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WRESTLING: Rance Bahr earns 250th career win on opening day of Rick Lee Invite

Rance Bahr took over the Bemidji High School wrestling team in 2009. Since then, the Lumberjacks have found much team and individual success.

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Bemidji coach Rance Bahr gives instruction from the side of the mat on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, at the Rick Lee Invite at BHS.
Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer
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BEMIDJI – Rance Bahr took over the Bemidji High School wrestling team in 2009. Since then, the Lumberjacks have found much team and individual success.

They look poised to do so again in 2022. The Jacks continued their dominant ways Friday at day one of the Rick Lee Invite held at the BHS Gymnasium, winning all four of their dual meets by at least 25 points and improving to 18-1 this season.

But none was bigger than the final victory over Thief River Falls, a 53-17 triumph that marked Bahr’s 250th win as head coach.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said Bahr, who’s also the program’s winningest coach. “A lot of it has to do with the support that I’ve had through the wrestling club and through all the different coaches at all levels – elementary, middle school and high school – and the kids that we have in our program.

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Bemidji freshman Alec Newby controls a 132-pound match over Thief River Falls’ Owen Dvorak on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, at the Rick Lee Invite at BHS.
Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer

“It’s a nice accolade. It’s a great achievement. It’s not something that I ever had really considered or is one of my goals. But getting this team to the state tournament and doing the best we can is what we want to do, and along the way, when we get achievements like this, coaches and wrestlers, it’s a good feeling.”

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The Jacks took several more steps toward those team goals on Friday. First, they dispatched Brainerd 53-18. Ricky Wuori Jr., Seth Newby, Barrick Nelson, Jared Frenzel and Nate Schwinghammer pinned their respective opponents.

Next, Bemidji overran Detroit Lakes 46-21 in their closest match of the four. Brody Castonguay, Alec Newby and Frenzel won by fall against the Lakers.

Bemidji then handled United North Central 47-15, with Noa Halberg and Dylan Headbird collecting their first pins of the day.

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Bemidji’s Rylee Roybal controls the match over Thief River Falls’ Ethan Lane in a 145-pound match on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, at the Rick Lee Invite at BHS.
Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer

And finally, the Lumberjacks brought Bahr the milestone with the win over TRF. Gabriel Morin and Gavin Osborn earned wins by fall to punctuate the occasion.

Bahr said earlier in the season that he hoped his team would start to peak around the time of this competition. He saw much of what he was looking for on Friday.

“We wrestled a couple teams today that we had previously wrestled earlier in the year,” Bahr said. “And I thought we wrestled better against them. We limited bonus points, we picked up matches this time that we didn't win last time around. I thought overall, we wrestled very, very well, and I’m pretty impressed with the kids.”

As the Jacks continue to build this season, they’ll do so knowing that more special moments are around the corner if they can stay the course. Bahr certainly found one Friday night at his alma mater.

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Bemidji senior Dylan Headbird wrestles United North Central’s Marcus Peterson in a 285-pound match on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, at the Rick Lee Invite at BHS.
Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer

“I graduated from high school here in 1992, wrestled on the high school wrestling team from eighth grade through 12th grade,” Bahr said. “It means a lot (to do it here). It’s a great experience. I wouldn’t want to do it anywhere else.”

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Bemidji will return to the mat on Saturday, Jan. 15, for day two of the Rick Lee Invite back at the BHS Gym. The Lumberjacks resume competition starting at 9 a.m.

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Bemidji hosted nine varsity teams in the Rick Lee Invite held Friday, Jan. 14, and Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, at Bemidji High School.
Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer
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Bemidji senior Nate Schwinghammer wrestles United North Central’s Cooper Hasbargen in a 220-pound match on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, at the Rick Lee Invite at BHS.
Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer
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Bemidji sophomore Brody Castonguay pins Thief River Falls’ Noah Jacobson in a 120-pound match on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, at the Rick Lee Invite at BHS.
Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer
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Bemidji junior Dane Jorgensen tries to break free from Thief River Falls’ Griffin Lundeen in a 152-pound match on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, at the Rick Lee Invite at BHS.
Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer

Bemidji 57, Brainerd 18

106: Gabriel Morin (BEM) by forfeit

113: Easton Dircks (BRD) over Noa Halberg, Fall 1:24

120: Brody Castonguay (BEM) over Cade Ostrowski, Dec 6-0

126: Isaiah Germann (BRD) over Gavin Osborn, Fall 3:30

132: Alec Newby (BEM) by forfeit

138: Ricky Wuori Jr. (BEM) over Hunter Bergin, Fall 3:05

145: Dane Jorgensen (BEM) over Isaiah Jillson, Dec 3-2

152: Thade Osborn (BEM) over Gabe Wagner, Dec 6-3

160: Seth Newby (BEM) over Damien Bentho, Fall 1:50

170: Coy Olsen (BEM) by forfeit

182: Barrick Nelson (BEM) over Shane Carlson, Fall 1:22

195: Jared Frenzel (BEM) over Ethan Kosloski, Fall 1:10

220: Nate Schwinghammer (BEM) over Carson Faehnrich, Fall 0:29

285: Dalton Barrett (BRD) over Dylan Headbird, Fall 2:53

Bemidji 46, Detroit Lakes 21

106: Gabriel Morin (BHS) by forfeit

113: Beau Somdahl (DL) over Noa Halberg, Dec 1-0

120: Brody Castonguay (BHS) over Leroy LaCrosse, Fall 4:24

126: Gavin Osborn (BHS) over Cole Weber, Dec 15-9

132: Alec Newby (BHS) over Zach Ruhl, Fall 3:19

138: Bradly Swiers (DL) over Ricky Wuori Jr., Fall 5:25

145: Tyson Ullyott (DL) over Rylee Roybal, Dec 18-15

152: Thade Osborn (BHS) over Cade Okeson, Dec 4-2

160: Coy Olsen (BHS) by forfeit

170: Cade Jackson (DL) over Logan Willard, Fall 0:42

182: Barrick Nelson (BHS) by forfeit

195: Jared Frenzel (BHS) over Connor Zamzo, Fall 1:24

220: Nate Schwinghammer (BHS) over Jacob Ehnert, Maj 8-0

285: Jeffery Moen (DL) over Dylan Headbird, Dec 10-4

Bemidji 47, United North Central 15

106: Gabriel Morin (BHS) over Conrad Koll, Dec 7-6

113: Noa Halberg (BHS) over Zach Davidson, Fall 1:41

120: Brody Castonguay (BHS) over Zach Hendrickson, Fall 5:33

126: Spencer Erickson (UNC) over Gavin Osborn, Dec 7-5

132: Alec Newby (BHS) over Aaron Lake, Dec 7-3

138: Ricky Wuori Jr. (BHS) over Wyatt Olson, Fall 4:55

145: Ethan Hendrickson (UNC) over Dane Jorgensen, Dec 6-3

152: Hank Tellers (UNC) over Rylee Roybal, Dec 7-2

160: Seth Newby (BHS) won by Fall, 0:50

170: Eion Ness (UNC) over Coy Olsen, Dec 4-0

182: Barrick Nelson (BHS) over Shawn Hendrickson, Fall 4:13

195: Torrey Carlson (UNC) over Jared Frenzel, Dec 8-4

220: Nate Schwinghammer (BHS) over Cooper Hasbargen, TF 15-0

285: Dylan Headbird (BHS) over Marcus Peterson, Fall 0:47

Bemidji 53, Thief River Falls 17

106: Gabriel Morin (BHS) over Maverick Iverson, Fall 5:35

113: Nick Svir (TRF) over Noa Halberg, Dec 7-1

120: Brody Castonguay (BHS) over Noah Jacobson, Fall 1:29

126: Gavin Osborn (BHS) over Keigan Hermanson, Fall 1:21

132: Alec Newby (BHS) over Owen Dvorak, Fall 0:55

138: Kale Geiser (TRF) by TF, 20-5

145: Rylee Roybal (BHS) over Ethan Lane, MD 10-2

152: Griffin Lundeen (TRF) over Dane Jorgensen, Dec 4-1

160: Thade Osborn (BHS) by forfeit

170: Seth Newby (BHS) over Cody Wienen, Dec 10-4

182: Riley Poissant (TRF) over Barrick Nelson, Fall 0:36

195: Jared Frenzel (BHS) over Carter Engebretson, MD 9-0

220: Nate Schwinghammer (BHS) over Jolson Sargent, Fall 1:19

285: Dylan Headbird (BHS) over Collin Bruggeman, Fall 3:42

Related Topics: WRESTLING
Christian Babcock is a sports reporter at the Bemidji Pioneer. He trekked to Bemidji from his hometown of Campbell, Calif., after graduating from the Cronkite School at Arizona State University in 2021. Follow him on Twitter at @CB_Journalist for updates on the Lumberjacks and Beavers or to suggest your favorite local restaurant.
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