WRESTLING: Bemidji breezes by Sartell-St. Stephen to set up section semi bout
The top-seeded Lumberjacks romped over the Sabres in the Section 8-3A quarterfinal round, setting the stage for exciting semifinal and potential final matchups on Friday in Brainerd.
BEMIDJI – The Bemidji High School boys wrestling team is on its way back to the Section 8-3A semifinals.
The top-seeded Lumberjacks romped 69-5 over eighth-seeded Sartell-St. Stephen in the Section 8-3A quarterfinal round on Wednesday at the BHS Gymnasium, setting the stage for exciting semifinal and potential final matchups on Friday in Brainerd.
“We're hopeful to be healthy and wrestle well Friday,” BHS head coach Rance Bahr said. “And if we're able to wrestle to our potential and stay healthy, I think we have a great opportunity in front of us. Kids are excited about it, and coaches are excited. Obviously our goals are to get to the state tournament, and hopefully, we’re able to follow through with that.”
Nearly every BHS wrestler won by fall or forfeit on Wednesday. At 106 pounds, Gabe Morin commenced the meet with a pin 1:38 into his match. After two Sabres forfeits, Gavin Osborn picked the action back up at 126, winning by fall in just 39 seconds.
At 138, Alec Newby was the next Jacks wrestler to pick up a pin, also doing so within the first period at the 1:24 mark.
“Gabe Morin started off well,” Bahr said. “I mean, any time you can start off with a pin at 106 is a huge help. We had Gavin Osborn and Alec Newby out on the mat, both got pins to get to us going. It was nice to have Gavin Osborn back for the first time in over a month, and he looked pretty good. So we're excited about that.”
Newby added a pin in 1:24 at 138 pounds, and at 152, Dane Jorgensen pinned his opponent at the 1:46 mark. Seth Newby got a pin at 170 pounds in 1:14, as well.
The Lumberjacks won all three of the heaviest weight classes via decision. Barrick Nelson won 5-2 at 195 pounds, Parker Orvik triumphed 3-1 at 220 and Tom Paquette closed out the dual with a 6-4 victory at 285.
The home matchup was the final one for Bemidji’s seniors, as any future matches up to and including a potential state tournament appearance will occur away from the BHS Gymnasium. For Seth Newby, who reset the Jacks’ career pin record earlier this season; and Dane Jorgensen, who reestablished Bemidji’s career technical fall mark, the dominant output was a fitting finish to varsity careers that have spanned more than four years.
“They put a lot of time and energy into the sport and into our program,” Bahr said. “It's nice to see them be rewarded with some of those records that they've worked hard for.”
Now, the Lumberjacks’ focus shifts to Friday, where they will face the winner of No. 4 Moorhead and No. 5 Brainerd at 5 p.m. in Brainerd. Unlike last season, when BHS hosted the section semis and finals, the Jacks won’t have the energy of their home crowd to uplift them. Thus, they’ll have to find it somewhere else.
But while Wednesday’s match was a lower-stakes breeze for Bemidji at home, Bahr expects a different level of intensity on Friday with the section title on the line.
“The energy level probably isn't quite where we wanted it,” Bahr said. “... There wasn't a very high excitement level throughout the day. I expect that'll change on Friday.”
Bemidji 69, Sartell-St. Stephen 5
106: Gabe Morin (BHS) over Tyler Plumski, Fall 1:38
113: Nick Strand (BHS) by forfeit
120: Noa Halberg (BHS) by forfeit
126: Gavin Osborn (BHS) over Julian Morris, Fall 0:39
132: Ty White (BHS) by forfeit
138: Alec Newby (BHS) over Camden Lund, Fall 1:24
145: Kaden Brooks (SSS) over Talen Fairbanks, TF 4:28
152: Dane Jorgensen (BHS) over Parker Peichel, Fall 1:46
160: Jack Solum (BHS) by forfeit
170: Seth Newby (BHS) over Theo Brown, Fall 1:14
182: Coy Olsen (BHS) by forfeit
195: Barrick Nelson (BHS) over Peyton Allen, Dec 5-2
220: Parker Orvik (BHS) over Donovan Lund, Dec 3-1
285: Tom Paquette (BHS) over Tucker Mugg, Dec 6-4