by Steve Peterson
A half-dozen place winners and one weight class champion added up to a successful tournament for Akron-Westfield at Elk Point-Jefferson, S.D.
“We brought 10 kids and placed six. It’s a tough tournament and we got to see where we’re at. We’ll refresh after Christmas break and come back focused for the big push,” said Akron-Westfield Coach Dustin Meinen.
Place winners for A-W on Dec. 15 were led by senior Chet Willer, who was the 195-pound champion; freshman Tommy Toben took runner-up honors at 120 pounds; senior Daniel Dirks took runner-up honors at 138 pounds; senior Cole Oltmanns was fourth at 145 pounds; Jacob Bergman took fifth at 160 pounds and Chance Gant won sixth place at 170 pounds. Toben had a 2-1 tournament record; Dirks, 2-1; Oltmanns, 2-2; Bergman, 2-2; Gant, 0-3; and Willer, 3-0.
A-W placed seventh of 13 teams with 94 points.
Highlights for the Westerners included:
“Chet will fight you to the end,” said Meinen. “He faced two quality opponents. He’ll keep he pressure on and be aggressive.”
Willer beat Taylor Christensen of Sergeant Bluff-Luton by pin in 1:01 in his first match; he beat Christian Brobst of Bishop Heelan by a 7-4 decision in a come-from-behind effort in the Semifinals and won by pin over Andrew Semmler of Parkston, S.D., in 5:21 for the championship.
Toben beat Brady Schlueter of Garretson, S.D. in a pin in 5:59 in his First Round; edged Duece Phaly of Sergeant Bluff-Luton in the Semifinals 4-2 but lost to Justin Haneke of Beresford, S.D. in the finals by a pin in 4:55.
After a first-round bye it was the fourth-seeded Dirks against fifth-seeded Jared Hueser of Elk Point-Jefferson, S.D., and Dirks emerged with an 8-4 win. Dirks then faced top seeded Myles Bialas of Parkston, S.D. in the Semifinals and won with a pin in 4:15. He battled Steven Garcia of Sergeant Bluff-Luton in the finals, and lost by a pin in 3:01.
Fourth-seeded Oltmanns beat fifth-seeded Trent Lyle of Beresford, S.D. in his first match with a 10-5 decision. In the Semifinals Alex Davies, the top-seeded wrestler in the weight class from Canton, S.D., beat Oltmanns 7-0 to send Oltmanns to the consolation round. Oltmanns beat Harley Starr of Sergeant Bluff-Luton in a fall in 1:23 but lost a close 4-2 decision to Jared Limoges of Elk Point-Jefferson in the third place match.
Meinen said the Westerners bounced back and did well after the semifinal round losses. He added the Westerners faced some previously and currently ranked opponents, and all who beat them were quality foes.
Bergman lost to Dillon Staldman of Parkston by pin in 1:48 in his first match. In the consolation rounds, he beat Jayden Broughton of Canton, S.D. by pin in 1:33; lost to Tyler Johnson of Beresford by pin in 2:02; and won by pin over Sean McPadden of Garretson in 3:17 in the fifth place match.
Gant lost by pin to Caleb VanWhye of Canton, S.D., in 3:05; he lost to Kollin George of Sergeant Bluff-Luton by pin in 2:20. Lucas Crownover of Bon Homme, S.D., and won by injury default over Gant for fifth place.
Michael Siebens competed at 113 pounds for A-W. He lost by fall to Alex Caba of Bon Homme in 0:55 in his first match and lost to LJ Bird of Canton in a fall in 2:33 in his second match.
Dylan Blinde competed at 152 pounds, losing to Zach Schuman of Tri-Valley, S.D., by pin in 1:27 and to Thomas Mitchell of Bon Homme in a fall in 2:24.
Tyler Waterbury competed at 132 pounds, losing to Lincoln Stoebner of Bon Homme in a pin in 0:50 and to Colby Pierret of Garretson in a pin in 0:14.
Trevor Hansen competed at 220 pounds, losing to Taylor Lambert of Dakota Valley by pin in 0:21 and to Tristan Lutter of Beresford by pin in 4:12.
Parkston, S.D., 295.5 points; Sergeant Bluff-Luton, 195; Beresford, S.D., 173; Bon Homme, S.D., 130; Tri-Valley, S.D., 127; Canton, S.D., 120; Akron-Westfield 94; Dakota Valley, S.D., 79; Garretson, 68; Elk Point-Jefferson, S.D., 65; Bishop Heelan, 50; West Sioux, 36.5; Alcester-Hudson, S.D., 0.
Senior Colton McCrystal of Sergeant Bluff-Luton, who will wrestle at University of Nebraska-Lincoln next year, won the 132-pound weight class and the Most Outstanding Wrestler Award. He beat Austin Oyen of Tri-Valley, who is headed to South Dakota State University.
A-W hosted Central Lyon, West Lyon and West Sioux at a quadrangular meet on Dec. 18.