BISMARCK — Hettinger-Scranton seventh-grader Kyle Burwick is accustomed to wrestling under the bright lights.
“I wrestle in those big tournaments in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where they have 28 mats,” he said. “These are the tournaments I like going to. I love them.”
Burwick, who is the No. 7-seed at 106 pounds, defeated Andrew Jahnke, No. 2-seed from Central Cass, 7-5 in sudden victory to reach the semifinals Thursday at the Bismarck Civic Center.
“(Kyle’s) wrestled a lot of matches,” said Randy Burwick, Hettinger-Scranton head coach and Kyle’s father. “He’s earned it. He’s put his time in and we go all over the country wrestling. I’m proud of him and I’m proud of my entire team.”
Kyle Burwick isn’t the lone Hettinger-Scranton wrestler to reach the semifinals.
The Nights Hawks have senior Christian Hughes (145) and sophomore Colby Steeke (195) competing in today’s semifinal round. Hughes is the No. 3 seed and Steeke is the No. 6 seed.
Hughes pinned Minot Ryan’s Keaton Merck in 3 minutes, 27 seconds. The senior faces No. 2 seed Walker Carr from Carrington in the semifinals.
When the season started, Hughes had the goal to win a state championship. The dream is still alive, but he knows he has to maintain his focus.
“I like my chances, because the last time we faced him, I lost to him by three. So it’s going to be close,” Hughes said about facing Carr. “I’m jacked going into (today).”
Steeke defeated No. 3 seed Wyatt Schultz of Hillsboro-Central Valley in a 2-0 decision. The sophomore meets No. 2 seed Tucker Meidinger of South Border. Steeke has faced Meidinger twice and lost by a point both times.
“It’s sweet and I’m just ready to go,” Steeke said. “We still have one more match to make it to the finals.”
Though the Night Hawks only had three semifinalists, Randy Burwick was pleased with how all 14 of his state qualifiers wrestled.
“We wrestled well,” he said. “Getting three into the semis is big for us. I thought we wrestled well all day long. In the first round of wrestling, even though we lost some matches, I thought we were right there.
“We wrestled tough, but we have to come back (today) — that’s the main thing. We have come back in those wrestlebacks. That’s a big thing.”
Bowman County junior Troy Steele (152) defeated Chandler Meiers of Stanley-Powers Lake-Tioga by a 6-3 decision in the quarterfinals.
Steele, the No. 4 seed, wrestles top-seeded Trenten Jangula of Napoleon in the semifinals. Jangula picked up pins in his first two matches of the tournament.
In the team duals, Hettinger-Scranton meets Velva for a chance at the fifth-place dual. As a team, the Night Hawks are the No. 1 seed from Region 4, while the Aggies are the No. 2 seed from Region 3.
The Night Hawks fell to Pembina County North 46-27 in the opening round. Burwick and Hughes picked up pins in dual, as did Chauncy Hughes at 126. Steeke and Alec Andress were their only other winners, each grabbing decisions.
“In duals, you wrestle for your team,” Kyle Burwick said. “Win or lose, you make sure you wrestle for your team, but of course I’m going out to win and that’s what I’m going to do.”