Killdeer's senior squadThe Killdeer High wrestling team is confident after winning back-to-back Region 4 titles. But it still has a tough road ahead of it.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
The Killdeer High wrestling team is confident after winning back-to-back Region 4 titles. But it still has a tough road ahead of it.
The Cowboys take their talents on the road for the Class B state tournament that starts today at the Bismarck Civic Center.
Killdeer qualified as Region 4’s top-seeded dual team and is sending 12 individuals for the tournament. The Cowboys qualified 14 wrestlers last season, which head coach Shane Olson said was a little unheard of. The best part about qualifying for the dual tournament is the number of young wrestlers that now get to attend the event.
“I think it’s just nice to get them that experience early on,” Olson said. “The first time that they get there, they are awe struck about everything that’s going on.”
The Cowboys also have senior leadership, eight to be exact. One of the top seniors for Killdeer is Lane Oversen at 182 pounds. He said it’s important to have an abundance of seniors.
“It’s huge,” said Oversen, who finished the regular season with a 34-1 record. “We don’t have a whole lot of young wrestlers and for the young wrestlers that we do have. We have to set a good example and show them what it takes to win at the state level.”
Oversen is the No. 2 seed after losing his first match of the season to No. 1 seed Dalton Reinfeld from New Salem-Almont in the finals of the Region 4 tournament. The senior is eager to face Reinfeld again, but he’s just taking it one match at a time until then.
“My mindset is to take it match by match and not look over anyone I have to wrestle,” Oversen said. “Anything can happen at the state tournament and I’m overlooking anybody.”
Olson said that he’s also excited about a possible rematch between the No. 1 and No. 2 seed in the state only living an hour and half away from each other.
“We’d like to wrestle that kid again,” Olson said. “We are just going to take it one match at a time. If he gets back to the finals and that kid is in the finals, then that’s the time to focus on that.”
Joining Oversen as the Cowboys No. 2 seeds are senior Logan Schaper (126) and senior Hunter Fredricks (138). The other seniors for Killdeer are Jerad Lee-Gay (132), Chris Regeth (145), River Voigt (152), Garett Tabor (160) and Grady Houghton (195).
“We’ve had this group of kids together for quite a while,” Olson said. “We’ve seen that they’ve been doing well all along and we expect them to bring a high level of wrestling this year.”
The underclassmen for the Cowboys are eighth-grader Derek Tabor (113), freshman Tanner Rohde (120), sophomore David Dukart (220) and eighth-grader TJ Moore (285).
“It’s great,” Oversen said. “I got to do the same when I was in junior high. It was a great experience and knew what to expect when I got there as an individual.”
Though Oversen made major strides throughout the course of the offseason and during the season, the senior doesn’t want to get caught up in the hype, but knows a state championship would be a sweet victory.
“I try not to think about it that way,” Oversen said. “I’m hoping that make it to where I get to wrestle him again. I know that I can beat him and I feel that if I won a state championship it would erase that loss out of my mind.”