MINNEAPOLIS -- In its only previous appearance in the state wrestling tournament the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines were consolation champions in the small school event of the old two-class event.
This year's Wolverines may be a mirror image of the team that was consolation champion in the 1992 tournament. On Saturday afternoon the Wolverines wrestled Blackduck-Cass Lake/Bena for the consolation title in the Class AA tournament at the Target Center.
''We kept telling these kids all year they were close to our 1992 team,'' W-DC coach Dennis Kaatz said. ''Maybe that's what it is. They are real close.''
Friday's 26-22 victory over the Dassel-Cokato Chargers in the consolation semifinals was close because the Wolverines dropped the final three matches. W-DC maintained a 26-13 lead after Luke Trout's 1-0 win at 160 pounds over David Salmen, ranked 10th in the state.
Feeling the crush of strength, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale's Jake Elgin strains to control Johnny Frank of Wabasso in the 189-pound Class A semifinal match Friday night. Frank won with a score of 4-3 to advance into the finals Saturday.
The Chargers' Eric Pokornowski (171) and Luke Philippi (189) both won by 5-4 decisions against W-DC's Matt Lowers and Tony Vittetoe. Chargers heavyweight Ben Meyer then decisioned Nate Korkowski.
Vittetoe enabled W-DC to clinch the win by losing by no more than a 3-point decision.
How they stand
Apple Valley 54, Hastings 6
Cambridge-Isanti 33, Bemidji 21
Owatonna 42, Mankato West 6
Totino-Grace 37, Centennial 18
Jackson County Central 37, Scott West 19
St. Michael-Albertville 29, Milaca/Faith Christian 17 Consolation semifinals
Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena 36, Stewartville 16
Wadena-Deer Creek 26, Dassel-Cokato 22
Frazee 34, Chatfield 30
Paynesville 32, St. James 24
Canby 29, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale 25
Medford 38, Eden Valley-Watkins 13
''Maybe Tony realized that,'' Kaatz said. ''Sometimes when you realize all you have to do is not get pinned you don't wrestle as aggressively as you can but we had enough.''
The Wolverines had enough firepower at the top of their lineup to withstand D-C's late charge. W-DC won six of the first eight matches to seize a 23-10 edge. Nate Berry (103), Pat Kramer (140) and Kyle Trout (145) won by decision, Leland Brincefield (112) and Peter Hayes (130) by major decision and Logan Brincefield (119) by pin.
''Our kids in the middle did their job,'' Kaatz said. ''Kyle Trout had a big win at 145. That probably was the biggest win of the day. We moved everybody up (a weight) from 125 through 145.''
W-DC's opponent in the consolation semifinals was Blackduck/Cass Lake/Bena.
''We beat them early in the year (44-15),'' Kaatz said, ''but they've got two kids back who were not there when we wrestled them.''
Wadena-Deer Creek 26,
103 - Nate Berry (WDC) dec. Josh Isakson 5-3
112 - Leland Brincefield (WDC) maj. dec. Noel Kutz 11-2
119 - Logan Brincefield (WDC) pinned Jeff Grangroth 2:27
125 - Jordan Isakson (DC) pinned Paul Hunke 2:26
130 - Peter Hayes (WDC) maj. dec. Jason Eastling 10-2
135 - T.J. Anderson (DC) maj. dec. Louie Vandermay 12-3
140 - Pat Kramer (WDC) dec. Clint Scherping 5-1
145 - Kyle Trout (WDC) dec. Brad Opsahl 3-2
152 - Peter Pierre-Louis (DC) dec. Dwight Line 5-4
160 - Luke Trout (WDC) dec. David Salmen 1-0
171 - Eric Pokornowski (DC) dec. Matt Lowers 5-4
189 - Luke Philippi (DC) dec. Tony Vittetoe 5-4
Hwt - Ben Meyer (DC) dec. Nate Korkowski 6-4
Record - WDC 19-4-0. Next meet - WDC 1:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Blackduck/Cass Lake/Bena for Class AA consolation championship at Target Center.
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