WRESTLING: Bemidji closes out Rick Lee Invite with perfect 7-0 record
Barrick Nelson dislocated his elbow on Friday night at the Rick Lee Invite. He walked off the mat at the BHS Gymnasium in acute pain, heading to the locker room to undergo treatment.
BEMIDJI – Barrick Nelson dislocated his elbow on Friday night at the Rick Lee Invite. He walked off the mat at the BHS Gymnasium in acute pain, heading to the locker room to undergo treatment.
By Saturday morning, he was back in the gym to cheer on his Bemidji High School wrestling teammates just hours removed from the injury. The junior sported a lengthy black cast on his relocated left elbow.
“I wanted to be out here and wrestle for them, but stuff happens that you can't control,” Nelson said.
Instead, he spent his time supporting his squad. And there was plenty to support, as the Lumberjacks continued to clear-cut their way through the invitational, dispatching three more teams to finish the event with a spotless tally of 7-0.
“It connects us,” Nelson said of their camaraderie. “We're trying to help each other get better every match that we go through.”
Nelson expects to miss about a month with the injury. He will undergo an MRI and other tests on Monday to better determine his recovery timeline.
Head coach Rance Bahr said losing Nelson from the lineup will make things more difficult for the Jacks moving forward, but it creates an opening for other wrestlers to step up.
“There’s still a lot of wrestling left, and the key is to stay healthy,” Bahr said. “Losing Barrick Nelson last night to an injury was not good for our team, but we have other guys to step in there until he’s able to return. Hopefully we get him back, (but) these other guys get an opportunity while he’s out.”
BHS now sits at 21-1 this season. The Lumberjacks posted a 48-22 win over Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove to start off Saturday, followed by a 41-27 victory against Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville. They capped the invite’s second day with a nearly perfect 66-3 dismantling of Grand Forks Central.
Rylee Roybal, Thade Osborn, Jared Frenzel and Dylan Headbird recorded pins in Bemidji’s opening match, with Dane Jorgensen, Seth Newby and Nate Schwinghammer joining them in the second dual.
Seven Jacks recorded wins by fall against Grand Forks Central, with Brody Castonguay and Logan Willard earning their first of the day.
All told, it was another complete performance for a team that has made them look routine.
“I think the competition level kind of showed us where we’re at conditioning-wise, and that we’re right where we need to be,” Bahr said. “It showed some areas of technique that we need to work on and not necessarily fix, but improve upon. And it showed us some areas that we’re doing really well in.”
Earlier in the season, Bahr noted that while he thought this year’s team had potential, he wasn’t sure if it could challenge last year’s school record of 29 victories. With the blistering start to the season, has he changed his tune?
“I think it’s certainly a possibility,” Bahr said. “It’s just one of those things that if it happens, it happens. Ultimately, we just want to win the three matches at the end of February that get us to the state tournament, and we’d like to win three matches down at the state tournament. So those are the six matches that we’re concerned about.”
BHS will continue its season at a triangular in Fergus Falls at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 20.