Hettinger, area teams get ready for state wrestling tournamentA dominant performance at the Region 4 wrestling tournament has set the stage for the Hettinger Black Devils. Hettinger qualified 13 wrestlers for the Class B state tournament, which starts today at the Bismarck Civic Center.
By: Chris Aarhus, The Dickinson Press
DICKINSON - A dominant performance at the Region 4 wrestling tournament has set the stage for the Hettinger Black Devils.
Hettinger qualified 13 wrestlers for the Class B state
tournament, which starts today at the Bismarck Civic Center.
“Thirteen out of 14 isn’t so bad,” Hettinger coach Randy Burwick
said. “We had a good weekend.”
The Black Devils’ first-place finish in the region tournament
marked the fifth consecutive year the team has won the title.
Only one other team from the region has ever pulled it off five
“Beach a few years back won five in a row,” Burwick said. “We
know how hard it is to do that. We wanted to get five in a row.”
With that goal out of the way, Burwick and his boys have set
their aim higher. Seven of the 13 wrestlers who qualified are
seeded. Senior Eric Ormiston, who is seeded second at the 152-
pound class with a 31-9 record, leads the way.
“He’s had a real quiet year,” Burwick said. “He’s real
dependable, not flashy by any stretch. He wants to get into a
finals match and get an opportunity to be a state champion.”
Senior teammate Justin Wolff is seeded third at 140 pounds after
finishing the regular season with a record of 36-4.
“You’ll see him come to wrestle,” Burwick said. “When he steps
on the mat, whoever steps in front of him, that’s the only match
Hettinger seniors Norman Strehlow (285) and Cole Miller (189)
are seeded fourth and seventh, respectively. Burwick said Miller
will be wrestling with a broken hand. He defaulted to Killdeer
senior Amos Buehner in the regional finals.
“We decided he wasn’t going to gain a seed (in the state
tourney),” Burwick said. “If he was a junior, we might say to
him that he should sit it out and wait until next year, but he
doesn’t have that luxury. For the most part, he still wrestles
tough with it. He’s shown a lot of courage and a lot or
Junior 215-pounder Zach Morast is seeded third with a 31-9
“If he shows up, he could be a really big force for us,” Burwick
said. “He’s in a great bracket.”
Before the Black Devils can make any headway in individual
competition, they must try and get past Hillsboro in the state
duals, which start at 9 a.m. MST.
“We have to finish matches,” Burwick said. “We have to make sure
that if we get them on their back, we get the fall.”
Hillsboro is sending 10 wrestlers to the state tournament,
individually. The Burros have just four seeded wrestlers, but
those four know how to get the job done. Hillsboro has a pair of
top-seeded wrestlers in Anthony Von Ruden (32-5 at 135) and
Andrew Grothman (40-0 at 189).
Junior Jake McLean is seeded second at 160 pounds with a 35-3
record while sophomore Tanner Boeddeker is the fourth seed with
a 30-8 record at 145 pounds.
The most intriguing match of the dual is at 189 pounds where
Grothman and Miller could face off. That will be the first match
of the dual as first-day action starts at 189.
“The first five matches (are) vital to winning this dual,”
Burwick said. “There is a couple that could go either way. My
goal is to go 5-0. If my guys show up and wrestle, I wouldn’t
put it past them.”
Region 4 at state
Center-New Salem and Beulah-Hazen are both sending eight
wrestlers and Killdeer qualified seven.
Beulah-Hazen has a pair of No. 2 seeds in junior Ben Maliske
(112) and senior Marshall Krebs (215). Sophomore Jordan Mann is
seeded fourth at 103 pounds.
New Salem is led by third-seeded Nate Seeger at 145 pounds. Last
year, Seeger made a remarkable run to the state finals as a six
seed before falling to Watford City’s Rowdy Lund. Senior Tanner
Werchau (135) and sophomore Mike Rusk (119) are both seeded
fourth in their respective weight classes.
Killdeer has two grapplers who are No. 3 seeds in Buehner (189)
and junior Corde Fredericks (171). Junior Josh Armitage is
seeded fifth at 119.