Alex Butcher started the Knights State competition out on Thursday evening. Alex went 1-1, losing by fall in the first match and winning but a fall in 4 minutes and 10 seconds. Winning his second match allowed him to wrestle on Friday as well. On Friday, in a close 2-4 match, Alex lost and was eliminated from the 160 pound 7th and 8th grade bracket. Alex was short of placing but he felt good about his wrestling and really enjoyed the experience.
Jaden Norby took third place in the 5th and 6th grade 140 pound weight class and wrestled all 5 matches on Friday. Jaden went 4-1, with his only loss coming in his semifinals match. In the semis Jaden was up 5-0 and got a little too aggressive and was thrown to his back and pinned with only 2 seconds left in the period. Jaden had a great tournament and was very dominating during Friday’s competition.
Saturday brought on more competition for the kindergarten through fourth grade wrestlers. Ashlyn Lohse and Caleb Fronning both competed in the 45 pound kindergarten bracket. Call it bad luck our whatever you would like; they drew each other in the first round. Caleb ended up winning that match against Ashlyn. Ashlyn rebounded with a pair of wins before losing again in the wrestle backs. Caleb also went 2-2 in the bracket.
Owen Gruchow took third place in the tournament at the 55 pound Kindergarten division. Owen earned a pair of wins before losing in the semi-finals in a close overtime match. Owen kept his head high Sunday morning and responded to the loss from Saturday the way he needed to and won two more matches to take third place honors.
Colbe Tappe took third place in the 54 pound 1st and 2nd grade division. He pinned his first two opponents in a total of 38 seconds wrestled. Colbe lost in his semi-finals match 0-1. Colbe wrestled hard but just couldn’t find a way to open up his opponent. Colbe came back ready to wrestle on Sunday and won two more matches. In his first match he had another quick pin and in his third place match he won 2-0.
Hunter Gruchow earned second place honors in the 80 pound 1st and 2nd grade brackets. On Saturday Hunter won his three matches in dominating fashion before coming up short on Sunday. Hunter struggled to get a takedown in the first period, was unable to get away in the second, and was reversed to his back in the third period. Hunter enjoyed the opportunity to wrestle in the finals but was disappointed with another second place finish.
Jake Norby went 1-2 in the 3rd and 4th grade 90 pound weight division. Jake lost 0-6, won 7-2, and was pinned in his third match. Jake is only a third grader so it was a great experience for him to make it, compete, and get a win in such a tough tournament. We will be looking for Jake to do big things next year at this tournament.
Anthony Sykora added another first place finish to his accolades. This is the second state championship Anthony has won. Anthony competed in the 3rd and 4th grade 80 pound division. Anthony dominated his way through the tournament, only giving up 2 points through the whole tournament. Anthony earned two first period pins, a major decision, and a 4-0 decision in the finals. After the tournament Anthony had this to say, “It really didn’t seem like the state tournament.” This is largely due to the fact of competing at high caliber tournaments throughout the season and practicing with older wrestlers in the room like Jordan Lohse. Anthony’s dad Lee Sykora had this to say, “Anthony would not be where he is at if it weren’t for practicing with Jordan Lohse at every practice.”
The nice thing about this tournament is that they also have the invite portion of the tournament for those wrestlers who took 3rd through 6th place at their regions. It is also a very tough tournament, often loaded with great wrestlers from the younger year class. This year Will Rustan took third place and Adam and Jordan Lohse each went 1 and 2. It is just another good experience for our wrestlers choosing to get some more great matches.I am very proud of the effort given from all 12 of our wrestlers who competed in the NYWA State and NYWA Invite tournament. They laid it all out there and left it all on the mat. They wrestled with heart and determination. It was a great way to end the folkstyle wrestling season! Each one of these wrestlers and their put in so much extra time, money, and sacrifice so much. It is great to see it paying off!