Wrestlers enter playoffs undefeated
The Packer wrestling team ended the the regular season the same way they started it: on top.
“We wrestled well, and won some good matches that were toss-ups on paper,” head coach Kayle Dangerud said. “All in all, it was a good way to end the regular season.
Kyle Kragnes, the 182-pound senior, had two strong performances. First, he pinned North’s Nathan Aamold in 1 minute 32 seconds. He then overwhelmed Wahpeton’s Spencer Edwardson 20-5 on senior night.
The final two matches of his regular season career were big victories for 195-pounder Tanner Kuznia, who spent less than two minutes on the mat in two days. He pinned North’s Gavin Rook in 1 minute 12 seconds. His second match saw him take just 41 seconds to pin Wahpeton’s Hunter McCall.
“It definitely felt good,” Kuznia said. “We are picking up momentum going into the postseason.”
Senior 145-pounder Anjelo Shepherd also had a big week, pinning both of his opponents.
Kragnes, Kuznia and Shepherd are three of the six seniors -- the others being Kollin Kragnes, Reed Cronin and Jared Power -- who have been contributing to the success the Pack has experienced.
“We have a lot of good seniors who have competed well for us for a number of years,” Dangerud said. “They are very dedicated, they work hard and they deserve the success they are getting.”
Other two win wrestlers for the Packers, excluding those who won by forfeit, were Jared Franek, Jacob Franek, Christian Ramberg, Jesse Shearer and Brandon Metz.
The Eastern Dakota Conference tournament begins on Saturday morning, and the Packers are feeling pretty good leading into the weekend. Of course, they have a little added incentive as well.
“We are going in with some confidence,” Kyle Kragnes said. “I know we are going to do well. We want to do it for Keegan, and he wants us to win as much as we do.”
The Packer coaching staff wants to make sure the team is not only ready for the postseason, but also rested.
“We want to be fresh,” Dangerud said. “We also want to focus on being excited to compete, and I think we are.”
Saturday’s 10-team conference tournament begins at 10 a.m. at Davies High School.
If the Packers do well, they will then take part in the North Dakota high school state tournament, which begins next Thursday at the Bismarck Civic Center.