BEMIDJI – Thursday’s season-opening wrestling dual against Deer River was over before it began as the visitors forfeited five weights.
Lumberjacks coach Rance Bahr entered the meet knowing that the Lumberjacks would probably win and instead of concentrating on the scoreboard Bahr was paying attention to other details.
“I was looking for 100 percent effort from all of the kids,” Bahr said. “I was looking to make sure they were doing the right things. I wanted them to encourage their teammates and have positive outlooks.
“And that’s what they did.”
The 30 free team points Bemidji received from those forfeits staked the Jacks to a huge lead but BHS also fared well on the mat, winning six of the eight matches.
Freshman Tyler Maas and sophomore Tyler O’Beirne started Bemidji on its winning ways as Maas pinned Michael Turney 3:41 into the 106-pound battle and O’Beirne needed only 1:33 to pin Spencer Tibbets at 113 pounds.
Bemidji’s other wins were Troy Sauceda’s pin at 126, Drew Peterson’s 15-0 major decision at 160, Brody Wilander’s pin at 220 and Al Johnson’s pin at heavyweight.
Johnson’s fall was the 75th of his career.
“I thought we looked good fundamentally and, overall, I saw some great performances,” Bahr said. “The pins by Tyler Maas and Tyler O’Beirne were against some quality wrestlers and they got us off to a good start.”
The free points also enabled Bahr to sit some of his top wrestlers.
“Most of the kids we sat Thursday are the kids we will count on for wins later in the year and it was nice to see the other kids step up and take active roles in the win,” the coach said.
The top wrestlers will be in action Saturday when the Jacks head to the Fosston-Bagley Invitational.
“We’ll find out more about our team and where we stand right now when we go to Fosston on Saturday,” Bahr said.
Bemidji 65, Deer River 9
106: T.Maas (Bem) pin Turney, 3:41
113: O’Beirne (Bem) pin Tibbetts, 1:33
120: Lesklin (Bem) win by forfeit
126: Sauceda (Bem) pin Morlan, 1:46
132: Azure (Bem) win by forfeit
138: Freyholtz (Bem) win by forfeit
145: Bedeau (Bem) win by forfeit
152: B.Ortloff (DR) pin Strain 1:32
160: Peterson (Bem) major dec. Claflin, 15-0
170: Feia (Bem) win by forfeit
182: Drotts (DR) dec. Dreyer 10-3
195: Both teams forfeit
220: Wilander (Bem) pin Peck 2:52
Hwt: Johnson (Bem) pin Huju 1:15