A tight battle for second place occurred among Scott West, Dassel-Cokato, and Forest Lake. Scott West edged DC 149.5 to 145.0, with Forest Lake at 144.5 in fourth place.
Individual champions for the Bulldogs were Jeremy Sogge (119), Dave Kerzman (130), Chris Welle (140), Chris Sogge (152), and Josh Bork (189).
At 119, Jeremy Sogge won by technical fall in the opening round and again in the final. His toughest match was in the semifinals, where he faced Adam Bertram of West Central Area, who finished fourth in the state in Class A last year at 103. Sogge beat him 4-0.
Kerzman, at 130, cruised to another invitational title with a major decision, a pin, and a technical fall in the final. At 140, Welle pinned his first two opponents and won 8-4 in the final.
At 152, Chris Sogge pinned his way to the title. Two of his pins were in the first period. Josh Bork, at 189, got a first-round bye and then pinned two opponents to claim the individual title.
The sixth Paynesville wrestler in the finals at his weight was Shaun Fleischhacker at 171. He pinned his first two opponents in the first period, but lost 17-6 in the final to Andy Fraley, a state-rated wrestler in Class AAA from Forest Lake.
Placing third for Paynesville were Nate Glenz at 112, Joe Hiltner at 145, and Matt Brauchler at heavyweight. Glenz's only loss was a 7-5 decision. Hiltner lost 10-7 to Jesse Barnacle of Deer River, the eventual champion, rated seventh in Class AA. Brauchler lost 9-6 to eventual champion Dallas Koplin of West Central Area, rated third in state.
Brad Schultz (125) and Jim Mehr (135) placed fifth, and Adam Christian (103) and Scott Braun (160) placed fourth. State-rated wrestlers won titles at 103, 135, 145, 160, and heavyweight.
The junior varsity team also won their tournament title on Saturday. Wrestling dual matches, the Bulldogs beat Deer River, Scott West, and Dassel-Cokato for the title.
Scott West -149.5
Forest Lake -144.5
West Central Area -99.0
Deer River -89.5
The Bulldogs, now 15-1, dominated three matches at their home quadrangular on Thursday. Two mats were brought into the high school gymnasium so two matches could be held concurrently.
The Bulldogs beat Melrose 44-22 and Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 66-5 in conference matches and capped the event with a 68-4 victory over Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City in their final match.
The Bulldogs won eight matches in beating Melrose 44-22. Paynesville, who used some less experienced wrestlers, had five pins, a forfeit, and a technical fall in the victory. Leading 15-9, the Bulldogs broke open the match with pins at 135, 140, and 145 by senior Jim Mehr, sophomore Jeremy Fuchs, and freshman Ryan Glenz. Those pins gave the Bulldogs a 33-9 lead.
After Melrose won two matches to cut the lead to 33-16, the Bulldogs sealed the win with a technical fall by Chris Sogge at 171 and a pin by Scott Braun at 189.
The Bulldogs recorded victories in 12 of 13 weight classes against LPGE. Recording pins for Paynesville were Adam Christian at 103, Mehr at 135, Chris Welle at 140, Joe Hiltner at 145, Josh Schreifels at 152, and Matt Brauchler at heavyweight. Winning by technical fall were David Kerzman at 130, Chris Sogge at 160, and Jason Leyendecker at 171. LPGE also forfeited two weights.
The match against LPGE featured only one decision. All the other weights were either pins, technical falls, or forfeits.
The Bulldogs built a 44-0 lead on their way to defeating ACGC 68-4. Making short work of some opponents, Paynesville had five first period pins by Nathan Glenz at 112, Pat Noonan at 119, Shaun Fleischhacker at 171, Josh Bork at 189, and Brauchler at heavyweight.
Brad Schultz (125) and Welle (145) had second-period pins, and Mehr (135) and Chris Sogge (160) pinned their opponents in the third period. Mehr, leading 7-1, recorded a pin in the waning seconds of his match.
The Bulldogs split the match's two decisions. At 103, Adam Christian beat ACGC's Deven Blom, who has 14 wins already this year, 7-5. At 152, Paynesville's Joe Hiltner and ACGC's Luke Laidlaw, who placed sixth at state last year, were locked in a scoreless duel until the final period when Laidlaw scored eight points to win.
David Kerzman won by technical fall against a 16-win wrestler, and ACGC forfeited at 140.
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