Arrows grapple way to three top spots in weekend tournament

PAS wrestling Coach Brian Bos and his crew had a good day on the mats when they traveled to Norwood Young America for the Central Invitational. Pipestone was one of seven teams participating and ended the day with a fourth place team finish. Three individuals claimed champion honors and another earned a second place finish.

“Overall, we wrestled really tough. I think things went as I might have expected. We have some guys that we know should place and that’s what they did. If we got a bit tougher in some other spots then we could have pushed that team score up and had even more success,” said Bos.

Miklo Hernandez claimed first place in the 114 pound weight class at the Central Invitational in Norwood Young America Saturday. Hernandez was voted the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler. Contributed photo

Two of those champions were Miklo Hernandez (114 pounds) and Brayden Burmeister (127 pounds). “Miko and Brayden..I didn’t expect them to be so dominant in their wins,” said Bos “The opponents they wrestled are pretty good, quality wrestlers, and they totally went out and dominated those matches. It was a lot of fun to watch.”

Hernandez claimed his title with an 18-7 major decision over Roman Roberg (Paynesville Area). In the current Minnesota Class A rankings, Hernandez is ranked #2 while Roberg is #5. Before his decision over Roberg, Hernandez had won by fall over Parker Honl (Central Public Schools), ranked #3, at a time of 3:19.

“Miklo just knows what we wants to do, knows what he has to do, and knows what we can do,” says Bos of the talented eighth-grader. “He’s just out there having fun wrestling. He beat up some guys that were really good wrestlers and he was just having fun doing it.” For his efforts on the day, Hernandez was voted as the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler.

Burmeister earned his trip to the top of the podium with an 11-2 major decision over Carson Petry (WEM-JWP) and his 13-3 record. Prior to that win, he also scored a major decision (11-2) over the 14-2 Collin Degn (Central Public Schools). The Arrow senior, and state qualifier from a year ago, remains undefeated on the season.

Wrestling in the 107 pound weight class, a duo of Pipestone wrestlers finished in the top six spots. Taking the champion’s spot on the podium was Carlos Perez-Garcia. Perez-Garcia started the day with a win by fall at 1:56 of Jamison Meagher (Paynesville Area). He then went the distance with a 9-5 decision over Blake Sheppard (St. Clair/Loyola) and claimed the title with another 9-5 decision, this time over #7 ranked Nate Venske (Central Public Schools). In the Benson tournament a week prior, Perez-Garcia had defeated the #10 ranked Gavin Olson of Benson.

Sophomore Carlos Perez-Garcia took top honors in the 107 pound class with his 9-5 decision over Nate Venske of Central Public Schools. Contributed photo

“He’s been wrestling a really dominating match against these guys lately, not giving up position, staying in control and being the one that controls the mats from beginning to end,” said Bos. “We’re really working on the mental aspect of the game with him to finish a six minute match against good kids, and he’s doing that right now. He’s a powerful little young man. It’s fun to watch him go at it.”

Coming in at fifth place in the 107 pound class was Mason Fruechte. Fruechte won by fall at :58 over Amelia Hermanson (Robbinsdale Armstrong) to earn his finishing place. He had opened his day with a fall over Hermanson at 4:10 then lost a close 9-8 decision to Venske and dropped a tight 3-2 decision to Meagher before his fifth place win.

Pipestone’s Jackson Melcher took the #3 ranked Peyton Hemmesch (Paynesville Area) the distance before dropping a 7-1 decision in the championship match. Melcher earned his way to the final match with a pair of wins by fall. He first dispensed of Fred Dassin (Robbinsdale Armstrong), then at the 1:01 mark of his second match put Maddox Moreno (WEM-JWP) on his back for the win.

Brayden Burmeister earned a first place finish at 127 pounds with two major decision wins at the Central Invitational. Contributed photo

In the 145 pound weight class, Pipestone’s Haden Mulvihill wrestled his way to a fifth place finish. Mulvhill opened with forfeit win, then dropped his second match to Reese Lentsch (Central Public Schools) by fall at 2:57. He lost by fall to Lucas Morsching (WEM-JWP) then went on to get a win over Jacob Root (Waseca) by injury default.

Ritch Sobrecary, wrestling at 152 pounds, got an opening round win by fall (:50) over Patrick Adams (WEM-JWP). In his second match he dropped an 11-0 major decision to Tyler Neubarth (Central Public Schools), then lost the following match by fall (3:50) to Henry Cronin (Robbinsdale Armstrong). In working to take fifth place, Sobrecary went the full six minutes but lost by a 4-1 decision to Dan Flint (Paynesville Area).

It was a fifth place finish for 160 pounder Lucas Thooft. Thooft dropped his opening match via a 12-1 major decision to Kellen Klinger (Waseca). Thooft regrouped and beat Dane Pauly (Central Public Schools) with a fall at the 4:11 mark before dropping a 7-3 decision to Grant Wendlandt (Paynesville Area) in the third round. Thooft again faced Klinger in the fifth/sixth place match. He gained redemption from his opening round loss by pinning Klinger at the time of 3:23.

Pipestone will host a solid Marshall team and Luverne on Thursday night, Dec. 11 at the PAS gymnasium. “They’re not gonna roll over. I gotta get my line-up in order and get 13 guys on the mat and be ready to go,” said Bos as he looks to the upcoming matches and the remainder of the season. “The boys know what they need to work on….we know what they need to work on. We’ll look the finer points and the little technique aspects that we can go over to help ‘em out at any particular time of a match.”