Minneota, one of the favorites of the day, came with 13 wrestlers ready to stop the Bulldogs short of their own championship trophy. Scott West, Forest Lake, Morris, West Central, and Deer River came also to battle the Dogs. If you havenít counted the teams just mentioned--with Paynesville that would be seven--but the number-one rated team in the state, Dassel-Cokato, came ready to take on the Dogs.
As the first round started the Bulldogs were all getting ready to battle for their positions. Each Paynesville wrestler went out one by one to test their fate, and much to the other teams surprise only three wrestlers from Paynesville lost in the first round. At heavyweight Matt Brauchler flexed his muscles in the first round and pinned the number-one seeded wrestler in 1:04.
After the first round, Paynesville was in the lead teamwise with Minneota following closely a couple points behind.
The second round, for many, was going to be very tough. Many Paynesville wrestlers were seeded third or fourth, and had to beat the number one or two ranked wrestler to advance to the finals. In the second round, Paynesville had only one wrestler eliminated, Max Meagher, who wrestled well and lost two very close matches. But on the other hand, Paynesville had four wrestlers advance to the finals: David Kerzman, Justin Mueller, Chris Welle, and Karl Sanborn. The other eight wrestlers went down into the wrestlebacks to work their way up to the third place match.
The third round for the eight wrestlers in the wrestlebacks was excellent. Six of the eight won their match this round and advanced to the third place match. The two that lost advanced to the fifth place match.
As the third round ended, Paynesville was in a tight race with Minneota for the team championship, with the other teams falling further and further behind.
The fourth and last round of the day started at 6 p.m. Many wrestlers, tired from three energy-draining matches before, had to lay it on the line for Paynesville to come out ahead in the end.
Paynesville had 12 of their 13 wrestlers competing for a place, a very good statistic for Paynesville. Of the four wrestlers that went into the finals, Justin Mueller, David Kerzman, and Karl Sanborn were victorious and Chris Welle wrestled a tough match, but lost by four points. Of the eight other wrestlers, three took third place: Jeremy Sogge, Chris Sogge, and Josh Bork; and three took fourth: Nathan Glenz, Zac Spates, and Matt Brauchler. The remaining two wrestlers, Joe Hiltner (pictured right) and Josh Schreifels, took fifth and sixth place respectively.
As the last round came to a close, the Paynesville wrestlers had won the championship by three and a half points. Minneota and the rest were stunned. The number-one rated team in Paynesvilleís class left the tournament that day in fourth place, a good 50 points behind Paynesville.
1. Paynesville 182.5;
2. Minneota 179.0;
3. Scott West 131.0;
4. Dassel-Cokato 127.5;
5. Forest Lake 123.5;
6. Morris 117.0;
7. West Central 92.5;
8. Deer River 88.0.
On Friday, the Paynesville wrestlers took on Sauk Centre for their final home dual match of the season. It was Parentsí Night, so many fans were at the match.
Paynesville took an early lead with Paynesville winning every match up to 125. Bryan Kotten (103) and Ryan Glenz (112) both pinned their wrestlers to start off the Dogs.
Max Meagher and David Kerzman both scored a decision over their wrestlers at 119 and 125.
The Paynesville team recorded one pin and two more majors with Chris Welle getting the pin and Justin Mueller and Karl Sanborn both getting majors.
Sauk Centre forfeited to the Dogs at 171 and 189 with Shaun Fleischacker and Josh Bork picking up the forfeits. Paynesville and Sauk double forfeited at 145 and heavyweight.
Paynesville dominated the whole match leaving Sauk with two wins in beating them 44-7.
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