BEMIDJI – The Bemidji wrestling team earned the No. 6 seed in today’s Section 8-3A wrestling tournament hosted by Little Falls and the Lumberjacks will begin their quest for a berth in the state meet when they tangle with No. 3 Brainerd at 1 p.m.
If BHS can stop the Warriors they will face either No. 2 Little Falls or No. 7 St. Cloud Apollo at 3 p.m. in the semifinals.
The section title match is scheduled for 5 p.m.
Moorhead earned the top seed while Sartell is fourth and Alexandria fifth.
Saturday’s play-in match pits No. 8 Sauk Rapids against No. 9 St. Cloud Tech. That winner will advance to meet Moorhead.
During the regular season Brainerd edged Bemidji 39-34 although each team won seven matches. The differences were a pair of Bemidji forfeits and three losses via pins.
The Lumberjacks will be without the services of Drew Peterson at 160 pounds and Brody Wilander at 195 as each wrestler is sidelined because of injury.
“Obviously, with Drew and Brody out, we have our work cut out for us,” said BHS coach Rance Bahr. “But we are very confident as a coaching staff and team that we can compete with anyone at this tournament.
Bemidji’s section roster includes 19 wrestlers so Bahr has some lineup options.
The candidates and their weights include:
“Earlier this season Kade Johnson and Craig Maas both won close decisions and Tyler O’Beirne and Gannon Strain both lost close matches,” Bahr said. “And those will be key matches again on Saturday. We will need to win at least three of those four matches and reduce the number of bonus points that we give to Brainerd if we want to win.
“We look forward to the challenge and the kids are definitely prepared for the opportunity,” the coach added.
Section 8-3A Wrestling
At Little Falls
Match 1: Sauk Rapids (No. 8 seed) vs. St. Cloud Tech (No. 9), 10:30 a.m.
Match 2: Moorhead (No. 1) vs. Match 1 winner, 11:30 a.m.
Match 3: Sartell (No. 4) vs. Alexandria (No. 5), 1 p.m.
Match 4: Little Falls (No. 2) vs. St. Cloud Apollo (No. 7), 11:30 a.m.
Match 5: Brainerd (No. 3) vs. Bemidji (No. 6), 1 p.m.
Match 6: Match 2 winner vs. Match 3 winner, 3 p.m.
Match 7: Match 4 winner vs. Match 5 winner, 3 p.m.
Match 8: Match 6 winner vs. Match 7 winner, 5 p.m.