In the first round Thursday night, Paynesville beat Fillmore Central 34-15 to advance in the winnerís bracket, but they lost Friday morning to St. Michael-Albertville 32-25 and were relegated to wrestle for third place.
Junior Chris Sogge earned a third place medal as an individual at 152. Chris Welle, also a junior, also earned an individual 6th place medal at 140.
On Saturday night, Paynesville wrestled their final match of the year for third place in the state.
At 103, New Prague started off the match with a decision over Nate Glenz. Glenz wrestled a tough match, but lost by three points.
At 112, Jeremy Sogge turned around the match by pinning his opponent in the second period.
New Prague scored a technical fall at 119, but Paynesville answered back with a major decision by Dave Kerzman at 125.
At 130 and 135, the two teams swapped decisions. Josh Schreifels won in overtime at 130, but at 135 Justin Mueller wrestled a very tough individual and lost by a score of 8-2.
The wrestlers at 140 and 145 were two of the toughest for New Prague. Joe Hiltner and Chris Welle, two of the tougher kids from Paynesville wrestled well against their opponents, but both lost close decisions.
At 152, Chris Sogge wrestled an opponent whom he beat in the individual tournament earlier by one point, but the score turned around the second time and Sogge lost a close match 8-4.
At 160, Zac Spates stepped on the mat and decisioned his opponent. Spates won by a score of 11-4.
Karl Sanborn, at 171, was Paynesvilleís last winner of the night. Sanborn brought home a decision for Paynesville, but at 189 and heavyweight, New Prague won two close decisions. New Prague came out the winner of the match by a score of 26-20.
St. Michael-Albertville 32
On Friday morning, the Bulldogs wrestled their second match against St. Michael-Albertville (STMA). The winner of this would be in the state finals, and the loser would go for third place.
STMA started off strong against the Bulldogs. At 103, they scored a technical fall, and, at 112 and 119, they recorded a major decision at both weights.
Dave Kerzman fought back for the Bulldogs and pinned his opponent at 125, but STMA struck again at 130 with another major decision.
At 135, Justin Mueller won by a major decision over his opponent. The Bulldogs trailed at this point 17-10.
Joe Hiltner brought the Bulldogs within one point when he pinned his opponent at 140.
At 145, Chris Welle and an eventual state placer fought a hard match, but in the end STMA got three points for a 3-2 decision.
STMA and Paynesville swapped pins at 152 and 160. At 152, Chris Sogge pinned his opponent in the second period, and at 160 the state runner-up for STMA recorded a pin.
Karl Sanborn brought a little hope for Paynesville when he decisioned his opponent at 171. Paynesville was only behind by a point after his match.
STMA finished off the match at 189 and heavyweight with two decisions, bringing the final score to 32-25. With this loss, Paynesville moved into the third place match against New Prague on Saturday.
Fillmore Central 15
On Wednesday, Feb. 24, the Bulldogs loaded the bus at 11 a.m. to travel to Minneapolis and represent Paynesville in the state tournament. The Bulldogs checked into their hotel rooms, and then they went to weigh in for the first time in the tournament.
All the wrestlers then relaxed until Thursday, when they began the Class AA team tournament.
On Thursday night, the Bulldogs started off the tournament facing Fillmore Central. The Bulldogs didnít know a whole lot about them, but they didnít let that bother them.
At 103, 112, and 119, three Paynesville wrestlers picked up key wins for the Bulldogs, and started the match off great. Nathan Glenz, Jeremy Sogge, and Max Meagher all picked up decisions over their opponents.
At 125, David Kerzman stepped out on the mat and dominated his opponent. Kerzman won by a major decision.
Fillmore Central bounced back at 130 and 135, and scored two decisions. At 135, Justin Mueller wrestled a tough state qualifying individual and lost by only five points.
Joe Hiltner and Chris Welle came back for Paynesville at 140 and 145. Hiltner pinned his opponent in the first period, and Welle decisioned his opponent.
At 152, Fillmore Central put in their toughest wrestler, and Scott Braun did his best and only let the Falcons record a decision.
Paynesville put the match away in the next three matches. At 160, 171, and 189, the Bulldogs got a major decision, a technical fall, and a decision by Chris Sogge, Karl Sanborn, and Josh Bork respectively.
At heavyweight, Matt Brauchler suffered an injury during the match and was forced to forfeit. The final score of the match was 34-15. Paynesville then advanced to face St. Michael-Albertville.
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