Drey Loge is pinning down a memorable season.
The senior for the Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus Road Crew wrestling team is 17-0 this season with three individual championships. The three-year varsity captain isn’t just winning. He’s pinning his way to wins.
Loge won the Big Bear title Dec. 15 with a 2-0 decision over Detroit Lakes’ Parker Jackson, who is ranked 10th in Class 2A.
The senior pinned his way to the championship, starting with a 3:59 pin of New York Mills’ Taylor Ericksrud, a 2:46 pin of Mahnomen/Waubun’s Kody Lefebvre, a 52-second pin of Trevor Smith from Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena and a 5:34 pin of Travis Deegan of Willmar in the semifinals.
A week earlier, Loge pinned his way to the Paul Bunyan final where he pinned Little Falls’ Connor Scherping in 3:37 for the championship.
At the Bunyan, Loge opened with a 1:31 pin of Alex Felton, a 52-second pin of RJ Olson from Moorhead and a 3:37 pin of Ben Rodgers of Mound-Westonka in the semifinals.
“I felt pretty confident going into both of those tournaments,” said Loge. “I believed in myself. We had been practicing really hard the last couple of weeks and I was ready to see what I could do.
“It’s a great accomplishment. But it’s also something I can’t sit on. I still have plenty more I want to accomplish, like hopefully winning a section title and making it to state. My goal — I really have my sights set on taking that next step at state. It was a great experience there last year, but now I’ve set my sights a little higher.”
In last year’s state tournament, Loge opened with a 5-2 victory over Waseca’s Tanner Pehrson before falling into the wrestlebacks with a 10-4 loss to eventual fourth-place finisher McKinnon Short.
In the state wrestlebacks, Loge defeated Fridley’s Bobby Simmons with a 2:54 pin, then lost to Andrew Fogarty of Scott West 5-0. Fogarty finished third.
This year Fogarty is ranked No. 1 at 152 pounds with Short No. 2 at 152.
“He’s had a really outstanding start to the season overall,” said Road Crew head coach Travis Hoffarth. “Every single match he is putting it all on the line. We know he has a lot of strength for his weight class and he’s able to use that strength to his fullest ability.
“When it came to the Big Bear he took care of business. He’s a pinner and for that reason, when he finds an opportunity and does expose someone on their back, he tends to put them away. That’s his best quality.
“He’s focused. He knows this is his senior year. He got that experience down there. He went 2-2 and was a match away from placing. He was one away from that top six and that’s added some incentive to the year.
“He’s a bright kid. He gets it. He’s a 4.0 student. He’s in a lot of extracurricular activities as far as school goals. He’s a hard-worker.”
Loge has worked his way to a 117-50 career record. He is the fourth-ranked Class 2A 145-pounder. He was 5-0 during Road Crew duals heading into Friday’s Perham triangular. He started the season going 3-0 at the Wadena-Deer Creek Invite.
But, according to Hoffarth, Loge’s best attribute to the team isn’t wins or the extra points from the pins. It’s Loge’s leadership.
“He’s a leader and has been a leader since he first walked into the wrestling room as a seventh-grader,” Hoffarth said. “The coaches pinned him as a future captain the first time we saw him.
“He just has that ability with the way he works on the mat. He has a way about him. He is focused in the classroom and the practice room. We knew we had something special in him and that’s why this is his third year of being a captain. He’s got some special qualities. Kids really look up to him.”
Other notable performances:
Basketball: Andrew VanErp, Wadena-Deer Creek, scored 22 points against Pine River-Backus.
Beau Howard, Pine River-Backus, scored 21 points against Wadena-Deer Creek.
Nathan Ehnstrom, Aitkin, finished with 27 points against Isle and 28 points, six rebounds and five steals against Onamia.
Brian Huber, Staples-Motley, scored 22 points against Long Prairie-Grey Eagle and 20 against Wadena-Deer Creek.
Daniel Newton, Lake Region, finished with 21 points against Rosemount, 17 points, seven assists and seven rebounds against Woodcrest and 19 points against Karlstad to reach 1,000 points for his career.
Dallas Ehrmantraut, Verndale, finished with 16 points and six assists against Menahga and scored 23 points against Bertha-Hewitt to reach 1,000 career points.
EJ Ziegler, Pillager, finished with 28 points and 19 rebounds against New York Mills.
Daniel Hudrlik, Crosby-Ironton, scored 23 points against Park Rapids.
Caleb Baker, Crosby-Ironton, scored 20 points against Park Rapids.
Evan VanErp, Wadena-Deer Creek, scored 25 points against Staples-Motley.
Hockey: Kegan Couture, Northern Lakes, scored the game-winner and added three assists against Monticello.
Luke Majerle, Little Falls, reached 100 career points with an empty net goal against Alexandria.
Ben Moe, Northern Lakes, scored three goals against Bagley-Fosston.
Wrestling: Anthony Philipson, Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus, won an individual title at the Big Bear Tournament.
Dillon Card, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale, won an individual title at the Big Bear Tournament.