By Brian Jerzak
In a perfect world, Kasson Mantorville and Simley should be meeting in the state semi-finals or even the finals. For the second straight year, they instead met in the Section 1AA finals with a trip to State on the line. After both teams rolled through the quarters and semis, the matchup everyone expected got going.
Simley head coach Will Short expected the dual to hinge on four swing matches – the first of which started the meet. It did not go the way the Spartans wanted.
Kasson Mantorville’s 106-pound senior Jace Minelli was taken down in period one and was not given the benefit of the doubt on a possible escape near the edge of the mat to keep the score 2-0. After Minelli was ridden out in the second period, the third period started on the feet with the senior down 2-0. He got in on a single leg, converted the takedown and rode out the remainder of the period to force overtime. Minelli would get an escape in the first overtime and was able to ride out his opponent for a critical win and a 3-0 lead.
It was a significant loss for the Spartans, but Short knew his team was not going to panic.
“We knew there were four swing matches in the dual,” Short said. “We weren’t going to panic if we lost one of them. We knew we had chances at 145, 170 and 195 when we got the flip. We were pretty confident in those matches.”
The dual went like most felt it would over the next few matches The KoMets built a 12-0 lead.
At 126, 3rd ranked Robbie Horsman took the mat for KM and faced number one ranked Chase DeBlaere from Simley. DeBlaere dominated the match from the start. He picked up two takedowns and an escape to build a 5-0 lead going into the third period. He added back points for good measure in the third to win the match 9-1 and pick up a bonus point.
In another top-five matchup, Simley’s Ryan Sokol – ranked number one – took on Kasson’s 5th ranked Matthew Harfmann. Sokol dominated on the feet and took a 10-4 lead into the second period. After nearly getting the fall in the second period, the Spartans’ 132 pounder gave his team two bonus points with a tech fall.
Simley ran out yet another number one ranked wrestler in Cael Berg, and although he was faced with a top ten ranked guy from Kasson, Berg controlled the match throughout tying the match at 12.
Simley would pick up a huge swing win at 145. Simley’s 4th ranked 145 pounder Antonio Everett trailed Kasson’s 5th ranked Carlos Ruffo 3-1 in the third period but picked up an escape to cut the lead to one. Everett then got in on a single late in the match and took Ruffo to his back. The four-point move gave the Spartans a huge win and a 15-12 lead.
After the teams swapped wins, Simley still held a three-point lead with another huge match to come. Kasson sent onto the mat Dalton Andrist who is ranked number two, to face 4th ranked Nolan Wanzek. Wanzek got in on the legs late in period one to take a 2-0 lead. Andrist rode Wanzek hard for most of the second period and nearly got back points but ultimately gave up the escape and trailed 3-0 to start the third period. Wanzek kept Andrist down for the first half of the third period but eventually gave up the escape. Wanzek sealed the match with a late takedown.
After number one ranked Patrick Kennedy scored a tech fall to pull the Komets back to a 21-20 deficit.
Earlier in the season the top of the Spartans’ lineup was injured and looked much different. Now they are healthy.
“We are close to putting our best team on the mat here at the end of the season,” Short said. “Getting Greg (Kerkvliet) fully healthy and getting Quayin (Short) back who hurt his knee a month ago – they both looked great today.”
Simley’s Quayin Short – who is ranked number one at 182 moved up to take on third-ranked 195-pound KoMet Grant Parrish. Short got the first takedown and dominated from the top position in the first two periods. Leading 2-0, Short added another takedown to win the match – and basically the dual.
Second-ranked Garsen Schorr would get a 3-0 win for the KoMets, but number one ranked 285 pounder, Kerkvliet made short work of his opponent with a first period pin and a 30-23 dual meet victory.
“We wrestled really well,” Short concluded, “probably the best we’ve looked all year.”
The loss snapped Kasson’s 97 dual meet winning streak.
Simley 30 Kasson-Mantorville 23
106 – Jace Minelli (Kasson-Mantorville) over Peyton Spychalla (Simley) TB-1 3-2
113 – Logan Vaughan (Kasson-Mantorville) over Cory Primeau (Simley) TF 24-9
120 – Brian Finley (Kasson-Mantorville) over James Diaz Lopez (Simley) Maj 14-1
126 – Chase DeBlaere (Simley) over Robby Horsman (Kasson-Mantorville) Maj 9-1
132 – Ryan Sokol (Simley) over Matthew Harfmann (Kasson-Mantorville) TF 23-8
138 – Cael Berg (Simley) over Tanner Paulson (Kasson-Mantorville) Dec 5-1
145 – Antonio Everett (Simley) over Carlos Ruffo (Kasson-Mantorville) Dec 7-3
152 – Gavin Nelson (Simley) over Kail Wynia (Kasson-Mantorville) Dec 8-3
160 – Bennett Berge (Kasson-Mantorville) over Jacob Hageman (Simley) Dec 9-6
170 – Nolan Wanzek (Simley) over Dalton Andrist (Kasson-Mantorville) Dec 5-2
182 – Patrick Kennedy (Kasson-Mantorville) over Esiquio Diaz (Simley) TF 19-4
195 – Quayin Short (Simley) over Grant Parrish (Kasson-Mantorville) Dec 6-0
220 – Garsen Schorr (Kasson-Mantorville) over Freddy Rivera (Simley) Dec 3-0
285 – Daniel Gregory Kerkvliet (Simley) over Anthony Moe-Tucker (Kasson-Mantorville) Fall 0:28