Elkins pins his way into finals, honors SteekeBISMARCK — Sean Elkins isn’t a stranger to the Class B state wrestling tournament finals. But if he wins the state championship today, it won’t be for himself. It’ll be for Calvin Steeke.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
BISMARCK — Sean Elkins isn’t a stranger to the Class B state wrestling tournament finals. But if he wins the state championship today, it won’t be for himself.
It’ll be for Calvin Steeke.
Elkins, the Hettinger-Scranton senior by way of Hebron, came away with a pin at 5 minutes, 50 seconds over Harvey-Wells County’s Quinten Koble in the semifinals of the state individual tournament on Friday at the Bismarck Civic Center.
“The whole last two weeks we’ve been all wrestling for Calvin,” Elkins said. “If I win tomorrow, it’s all because of that guy.”
The Night Hawks wrestling team was struck two weeks ago by the death of Steeke, the 4-year-old son of assistant coach Trevor Steeke who attended every wrestling practice.
Many of the team’s wrestlers point toward the sky before taking the mat, including 138-pound Elkins.
“That’s an awful special tribute to Calvin,” Burwick said. “He’s was in our practice room all the time.”
With the added motivation to win for the Steeke family, Hettinger-Scranton head coach Randy Burwick said people should see a different Elkins on the mat for the championship.
“I think you are going to see a big Sean show up,” Burwick said. “He’s going to be ready to roll.”
On the first day of the state tournament, Class A state dual champion West Fargo came out wearing Hettinger-Scranton warm-up shirts that honor Steeke. Elkins said that was special to see.
West Fargo head coach Kayle Dangerud is originally from Hettinger.
“It was huge,” Elkins said. “It showed that we aren’t just in the little corner of North Dakota. We’re all over and everyone took the loss.”
The Killdeer wrestling team came into the semifinals with four wrestlers and qualified two for the finals. Seniors Logan Schaper (126) and River Voigt (152) punched tickets to their championship matchews.
“I just want to go in there and try my hardest,” Schaper said. “Try to get the first takedown and establish myself from there.”
Schaper took a 13-5 major decision over No. 3 seed Jaron Lunday of Grafton. Voigt grabbed a 7-5 decision over No. 2 seed Hunter Mairs of Lisbon.
The two wrestlers that fell short of the finals were seniors Hunter Fredricks (138) and Jerad Lee-Gay (132). Fredricks lost in a 6-5 decision to Adam Dullea of Central Cass and No. 1 seed Dylan Urbach from Lisbon bested Lee-Gay with an 18-1 technical fall.
The remaining Cowboys still vying for high places in the tournament are eighth-grader T.J. Moore (285) and senior Lane Oversen (182).
“T.J. came back with a dislocated patella (knee cap),” Killdeer head coach Shane Olson said. “He came back and won today to make himself a state placer. We’ll just have to see how far he can go with the knee as bad as it is. Lane is looking good and we are looking for him to get in the third- and fourth-place match.”
The Cowboys came away with a third-place finish in the state dual tournament.
Killdeer lost to state runner-up Lisbon 50-19 in the semifinals but beat Velva 38-30 for third.
The third-place dual came down to senior Garret Tabor as he needed to avoid a pin or technical fall.
Before the match head coach Shane Olson told Tabor, “No pins or tech falls.”
Olson said he knew with Tabor out on the mat, he will get the best performance from his senior. Tabor came away with a 14-8 decision over Kiel Werre.
“He tries his hardest all the time,” Olson said. “I never had to encourage him before a match, because I know he’s going to give 100 percent.”
The momentum that the Cowboys got from placing third in the team duals tournament should be an easy carryover for the championship day.
“When you see somebody doing well, you just kind of roll off that,” Schaper said.
The Night Hawks still have sophomore Trevor Abrahamson (126) and senior Jeff Abrahamson (152) left in the tournament. The two wrestlers start at 10 a.m. today in the consolation brackets to for a chance a third-place finish.
“We got in the place matches and we lost some tough ones, but the thing about it is that we kept battling,” Burwick said. “Overall we just have to continue to get better. It was a big step for our young kids here.”