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WRESTLING: Bemidji upsets No. 3 STMA, tops Perham in home sweep

“Those are two very good teams, and teams that are always competitive,” BHS head coach Rance Bahr said. “It was great to have the opportunity to wrestle them, especially in our own gym, in front of our fans. Even better to come away with the win.”

021721.S.BP.BHSWR Coy Olsen.jpg
Bemidji sophomore Coy Olsen, left, wrestles with Perham’s Carson Byer in the 132-pound match on Friday at the BHS Gymnasium. (Hannah Olson / Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji High School wrestling team had the BHS Gymnasium buzzing Friday night.

“That was a barnburner.”

“The atmosphere was like a state tournament.”

“It was amazing.”

The high praise from the awe-struck crowd was well warranted. Not only did the Lumberjacks knock off Class 3A No. 3 St. Michael-Albertville, but Bemidji climbed out of an incredible 31-3 hole to do so.

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“It’s just a complete momentum shift,” BHS head coach Rance Bahr said. “Their bench went from screaming and their fans screaming to our fans and our bench screaming. (That was) a huge momentum change and a lot of excitement. It’s great to have competitive duals like that.”

The Jacks are ranked No. 9 in their own right, but the 33-31 win over STMA was the best on their resume this season. That, paired with a 36-28 win over Perham to close the triangular, lifted Bemidji to 16-2 this season.

“Those are two very good teams, and teams that are always competitive,” Bahr said. “It was great to have the opportunity to wrestle them, especially in our own gym, in front of our fans. Even better to come away with the win.”

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Bemidji freshman Brody Castonguay (top) controls the match over Perham’s Chandler Mickelson in the 106-pound match on Friday at the BHS Gymnasium. (Hannah Olson / Bemidji Pioneer)

The Knights mounted a 27-0 advantage through the 132-pound match with three pins, a technical fall and a major decision -- all by top-five wrestlers. The difference grew as big as 31-3 -- BHS scoring on a Noah Leffelman 3-1 decision -- but then the Lumberjacks made their move by walking the tightrope.

Seth Newby got the ball rolling with a third-period pin of No. 3-ranked Jed Wester at 152 pounds, and then Thade Osborn and Hoyt Solum followed with decision wins.

Barrick Nelson’s third-period pin at 182 and Colton Hinrichs’ first-period pin at 195 launched Bemidji within 31-27, and Nate Schwinghammer earned a 3-1 decision at 220 to make it 31-30. Caleb Bahr clinched the victory at heavyweight, claiming a 4-0 decision to knock off STMA at the finish line.

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“It’s very exciting to be able to wrestle with those high-caliber teams and beat them,” Caleb Bahr said. “All I’ve got to do is win. That’s pretty nice, that all I have to do is win. It’s an exciting moment.”

St. Michael-Albertville could have clinched the team victory with a win in any of the final four bouts, but BHS wouldn’t be denied.

“We were pretty confident that we could win out from 160 up, and it just worked out at the end that we had enough points,” coach Bahr said. “It was great. Everybody did their part, and every point mattered.”

In the Perham match, Seth Sisneros put the Jacks in front 13-0 with a 34-second pin at 120 pounds. The lead grew to 26-4 when Dane Jorgenson won by forfeit, and Solum remained perfect on the season with a major decision at 170 to wrap up the Bemidji scoring at 36 points.

“(Against) Perham, emotionally, maybe we were down a little bit,” coach Bahr said. “But we actually won matches against them that we didn’t win the last time. … Overall, very proud of their kids, their effort and their ability to bounce back from a tough loss last Tuesday.”

BHS will return to the mat at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, for a triangular against Fergus Falls and St. Cloud Tech in Fergus.

Bemidji 33, St. Michael-Albertville 31

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106: Mason Mills (STMA) over Gavin Osborn, Fall 3:31

113: Caleb Thoennes (STMA) over Hunter Heim, TF 20-5

120: Landon Robideau (STMA) over Alec Newby, Fall 3:34

126: Parker Janssen (STMA) over Seth Sisneros, Fall 0:34

132: Isaiah Mlsna (STMA) over Coy Olsen, MD 18-6

138: Noah Leffelman (BHS) over Eli Davis, Dec 3-1

145: Cole Becker (STMA) over Dane Jorgensen, MD 10-0

152: Seth Newby (BHS) over Jed Wester, Fall 5:27

160: Thade Osborn (BHS) over Jon Misna, Dec 5-1

170: Hoyt Solum (BHS) over Luke Williamson, Dec 6-2

182: Barrick Nelson (BHS) over Jake Springer, Fall 5:25

195: Colton Hinrichs (BHS) over Reven Simat, Fall 0:52

220: Nate Schwinghammer (BHS) over Marcus Mueller, Dec 3-1

285: Caleb Bahr (BHS) over Owen Barthel, Dec 4-0

Bemidji 36, Perham 28

106: Brody Castonguay (BHS) over Chandler Mickelson, Dec 10-7

113: Hunter Heim (BHS) over Levi Kruzel, MD 18-10

120: Seth Sisneros (BHS) over Kaden Feldt, Fall 0:33

126: Gareth Covington (PER) over JD Kondos, MD 8-0

132: Coy Olsen (BHS) over Carson Byer, MD 9-0

138: Noah Leffelman (BHS) over Jacob McCleary, Dec 8-4

145: Dane Jorgensen (BHS) by forfeit

152: Jack Fudge (PER) over Thade Osborn, Dec 7-2

160: Seth Newby (BHS) by forfeit

170: Hoyt Solum (BHS) over Hudson Hackel, MD 13-4

182: Brian Ramos (PER) over Barrick Nelson, Fall 2:52

195: Gordon Enyart (PER) over Colton Hinrichs, Fall 4:46

220: Aaron Burr (PER) over Jared Frenzel, Dec 5-0

285: Reece Willprecht (PER) over Dylan Headbird, Fall 1:20

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