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Paynesville Press - March 10, 2004

Kerzman places fifth at 152

By Michael Jacobson

Senior Matt Kerzman ended his high school wrestling career by placing fifth place at 152 pounds in the Class A at the state tournament in St. Paul over the weekend.

Kerzman, who ended the season with a record of 40-7, won four matches, against two losses, at the Xcel Energy Center to place fifth. He was the only Bulldog wrestler, out of six individual state entrants, to place at state.

Kerzman, who is home schooled, said he had hoped to place at state but was not sure if he had a chance. He felt he wrestled well at state and was pleased to finish fifth.

Sophomore Sean Glenz (145) and senior Pat Utsch (215) both came within one victory of placing at state. Senior Derek Burris (275), junior Todd Thielen (119), and sophomore Joe Sheridan went winless at state.

Sean Glenz with the takedown Kerzman opened his state run with a 19-9 victory over Tyler Fuller, a junior from Bertha-Hewitt/Vern-dale. Kerzman used three five-point moves in this match, reversing Fuller and scoring three-point near falls to win his opening match on Thursday night.

Sophomore Sean Glenz, shown trying to turn his first-round opponent, whom he beat 15-9, lost his first two matches of the season at state and did not place. He lost to the eventual state champion at 140 in the second round 8-2. Of the six Bulldog wrestlers at state, four lost to the eventual state champion at their weight.

This season, Kerzman recorded 47 reversals, the second highest single season total ever. "Matt's good on the bottom," said head coach Virg Vagle.

Kerzman wrestled well but lost 10-3 in the quarterfinals on Thursday to Frazee senior Adam Aho (47-1), who went on to win the 152-pound title in Class A.

In the wrestlebacks, Kerzman won two close matches on Friday, defeating Goodhue senior Kyle Huneke 4-3 and then Southland junior Lucas Smith 5-4 in overtime to assure a top six placing. Against Smith, Kerzman scored the winning point when Smith got a third caution for false start to begin the overtime period.

On Saturday, Kerzman lost 4-0 to Wabasso junior Chad Altermatt but defeated Anders Mattson, a senior from New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva 8-5 in the fifth-place match. Kerzman scored a five-point move in the second period to take a lead against Mattson and then scored a takedown in the third period to seal the win.

Kerzman became the 58th state placewinner for the Bulldogs in the past 35 years and the first since 2002. He joined his brother, David, a three-time state placewinner for Paynesville.

Glenz (41-2) won two matches at state at 145 but also suffered his first two losses of the season. He won 15-9 over Cody Salo, a junior from New York Mills in the first round on Thursday night, but then lost 8-2 to Cory Schunk (42-1), a senior from Wabasso in the quarterfinals. Schunk won the 145-pound title in Class A. His six-point victory over Glenz matched his smallest winning margin in his four state individual matches.

Glenz won his first wrestleback match on Friday, pinning Kelly Markham, a junior from Medford, in 1:35, but he lost 6-0 to Paul Klees, a senior from Wabasha-Kellogg on the verge of securing a state placing. Glenz trailed only 1-0 in this match before trying a throw in the third period, but Klees scored the five-point move instead. Klees placed fifth at 145.

Pat Utsch on the mat Utsch (36-6) led in his opening match on Thursday against Bryan Reimers, a junior from River Valley, 2-1 entering the third period, but Reimers outscored Utsch 12-1 in the third period and won 13-3. Reimers advanced to the finals at 215 before losing, ending as the runner-up.

Senior Pat Utsch controls Bryan Reimer of River Valley in their opening match at state. Reimer rallied in the third period to win 13-3 and advanced to the finals at 215. Utsch came within one win of placing.

With Reimers advancing, Utsch qualified for the wrestlebacks. He won his first match on Friday, beating Jake Tesch, a junior from St. Charles, 8-5, but then lost to Travis Bjeketvedt, a senior from Parkers Prairie, 3-2. In this match, Utsch almost hit a five-point move in the first period, but Bjeketvedt, who ended up taking fourth at 215, rolled through and scored a takedown instead.

Burris (11-12) lost his only match at state to Minneota senior Ben Derynck (36-5) by fall in 5:08. Derynck led 14-4 before recording the third-period pin. When Derynck lost in the quarterfinals, Burris was eliminated.

Thielen (20-19) lost to LeCenter senior Joe Grasser in the first round, getting pinned in 1:02. Grasser (40-0) captured the 119-pound title. In the wrestlebacks, Thielen lost 10-2 to Luke Bothun, a sophomore from Dawson-Boyd and was eliminated.

Sheridan (24-13) lost in the first round to Barnesville ninth grader Kirk Anderson (43-2), who proceeded to win the 112-pound championship. After getting pinned by Anderson, Sheridan also lost in the wrestlebacks to New York Mills junior Jeramie Weller, who took sixth place at 112.

Four of the six Bulldog wrestlers at state lost to the eventual state champion at their weight. Sheridan and Thielen lost to the eventual state champion in the first round while Glenz and Kerzman met the champ in their weight class in the second round. In all, the Bulldogs' six wrestlers went 7-11 at state, with ten of their losses to state placers.

Vagle said the Bulldogs wrestled well at state. "We hit very good wrestlers," he said.

Watching the matches State Tournament Notes
*Former PAHS wrestling standouts Tim Roberg (Class of '96) and Mike Weber (Class of '88) met in the Class A team tournament, as New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva (where Weber is an assistant coach) beat ACGC (where Roberg is the head coach) 49-18. NRHEG finished fourth in Class A.

Paynesville graduate and local resident Tim Roberg coaced neighboring ACGC at the state tournament. The Falcons lost to NRHEG and New York Mills in the team competition but had one state placer individually.

*Pierz, which beat the Bulldogs in the Section 6A final, won their first state title, beating Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial/Mankato Loyola 49-18, beating Frazee 34-23, and beating Wabasso 28-24.

*The West Central Conference North produced two individual state champions and seven state placewinners. LPGE sophomore Derek Pesta won the Class AA title at 103 and Sauk Centre junior Kurt Haakinson won the Class AA title at 145. Sauk Centre had four state placewinners, LPGE three, and Paynesville and Albany one each.

*Becker senior Jeremy Pederson and Jackson County Central senior Tom Nesseth, the two wrestlers who beat Marty Engen at last year's state tournament, met in the Class AA 189-pound final, with Nesseth winning in double overtime.

*Retiring wrestling coaches Vagle (38 years) and Steve Fuchs (18 years), who led the Bulldogs to four state titles, were featured in the state tournament program.

Class A Individual Results
112-Joe Sheridan (Pay)╔lost by fall to Kirk Anderson (Barnesville), 2:37╔ lost 4-0 to Jeramie Weller (New York Mills) ╔Did Not Place;

119-Todd Thielen (Pay)╔lost by fall to Joe Grasser (LeCenter/Cleveland)╔ lost 10-2 to Kyle Bothun (Dawson-Boyd)╔Did Not Place;

145-Sean Glenz (Pay)╔won 15-9 over Cody Salo (New York Mills)╔lost 6-2 to Cory Schunk (Wabasso)╔won by fall over Kelly Markham (Medford), 1:35╔ lost 6-0 to Paul Klees (Wabasha-Kellogg)╔Did Not Place;

152-Matt Kerzman (Pay)╔won 19-9 over Tyler Fuller (Bertha-Hewitt/Vern-dale)╔lost 10-3 to Adam Aho (Frazee)╔ won 4-3 over Kyle Huneke (Goodhue)╔ won 5-4 (OT) over Lucas Smith (South-land)╔lost 4-0 to Chad Altermatt (Wabasso)╔won 8-5 over Anders Mattson (New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva)╔Fifth Place;

215-Pat Utsch (Pay)╔lost 13-3 to Bryan Reimers (River Valley)╔won 8-5 over Jake Tesch (St. Charles)╔lost 3-2 to Travis Bjerketvedt (Parkers Prairie) ╔Did Not Place;

275-Derek Burris (Pay)╔lost by fall to Ben Derynck (Minneota), 5:08╔Did Not Place.

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