Six Somerset wrestlers reach finals at Eden Prairie InvitationalSix Somerset wrestlers reached the finals and three brought home individual championships from the EP Invitational held at Eden Prairie (Minn.) High School on Jan. 21.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
Six Somerset wrestlers reached the finals and three brought home individual championships from the EP Invitational held at Eden Prairie (Minn.) High School on Jan. 21.
Winning championships for the Spartans on Saturday were Gabe Flandrick, Austin Bushinger and Haydon Dvorak. Also reaching the finals were Bobby LeRoy, John Russell and Anthony Doree. This held special significance for Russell and Doree. It was the first varsity tournament championship bout for both seniors.
The Spartans finished fourth among the seven teams in the tournament with 179 points. Annandale - Maple Lake (Minn.) won the team title with 232.5 points. Somerset was the only Wisconsin team in the tournament.
Flandrick had no trouble winning his title, rolling to a 14-2 win in the 138-pound class finale. Bushinger faced Teddy Erickson of Annandale - Maple Lake, a champion in the tournament last year, in the 160-pound finals. It was an action-packed bout, with Bushinger winning 15-12 for his 30th win of the season.
Fans might have expected Dvorak to get a challenge in the 182-pound title match from Melvin DeSouza of Eden Prairie, a state qualifier last year. Dvorak rolled past DeSouza 14-3, also posting his 30th win of the season.
LeRoy had the toughest assignment in the finals. He drew Eden Prairie’s Sam Brancale, who was an undefeated Minnesota state champion last year, in the 126-pound finals. LeRoy put up a good battle until he was turned to his back and pinned late in the second period.
Russell had to wrestle one of his best efforts to reach the 145-pound finals. He faced Jake Solberg of Centennial. The match went into double overtime before Russell could earn the 7-5 win. Russell lost to Chase Monger of Eden Prairie in the finals.
Doree also had to pull out a close match to get into the finals. In the 220-pound semifinals he faced Travis Cripe of Eden Prairie, with Doree scoring a 3-2 win. Doree was pinned in the finals by Cruz Johnson of Annandale - Maple Lake.
The Spartans put on quite a show for their Parents Night crowd last Thursday, crushing Durand 60-6. This was one of the quickest matches of the year, because Durand had just seven wrestlers in action.
The match of the night was at 126 pounds. It seems LeRoy draws a quality opponent every time he takes the mat, and this was no exception. He and Durand’s Jordan Gardner were tied 4-4 at the end of regulation. LeRoy got a takedown 15 seconds into the overtime to earn the win.
Another high point from the match came at 195-pounds, where Spartan junior Zane Von Holtum earned his first varsity pin.
The Spartans also celebrated Senior Night on Thursday, recognizing Bushinger, Doree, Dvorak and Russell for their contributions to the program.
Another part of the celebration was the awarding of 100-win plaques to Flandrick and Dvorak. Both Spartans reached that milestone this season.