A WEST FARGO WRESTLING WHOOPING
By Tyler Shoberg
By Tyler Shoberg
Six individual champions, a third-straight East Region Championship title, and coach of the year: yes, the Packers wrestling team is having a season to be remembered.
Last weekend, West Fargo traveled to Devils Lake for the Eastern Dakota Conference meet, with hopes of replicating its success from the past two years.
By Saturday, the Packers did just that - and then some.
With a record-setting score of 289.5 points, West Fargo easily defended its EDC title and will vault into the North Dakota Class A State Tournament as the East Region's top seed.
This year's state tournament will be held in Bismarck, with dual quarterfinals kicking off Thursday. West Fargo will take on No. 4 Turtle Mountain Community High School at 10 a.m.
Individual competitions also begin Thursday.
Kayle Dangerud, in his seventh year as head coach of the Packers, earned his second EDC Coach of the Year distinction. Since Dangerud took control of the program, West Fargo has five East Region titles.
Many individual Packers stood out last weekend, too.
Beginning at the lowest weight, here's a rundown of West Fargo's success:
106 pounds: In a battle between teammates, West Fargo sophomore Reed Cronin (35-9) defeated seventh-grader Jesse Shearer (30-11) by the closest of margins, 2-1, for third place.
113: A two-time 103-pound EDC champion, Jordan Shearer (34-1) may have moved up a weight class this year, but he is no less dangerous. The freshman handily defeated Grand Forks Central's Kalik Battle 15-5 for a major decision victory in the title bout. Jordan Shearer advances to state in hopes of securing a third-straight individual championship.
120: With one East Region title to his name already at 113 pounds, Trevor Kringlie (32-2) put another feather in his cap last weekend. The junior racked up a 19-4 edge over Joey Good of Devils Lake for a technical fall. Kringlie returns to state looking for a second consecutive individual championship.
126: Sophomore Kollin Kragnes (31-12) defeated Valley City's Mark Miller 16-0 for the tech fall and individual title. Fellow Packer Juan Rodriguez (4-2) took third place with a 7-2 decision over Devils Lake's Jacob Clouse.
132: Weston Dobler (34-11) fell to Davies' Cole Mehring 4-3 in the title bout. West Fargo's Christian Ramberg (24-8) brought home third-place honors by pinning Wahpeton's Cody Hickel in 4 minutes, 4 seconds.
138: Anjelo Shepherd (38-8) rebounded from a disappointing runner-up finish at 125 pounds during last year's East Region tournament by beating Devils Lake's Austin Schall 6-3 for the title. Shepherd, a sophomore, will be shooting for his fourth state title in four years.
145: Sophomore Kyle Kragnes (19-19) pinned Damond Brokke of Devils Lake in 2:41 for third place.
152: Sophomore Tanner Kuznia (12-23) took seventh place by an 8-6 decision over Devils Lake's Tommy Good.
160: Junior Shelby Schulz (31-15) took third place by forfeit. Last year, he finished third at 145 pounds at EDC, and fifth at the state tournament.
170: A runner-up last year at 160 pounds, junior Miles Scholl (32-11) pulled out all the stops en-route to a 14-4 major decision win over Fargo Davies' Zander Mairs for the title.
182: There was little doubt of an upset, so the results are not all that surprising. In commanding fashion, West Fargo junior Preston Lehmann (42-1) pinned Grand Forks Red River's Jared Bertsch in a little over one minute. Lehmann is shooting for his second state title in as many years (last year's came at 171 pounds).
195: Packers junior Drew Johnson (27-12) took second after getting pinned by Valley City's Brandon Larson in the title bout.
220: West Fargo's lone senior, Steven Sola (26-15), took third place with an 11-0 major decision victory over David Kjera of Fargo Davies.
285: Junior Zach Eider (24-13) took fourth place after falling 8-2 to Devils Lake's Jacob Lagasse.