Golly, that Gall is good.
Warren Gall is one reason the Pierz Pioneers wrestling team is ranked No. 1 in Class 1A.
Gall earned a 10-2 major decision over Mora's Ben Besser in a 58-6 Pierz victory Jan. 22 at the Mora triangular. In his other match, Gall pinned Luke Gingery of Mille Lacs in 39 seconds. Pierz won that dual meet 54-12.
"My takedowns were working really good," Gall said of the triangular. "I don't think I was on the bottom at all (against Besser). I just rode him and turned him. Against the Mille Lacs guy I got a single leg and he gave me an arm and I just put him over."
At the Frazee quadrangular Jan. 24, Gall pinned Wheaton-Herman-Norcross' Casey Gray in 2:25, helping Pierz to a 59-14 victory. In a 78-0 pounding of Moorhead, Gall decisioned Beau Tweten 7-4.
Against Class 1A's top-ranked Kelly Janke of Frazee, Gall lost a 4-3 decision but Pierz won the match 37-19.
"I wasn't expecting to beat (Janke)," said Gall. "He got a reversal on me and that put him up 4-0. Then I got an escape and I took him down, but I couldn't turn him at the end."
Gall, Class 1A's eighth-ranked 135-pounder, has a 21-5 record. The sophomore advanced to the 1A individual state tournament last year and helped Pierz to a fifth-place finish. Gall finished his freshman campaign 22-12.
"First, I learned I could compete with those guys at state," said Gall. "I didn't have a lot of confidence going into it as a ninth-grader. I also learned I can do much better this year.
"It's really exciting and fun being down there with everybody in the stands watching you. Just being down at mat level with all the great wrestlers that are there is fun."
Gall said his goals are to help Pierz win a state title and to place individually.
That would be fitting for Gall, who started wrestling in preschool. The sophomore also plays football and baseball but wrestling is a family affair.
"My dad started me early and I've liked the sport ever since," said Gall.
Pierz coach Mark Jensen said in his 15 years as Pierz coach, he's had many Galls. Like the rest of his family, Gall owns a quiet confidence said Jensen.
"Warren has always had an inner strength he exerts on the mat," Jensen said. "He's got a lot of self-confidence and I think that comes from his family.
"He goes into the match thinking he's going to be in the match."
The sophomore finished second at the Little Falls individual tournament, losing only to 2A's second-ranked Joe Buschette of Litchfield. Pierz (20-2) won the tournament.
"He keeps things close," said Jensen. "He always gives himself a chance to win."
Other notable performances:
Basketball -- Chad Brever, Staples-Motley, scored 22 points against Pine River-Backus.
Tyler Scull, Crosby-Ironton, scored 26 points against Chisholm.
Roman Haberkorn, Aitkin, scored 20 points against East Central and 29 against Isle.
Cory Umland, Verndale, scored 24 points against Sebeka.
Michael Grieme, Wadena-Deer Creek, scored 31 points against S-M.
Ben Stoll, Pillager, scored 22 points against Sebeka.
Jesse Nelson, Pequot Lakes, scored 21 points against C-I.
Hockey -- Tyler Neu, W-DC, had two goals and two assists against Marshall and two goals and three assists against Luverne.
Andrew Murray, W-DC, had a goal and two assists against Marshall and two goals and three assists against Luverne.
Wrestling -- B.J. Wasserzieher, Aitkin, was 5-1 on his way to an individual championship at the Skip Nalen Invitational.
Tyler Fuller, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale, was 6-0 with four pins.
Matt Mrnak, Pierz, was 5-0 with four pins.
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