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WRESTLING: Maas, Johsnon compete at National High School Coaches Association meet

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Bemidji wrestlers Kade Johnson and Brian Maas both won their opening matches at the National High School Coaches Association meet Friday.

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Maas also won his second match in the 113 pound junior division but he injured his shoulder during the match and had to forfeit his third-round match due to injury. He will compete in the consolation bracket.

Johnson dropped his second match 9-0 but is still alive for third place in the wrestlebacks.

Maas iced his shoulder immediately after defeating Bryson Douglas of Texas 19-6 in his second bout and the medical staff will evaluate the injury prior to the third round which was scheduled for late Friday.

The national tournament attracts the top wrestlers in the country and Johnson and Maas have proven that they are among the elite in the nation.

Maas, who compiled a 43-1 record this winter and placed third at the state meet in the 113 pound division, began his national meet with a 5-4 victory over Jacob Martin of Connecticut. Martin was the state runner-up in the Connecticut state tournament.

The victory vaulted Maas into the tournament’s second round where he dominated Bryson Douglas of Texas 19-6. Douglas, the third-place finisher in the Texas state high school meet, won his national opener with a 33-second pin over Aaron Wiechel of Florida.

That win advanced Maas into the tournament’s third round where, if he wasn’t sidelined by the shoulder injury, he was to meet Mitchel Langford of North Carolina late Friday.

In the senior division at 182 pounds Johnson, who finished third in the Minnesota high school state meet, needed only 59 seconds to pin J.D. McKoy of Maryland in the opening round. McKoy placed second at the Maryland high school state meet.

During the high school season Johnson posted a 44-1 record, the lone loss coming at the state meet. The senior also won 41 matches with a pin. That figure is a school record for a season and the 44 victories tied the program’s single-season record.

In Friday’s second round Johnson lost 9-0 to Luis Peguero who finished second in the Florida high school state meet.

Johnson’s first wrestleback match on Saturday will be against Josh Spangler of Tennessee. Spangler lost his opener to Caleb Deemer of Alaska by a pin in 3:58.

Staples drops opener

Daven Staples of Blackduck-Cass Lake-Bena also is wrestling at the national meet in the 170 pound class and the senior lost his opening bout 18-1 to Austin Rake who was the state champion of Alaska.

Staples dropped into the consolation bracket but is still in the hunt for third place. He will face Martin Chobanyan of Connecticut in Saturday’s first round of the wrestlebacks.

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Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9200
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