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Area Wrestling: BCLB sends five wrestlers to state meet

BLACKDUCK — The fortunes of the Blackduck-Cass Lake-Bena wrestling team have been improving for the past few seasons and last weekend the Bears put an exclamation point to their ascent with a memorable performance at the Section 7A meet.

Led by the Section 7A individual championships of Daven Staples at 170 and Tanner Templin at 195, BCLB will be sending five wrestlers to the state meet which begins Friday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Joining Staples and Templin at the state competition will be Andrew Nissen at 106, Lucas Reiplinger at 113 and Kyle Michalek at 132 who all finished second in their weights.

Staples (32-2) breezed to his championship as he won his first match with a pin in 25 seconds and posted major decisions in his final two outings, including a 14-3 victory over Jordon Goebel of Pierz in the championship match.

In the opening round of the state meet Staples will face Nick Bennett of Bertha-Hewitt (25-7).

Templin (31-6) needed only two wins to claim his 195-pound title. In his opener Templin pinned Walker Nienbaer of Holdingford in 3:01 and in the championship bout he tripped Ryley Smude of Pierz 5-3.

Templin’s reward is a state tournament match against Hunter Fick of West Central (33-7).

Nissen went 2-1 at the section meet, winning his first bout with an early pin and his semifinal with a 4-2 decision. In the championship match Nissen fell 7-1 to Caleb Kreitter of Crosby-Ironton but there was no need for a True Second so Nissen (33-5) placed second.

At Thursday’s state meet he will face Willie Meine of Fertile-Beltrami (36-5).

Reiplinger came through the True Second bracket to earn his berth at state. The eighth-grader had a busy section meet, wrestling four times. He opened with an 8-7 decision win and a first-period pin victory. In the final Reiplinger (25-11) lost 17-3 but he bounced back to claim the True Second match 7-2 over Justin Bruss of Nashwauk.

His first opponent at state will be Jared Goldsmith of Chatfield (28-0).

Michalek also needed a True Second victory to earn his trip to St. Paul. He opened with a 58-second pin win but fell 6-1 in the section final. Michalek (28-14) fared better in the True Second match, however, as he downed Andrew Tomala of Pierz 4-2.

On Thursday Michalek will begin his state action against Jared Willaby of Windom (36-4).

Bode heads to state

Fosston-Bagley also will be represented at the state Class 2-A meet as Alexi Bode finished second at Saturday’s Section 8-2A competition at 145 pounds.

Bode opened with a pin of Rodrigo Milla of Sauk Center in the quarterfinals and decisioned Colin Neitzke of Perhan 6-2 in the semifinals.

In the final Bode dropped a 9-2 decision to Mason Swegaren of United Clay Becker but in the True Second bout Bode defeated Colin Neitzke of Perham.

Bode (36-5) will open his state experience against Dylan Johnson of Quad City (30-8).

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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