Freudenberg’s last season, Foley will bring it’s talents to St. Paul. This is Foley’s seventh straight state tournament appearance and they are hoping to send Freudenberg out with a state title; something the Falcons haven’t captured since 1994. The squad is backboned by its 12 seniors, including 2013 state runner-up Tyler Funk. Funk, along with teammates Carter Nielson (junior), Luke Kelvington (senior), Tyler Midas (senior), Mitchell Struffert (senior), and Mitch Keeler (senior) will also be competing in the individual portion of the state tournament. The Falcons, who are 25-3 on the year, will take on Pequot Lakes/ Pine River-Backus in the first round on Thursday and you can bet the Foley Faithful will be there to cheer them on.
The Pioneers from Pierz owned section 7A this season, winning the title by beating Blackduck / Cass Lake-Bena by a score of 56-15. This will be the 4th year in a row that Pierz is representing section 7A in St. Paul. Pierz, ranked 7th in state, will grapple with 4th ranked Chatfield in the first round of the Class A tournament on Thursday. They qualified 8 wrestlers for the individual portion of the state tournament including senior Brandon Sullivan, who took 6th at the state tournament last year. Sullivan will be joined by teammates Chris Ortman (senior), Evan Woitalla (senior), Kolton Eischens (sophomore), Brett Kapsner (freshman), Jordan Goebel (senior), Ryley Smude (senior), and Curtis Brisk (senior.) The Pioneers may be the underdog, but they looked primed to pull the first round upset.
INDIVIDUALS REPRESENTING OUR AREA:
ST. CLOUD TECH
COLE SCHREDER - Cole, a sophomore at St. Cloud Tech, punched his first state tournament berth last weekend by placing 2nd at the section 8AAA tournament. He enters the state tournament with a 27-12 record and will square off against Osseo’s Badhasa Wako in the first round. Cole will be competing in the 152 pound weight class.
Austin Brenner - Austin, who is just an 8th grader, is also competing down at the state tournament beginning this Friday. He avenged an early season loss to Sauk Rapids’ Tony Bemboom in route to the section finals last Saturday. Brenner will be competing in the 113 pound weight class and comes into the state tournament with a 29-8 record, but he will have a tough first round match against 8th ranked Calvin Germinaro of Anoka. This will be Austin first state tournament appearance.
ST. CLOUD APOLLO
Peter Nelson - The sophomore will be appearing at state this Friday for the second time in his career. He’ll look to improve on his performance from state last year where he went 0-1, losing his first match in the 3rd overtime. Nelson checks in with a 26-8 record this season, and he draws Kenny O’Neil from Prior Lake in the first round. Peter got through a tough 126 pound weight class at sections, and ended placing 2nd in the tournament.
Bryce Kirchner - The senior heavyweight, who earlier this year signed on to wrestle for Division II powerhouse St. Cloud State University, will be making his third state tournament trip. Last year Kirchner had a great state tournament, placing 5th at 220 pounds. This year he comes in with a 32-3 record, and will square off in against Peter Palecek from Stillwater in the first round.
Rylee Molitor - This freshman is quickly becoming one of the best in the state at the 106 pound weight class. Rylee enters the state tournament with an impressive 36-0 undefeated record. He won his first section 8AAA title, and qualified for his first state tournament, last weekend when he beat Moorhead’s Grant Brendemuhl in the section finals. Molitor, who is ranked 6th in the state, will face 3rd ranked Tyler Eischens of Anoka in the first round on Friday.
JONATHON PELACH - Pelach will also be making his first state appearance this Friday when he competes against Miles Patton of Rochester Mayo. Jonathon, a junior at Sartell, had an exciting true 2nd match at sections. He jumped into the arms of Coach Cory Olson following his 2-1 victory over Robert Treuer of Bemidji. Pelach will be competing in the 138 pound weight class, and enters the tournament with 22 victories on the season.
Zach Motschke - Zach won his true 2nd match at sections just seconds before teammate Jonathon Pelach won his, and this electrified Sabre nation. Motschke, who is a senior, will be making his first state appearance as well. He has a big task in the first round as he drew Brock Morgan from Apple Valley, the nation’s 4th ranked team. Motschke has 25 victories so far this season and competes in the 145 pound weight class.
Daniel Vitale - Danny will be the most experienced Sabre down at state, as he will be making his third consecutive appearance. He enters the state tournament with a 26-4 record and is currently rated 8th in the state at 160 pounds. Vitale will get a test right out of the gate when he takes on #1 rated Colten Carlson of Willmar. The junior will look to find the podium at state for the first time in his high school career.
Taylor Rau - Rau was able capture his first section 8AAA title last weekend when he defeated Dylan Kriese of Alexandria in the section final. The Sauk Rapids sophomore will be headed to state for the second consecutive year, and will square off with Mounds View’s Karl Keeler in the first round of the 120 pound bracket. Taylor checks in with 19 wins heading into the state tournament.
Blake Keske - Due to multiple injuries throughout his career Blake was never able to compete in the section 8AAA tournament until this year, and he made it count. Keske decisively won his true 2nd match, and clinched a state berth, by beating Bemidji’s Brody Wilander 16 to 4. The senior has a 20-6 record and will take on #1 ranked Gable Steveson of Apple Valley in the first round of the state tournament.
OTHER AREA TEAMS SENDING WRESTLERS TO STATE:
Josh Lumley, freshman, will be competing at 106 pounds in Class AA
Zack Zimmer, senior, will be competing at 160 pounds in Class AA
Bobby Lee, senior, will be competing at 170 pounds in Class AA
Mason Olson, senior, will be competing at 220 pounds in Class AA
ROYALTON / UPSALA
Michael Petron, freshman, will be competing at 113 pounds in Class A
Brad Kroll, sophomore, will be competing at the 152 pounds in Class A
Mitchell Lange, senior, will be competing at 160 pounds in Class A
Kyle Lange, sophomore, will be competing at 182 pounds in Class A
Blane Tschida, junior, will be competing at 126 pounds in Class A
Quinten Berres, junior, will be competing at the 132 pounds in Class A
Brady Mehr, sophomore, will be competing at 138 pounds in Class A
Austin Schielbein, senior, will be competing at 220 pounds in Class A
Best of luck to all the area teams and individuals at state! Be sure to follow 1390 The Fan on Twitter for updates and check 1390theFan.com for a state tournament recap.
*Rankings for this story are from The Guillotine.