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Wrestling wins big in first match

After winning its second consecutive state title last season, the Packer wrestling team entered this season with just as much momentum, topping Valley City 66-9 on Tuesday.

The Packer wrestlers took 12 of their 14 matches, and eight of those matches were won by pin.

“I thought we competed really well,” head coach Kayle Dangerud said. “We won 12 out of fourteen matches, and we lost a couple of close matches to some highly ranked kids.”

The Packers were highlighted by junior Keegan Cronin, senior Reed Cronin and junior Anjelo Shepherd, all of whom pinned their opponents in under 90 seconds. The quickest of these victories belonged to the 113-pound Keegan, who pinned Hi-Liner Josiah Crump in 1 minute, 2 seconds.

Defending state champ Weston Dobler did not record a pin, but the 160-pound junior did manage to beat his opponent by a 11-3 major decision. Dobler is currently ranked 19th in the nation in the 160-pound class, according to InterMat.

The team’s other returning state champion, 132-pound Jordan Shearer, earned a victory by default.

182-pounder Kyle Kragnes scored a 19-3 technical fall over Valley City’s Dustin Lindgren.

Packers Tanner Kuznia and Alby Rodriguez fell to top-ranked Zac Doty and third-ranked Jordan Magnuson, respectively.

Based on preseason polls, the Packers have two wrestlers ranked first in the state (Shearer and 106-pounder Jared Franek) and five ranked second.

The team heads to Wahpeton on Friday for the Dan Unruh Memorial Tournament. The event starts at 6 p.m. on Friday, then at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

The team will then host Fargo Davies on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. dual.