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Praschak only Spartan to make MBC finals

Somerset’s Josh Westmoreland prepares to turn Baldwin-Woodville’s Muatxju Lee for a pin during Saturday’s action in the Middle Border Conference meet. (Photo by Dave Newman)

Junior Max Praschak was the only Somerset wrestler to advance to the finals at the 2014 Middle Border Conference Wresting Tournament held in Osceola on Saturday.

The Spartans placed seventh among the eight teams in the meet. Because of the young nature of the Somerset team, the coaches decided to split the team. Seven of the wrestlers competed in the varsity conference tournament, the others competed Friday in the BRC/DSC JV Challenge, which also included several Middle Border teams.

Praschak took second place in the 182-pound class. This may have been the matchup of the two best physiques in the tournament. Praschak is chiseled, but he couldn’t compare to Ellsworth’s Dennis Schutz, who looked more like a bodybuilder than a wrestler.

Schutz was able to use his incredible strength to pin Praschak in the second period of the championship match. Praschak reached the finals by pinning Prescott’s Tyler Miller in the semifinals.

Seniors Bailey White and Gage Kreucher fought back from semifinal losses to place third in their weight classes. White lost to eventual champion Jacob Fuchs of Ellsworth in the 145-pound semifinals. He finished the day with two wins, beating top seed Tom Langer of Baldwin-Woodville in the third place match.

Kreucher was pinned by defending state champion Gable Frandsen of Ellsworth in the 160-pound semifinals. He put together an impressive win in the third place match, beating Amery’s Alex Warman 9-5.

Logan Peterson and Fred Mangine were fifth place finishers for the Spartans.

The five wrestlers who went to Menomonie on Friday for the BRC/DSC Challenge saw some success. Harrison Kern won three bouts to win the 145-pound championship. Tres Lloyd won three matches before being defeated in the 195-pound championship match.

Next up for the Spartans is the WIAA Division 2 St. Croix Falls Regional Meet on Saturday. Wrestling begins at 11 a.m. Other teams in the meet are Amery, Chetek-Weyerhaeuser-Prairie Farm, Luck-Frederic-Grantsburg and Osceola.