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WRESTLING: Bemidji dominates season opener, girls make program debut

It’s so early in this year’s season that the Jacks’ wrestlers have only been practicing for a week and a half.

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Bemidji senior Thade Osborn wrestles with Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton's Colton Zutz in the 160-pound match of the Bemidji Triangular on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at the BHS Gymnasium. (Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji High School wrestling team thoroughly dismantled Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton and Grand Rapids on Thursday night in a triangular held at the BHS Gymnasium, defeating DGF 55-9 before nearly blanking Grand Rapids by an even more impressive score of 74-6.

The Lumberjacks improved to 2-0 early in a 2021-22 campaign that they hope is destined for special things.

“Last year, we set a Bemidji High School record with 29 victories,” head coach Rance Bahr said. “I don't know that we're going to set another record, but we have a very solid team. … I see no reason why we can't expect ourselves to be back in that familiar arena, whether it be the section finals and/or state finals.”

It’s so early in this year’s season that the Jacks’ wrestlers have only been practicing for a week and a half. There’s still plenty of work to do, but BHS appears to be on the right track -- evidenced by 16 pins in two matches.

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Bemidji junior Seth Newby grapples with Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton's Jordan Summers in the 170-pound match of the Bemidji Triangular on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at the BHS Gymnasium. (Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer)

“Our conditioning actually is pretty good at the moment,” Bahr said. “We have a lot of technique to go over and a lot of things to work out throughout the year. Kids need to get to the weights that they plan on wrestling at. Usually around mid-January is about the time we feel comfortable and start hitting stride. So we're probably a month out.”

A brand-new addition to the Bemidji wrestling program is the girls varsity team, which was created this season as the Minnesota State High School League announced the formation of a state tournament for girls wrestling. The tournament will be held at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul at the same time as the boys tournament.

The BHS girls wrestling team made its program debut against Mora and won 30-13. Girls had been able to compete as individuals previously under MSHSL rules, but this is effectively the first year schools can field girls teams.

“Last year, we had no girls wrestlers seventh through 12th grade, and this year we have 12,” Bahr said. “That's huge. And I don't know how many others are out there. … Mora High School contacted us, asked if they could come here and wrestle. They had seven girls for us to wrestle tonight. And so that was great.”

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Bemidji sophomore Jaret Page wrestles with Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton's Camden Mustatchia in the 138-pound match of the Bemidji Triangular on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at the BHS Gymnasium. (Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer)

The energy of the girls program debut may have even surpassed that of the boys season-opening matches.

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“The girls wrestling kind of stole the show, which was great,” Bahr said. “We were excited about it. The boys and I on the varsity mat were joking around that we were the JV match tonight and the girls were the main event. And it was awesome. We were as excited for the girls over there as we were for our own match, probably more so.”

The boys team will face St. Michael-Albertville, the No. 1-ranked team in Class 3A, at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3, in St. Michael. Having Thursday’s matches as warmups should help the Lumberjacks prepare for the steep test.

“I'm not so worried about recovering, actually,” Bahr said. “This will do us good, kind of break us in a little bit and get our lungs going. St. Michael, obviously being the No. 1 team in the state, is very, very good. That's a team that we beat here in our gym last year … So they're definitely going to have a chip on their shoulder. They're definitely going to come after us.”

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Bemidji freshman Alec Newby wrestles with his opponent in the 132-pound match of the Bemidji Triangular on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at the BHS Gymnasium. (Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer)

Bemidji Boys 55, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 9

106: Gabriel Morin (BHS) over Sam Schmitz, Fall 1:28

113: Nick Strand (BHS) over Gabe Schmitz, Fall 1:29

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120: Brody Castonguay (BHS) over TJ Fuller, Fall 1:02

126: Jacob Luebke (DGF) over Hunter Heim, Dec 4-2

132: Alec Newby (BHS) over Austin Lenhart, Dec 6-3

138: Camden Mustachia (DGF) over Jarret Latourelle, Dec 10-9

145: Ricky Wuori Jr. (BHS) over Joey Arends, Fall 1:10

152: Dane Jorgensen (BHS) over Thomas Thureen, Fall 1:17

160: Thade Osborn (BHS) over Colton Zutz, MD 10-0

170: Seth Newby (BHS) over Jordan Summers, Dec 4-0

182: Caleb Johnson (DGF) over Logan Willard, Dec 4-2

195: Barrick Nelson (BHS) over Casey Macziewski, Dec 12-7

220: Nate Schwinghammer (BHS) over Bryce Fischer, Fall 0:33

285: Dylan Headbird (BHS) over Victor Sosa, Fall 2:53

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Bemidji eighth-grader Gabe Morin wrestles with Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton's Sam Schmitz in the 106-pound match of the Bemidji Triangular on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at the BHS Gymnasium. (Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer)

Bemidji Boys 74, Grand Rapids 6

106: Gabriel Morin (BHS) by forfeit

113: Nick Strand (BHS) over Asher Brenden, Fall 1:54

120: Brody Castonguay (BHS) over Alex Lehman, Fall 1:30

126: Hunter Heim (BHS) over Warren Ritter, Fall 0:10

132: Alec Newby (BHS) over Holden Brink, Fall 5:01

138: Connor Wakefield (GR) over Jarret Latourelle, Fall 0:39

145: Ricky Wuori Jr. (BHS) over Sam Villeneuve-Soule, Fall 3:05

152: Dane Jorgensen (BHS) over Philip Keenan, TF 16-0 3:26

160: Thade Osborn (BHS) over Brian LaPlant, Fall 0:15

170: Coy Olsen (BHS) over Ripley Means, Fall 3:49

182: Logan Willard (BHS) over Weston Danielson, Fall 0:37

195: Barrick Nelson (BHS) over Joseph Berg, Fall 3:21

220: Jared Frenzel (BHS) over Tyler Theis, Fall 0:39

285: Dylan Headbird (BHS) over Clayton Danielson, Dec 6-2

120421.S.BP.BHSWRES Thade Osborn.jpg
Bemidji senior Thade Osborn wrestles with Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton's Colton Zutz in the 160-pound match of the Bemidji Triangular on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at the BHS Gymnasium. (Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer)

Bemidji Girls 30, Mora 16

100: Makayla Rush (MOR) over Rebecca Bullington, Dec 5-4 (OT)

105: Nora Houglum (MOR) over Kiera Hagman, MD 12-1

120: Nora Houglum (MOR) over Allie Lillquist, Dec 9-6

125: Imrie Mistic (BHS) over Lindsey Sigstad, Fall 5:53

130: Tori Bahr (BHS) over Aspen Anderson, Fall 2:41

135: Jayden Kelly (BHS) over Aspen Anderson, Fall 5:19

140: Kylie Donat (BHS) over Annabel McGriff, Fall 4:18

150: Elizabeth Oster (BHS) over Aspen Anderson, Fall 5:17

160: Lindsey Nosbush (MOR) over Macie Webb, Fall 1:13

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