Hughes ends career with win in 3rd place
BISMARCK — Hettinger-Scranton senior Christian Hughes had hopes of reaching the North Dakota Class B state wrestling finals.
Hughes defeated Joel Weber of South Border in a 9-4 decision to take third place at 145 pounds of the state tournament on Saturday at the Bismarck Civic Center.
“That’s how I wanted to end my career was with a win,” Hughes said. “When I didn’t make the state finals, which was one of my goals it was to finish the highest I could.
“I can’t complain about getting third.”
The Night Hawks’ senior — the No. 3 seed — defeated No. 4-seed Dalton Jangula of Napoleon in the consolation semifinals to reach the third place match.
Hettinger-Scranton closed the state tournament with seven state placers. The Night Hawks qualified 14 wrestlers to the state tournament.
“We feel real good about what happened to use this weekend,” Hettinger-Scranton Randy Burwick said. “We wrestled great. We lost some tough ones, but we are young and we’re going to come back. The kids got some great experience and were able to see what it was all about. They are excited for next year already. That’s a positive for us.
“I’m proud of my boys. I’m proud of the effort they gave all weekend long. It was three days of grueling wrestling. We came out and battle everyone tough and that’s all we can do.”
The Night Hawks had senior Brandon Ehlers (285) and eighth-grade Cale Schalesky (113) finish fourth, while sophomore Colby Steeke (195) and seventh-grader Kyle Burwick (106) placed fifth. Seniors Trevor Abrahamson (138) closed out his high school career in sixth and Denby Lueck (182) took seventh.
Randy Burwick was pleased all four seniors stood on the podium at their final state tournament.
“I’m proud of our seniors this year,” he said. “They were hard workers in the room. They were positive role models for the young kids. They emphasized being a team. We kind of took a turn at the East-West (Tournament) where we really became a team and that’s because of our seniors. We are going to miss those guys greatly.”
Steele leads trio of state placing Bulldogs Entering the state tournament, Bowman County junior Troy Steele had a chance to improve on his state placement from last year.
Steele moved up three places by taking fifth at 152 pounds. The Bowman County junior defeated Billy Holtan of Carrington in a 2-1 decision.
“We could have done better than what we did, but overall it wasn’t too bad,” Steele said.
The Bulldogs also had a pair of eighth-place finishes from sophomore Tyler Longland (113) and freshman Mathew Carlson (120).
Bowman County brought a total of seven state qualifiers and six are underclassmen.
“That’s a good to know that we have a good chance of placing top 10 next year,” Steele said.
Rohde escapes with fifth place victory Killdeer junior Tanner Rohde hung on to defeat Standing Rock’s Brenden Harrison 9-8 during the fifth place match at 132 pounds.
Rohde had a 9-6 going into the final 30 seconds, but Harrison managed to stick the Killdeer junior on his back for two seconds. Rohde escaped the near fall to give himself a top 5 finish at the state tournament.
“At the end, I was really tired,” Rohde said. “I thought I had when I up by nine points, but he came back and I was dead. I was out for a week and half before regionals, so that didn’t help.”
The Cowboys other placer on the podium was sophomore Derek Tabor (145), who defeated Blake Kaercher of Pembina County North for seventh place.
Rohde hopes the team can use this as a learning experience for next year. The Cowboys had a roster consisting of one senior.
“I still have another chance at a state title,” Rohde said with a smile.