Magi wrestling puts six into the state finals
FARGO — Sophomore Corey Hooker couldn’t contain his excitement.
After pinning Bismarck High’s No. 1-seeded Laken Boese in the 120-pound Class A semifinal, No. 5 Hooker ran into the arms of the Minot High coaches in celebration.
“It meant a lot because my coaches have sacrificed so much and have done so much for me,” Hooker said. “I have been missing weight and doing things that I shouldn’t be doing. It just felt good to make it up to them and help out this team to get a state title again.”
It was a moment of pure bliss. One of many for the Minot High wrestling team Friday evening as they turned eight semifinal wrestlers into six finalists.
As a result, after the second day of competition, the defending team individual champion Magicians (168.5 points) had closed the gap down to just half a point between them and Bismarck High (169).
“We got a lot of finals that we have a chance to win in,” MHS coach Justin Racine said. “If we do that and they guys take care of business in the wrestlebacks, then we could definitely go ahead of (Bismarck).”
Here the Magicians’ six finalist wrestling for an individual state this evening.
106 – No. 1 Kelby Armstrong
Path to the finals: Pinned Turtle Mountain’s Frank Chapman (1:18), pinned GF Central’s Tyson Gass (2:25) and a decision over Bismarck High’s No. 4 Brock Fettig (5-4).
Championship opponent: Fargo South’s No. 2 Jacob Thomas.
Previous meeting this season: None.
“I’ll be honest, I didn’t wrestle the greatest that match,” Armstrong said about his semifinal win over Fettig. “I just didn’t finish my shots as well and didn’t wrestle like myself as much. I still came out with the win, which is what the goal was, but I got to wrestle better.”
120 – No. 5
Path to the finals: Major decision over Bismarck St. Mary’s William Langenfelder (15-3), decision over Dickinson’s No. 4 Jaren Berger (9-8) and pinned Bismarck High’s No. 1 Laken Boese (3:48).
Championship opponent: Jamestown’s No. 2 Ethan Bowman.
Previous meeting this season: Hooker won in overtime 6-4 at the WDA tournament.
“I have never been a type of guy to tie-up, so when I was in the ties I just had to feel for it,” Hooker said about his semifinal victory. “When I started faking and making him react, I knew I could hang with this guy.”
Hooker looks to turn his confidence into a state championship.
“Honestly, I’m going to get it,” he said. “I did all this work. The coaches have sacrificed so much for me, it’s time to get my hand raised.”
132 – No. 1
Path to the finals: Technical fall over Fargo Davies’ Ty Weber (18-0), pinned Bismarck High’s No. 8 Jared Honeyman (3:29) and a major decision over Century’s No. 4 Izaiah Bitz (12-2).
Championship opponent: Bismarck High’s No. 2 Adam DeBoer.
Previous meeting this season: Armstrong won 5-0 in Friday’s state team dual championship.
The two-time state champion has breezed through the state tournament so far, even winning a 132-pound championship preview match in the team dual against Bismarck High. Armstrong looks to join three other Minot High wrestlers to have won three state titles in their high school careers.
170 – No. 2 Creighton Rudolph
Path to the finals: Major decision over Dickinson’s Tanner Jarrett (9-0), pinned Turtle Mountain’s No. 7 Levi LaFountain (5:30) and a decision over Valley City’s No. 3 Jared Undem (11-6).
Championship opponent: Bismarck High’s No. 1 Parker Wahl.
Previous meeting this season: Rudolph forfeited in the WDA tournament championship match.
From sitting out nearly the entire regular season to being one win away from a state title, Rudolph will need to take down the top seed for a fairytale ending. Rudolph avoided Wahl in the state championship team dual Friday night against Bismarck High by wrestling up a weight class.
220 – No. 6
Path to the finals: Pinned WF Sheyenne’s Micheal Treib (:29), a major decision over West Fargo’s No. 3 Riley Kringlie (12-2) and a decision over Mandan’s No. 2 Adam Boehm (6-4)
Championship opponent: Bismarck High’s No. 1 Chase Dockter.
Previous meeting this season: Dockter won 9-4 in Friday’s state team dual final.
“I got a takedown early in the first and rode him out,” Swartwout said about his semifinal win. “I had an injury at the regional tournament so I had to forfeit some matches which is why I got (the No. 6 seed). I had beaten the No. 2 seed once already this year and I had to forfeit to him, so I knew my abilities and believed I could make the finals if I wrestled well enough.”
285 – No. 3
Path to the finals: Pinned Fargo South’s Isaiah Gates (3:26), pinned Bismarck High’s No. 6 Nolan Hintz (3:12) and a decision over Valley City’s No. 2 Jaden Oestern (3-2).
Championship opponent: Fargo Davies’ No. 1 Andre Baguma.
Previous meeting this season: Baguma won 3-1 in a team dual on Jan. 19.
Huff powered through an intense 3-2 semifinal match and the senior will wrestle his final match for a state title.
Alex Eisen covers Minot High School, Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.