Three Screamin’ Eagles headed to state wrestling meet

PHOTO BY WENDY SPARTZ Ross Herber captured the section championship at 120 lbs, defeating Zumbrota-Mazeppa’s John Poulin in a 4-1 decision.
By : 
Scott Bestul
Tri-County Record

The Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson wrestling team is sending a trio of wrestlers to this weekend’s MSHSL State Wrestling Meet in St. Paul. Brothers Noah and Ross Herber, and Gable Speltz all qualified for the Class A Individual State Tournament by placing first or second in their weight classes at the Section 1A meet, held at the Rochester Civic Center last weekend.

LARP head coach Tim Tekautz noted that all three wrestlers are first-time entrants at state.  “It’ll be a fun weekend for them,” Tekautz said. “They’re all very capable wrestlers so any one of them have a good chance at doing well.”

The Screamin’ Eagles had five other wrestlers place at the Section Meet. Tyler Kreidermacher was the first LARP grappler to score for his team. Kreidermacher advanced to the 5th place match at 106 pounds, against Wabasha-Kellogg’s Chris Cushman, but forfeited. “Tyler was in a tough match the night before and suffered a concussion,” said coach Tim Tekautz. “It wasn’t worth risking his health to wrestle the next day so we just pulled him out.”

Junior Ross Herber got things going for LARP when he claimed the Section championship at 120 pounds. The top-seeded Herber (27 wins, 5 losses) faced off against Zumbrota-Mazeppa’s John Poulin (26-18) and prevailed, notching a 4-1 decision over the Cougar junior. “Ross was the #1 seed in that class, so things went the way we knew they should,” Tekautz said.

Sophomore Gable Speltz kept the ball rolling for LARP when he advanced to the championship match at 126 pounds. Speltz (29-13) faced a fellow sophomore, Chatfield’s Seth Goetzinger (27-7) in that bout, where he lost a 4-3 decision. Tekautz called the match “a close one, and time was running out, or had elapsed, when (Goetzinger) scored that last point. It was tough, but I told Gable ‘It doesn’t matter; you’re going to state.”

Carter Jonsgaard, LARP’s only state entrant last year at 126 pounds, was bumped up to 132 this year after losing a wrestle-off to teammate Speltz in practice last week. “Unfortunately, the 132-pound class was just a logjam this year,” Tekautz said. “There were eight state-ranked wrestlers there.”  Jonsgaard managed 8th, but the competitive sophomore has two more seasons to make a return trip to St. Paul.

Senior Dominic Jenkins, who grabbed his 100th career victory at last week’s team sectional meet, nearly made it to state at 145 pounds. Jenkins (33-11) faced off against GMLOS sophomore Reece Voight (27-15) in the match for 3rd place. Jenkins scored a 15-5 major decision over Voight to claim the victory and 3rd place.

Screamin’ Eagles sophomore Tristyn Hegland proved he’ll be another exciting wrestler to watch in the future. Hegland shared 8th place honors with Goodhue’s Bjorn Otterness at 152 pounds. 

Ethan Sense, well known for his running back skills on the football field, closed out his senior wrestling season by advancing to the third place match at 170 pounds. Sense (10-3) faced off against Caledonia-Houston senior Payton Schott (31-11), and the Warriors’ grappler managed a fall at 0:26 of the final career match for both wrestlers.

The Screamin’ Eagles ended the day on a high note, when senior Noah Herber advanced to the championship match at 185 pounds. Herber (25-6) went to the mat with Dover-Eyota’s Michael Nelson (41-3), the top-seeded wrestler in the class. Nelson scored a fall at 0:25 to claim the gold medal, but Herber and the team celebrated putting another LARP wrestler on the bus to St. Paul.


Opening rounds of the MSHSL State Individual Meet begin at 9 a.m. on Friday, March 1, but Tekautz said it’s impossible to pin down when LARP wrestlers will compete. “It’s just a rolling schedule, with the AAA schools going first, followed by AA, and then us,” he noted. “It’s a little frustrating waiting around like that, but the guys will be ready to go when it’s their turn.”

Quarterfinals are scheduled for Friday at 4 p.m. Consolation quarterfinals and championship semifinals are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Matches for 3rd and 5th place, followed by championship matches, are scheduled for Saturday 4 p.m.

For more information go to the MSHSL website. All matches can be live-streamed on School Space Media. Tickets for individual matches are $16 (adults) $10 (students) or a daily pass $30 (adults) and $18 (students).