Elkins, Voigt capture state championshipsBISMARCK — Hettinger-Scranton senior Sean Elkins had a special T-shirt made and wrote “4 Calvin” on his shoes. The last thought on his mind Saturday was losing.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
BISMARCK — Hettinger-Scranton senior Sean Elkins had a special T-shirt made and wrote “4 Calvin” on his shoes. The last thought on his mind Saturday was losing.
Elkins defeated Central Cass junior Adam Dullea in a 12-2 major decision to repeat as a state champion at 138 pounds at the Class B state wrestling tournament at the Bismarck Civic Center.
“It’s awesome,” Elkins said. “I immediately thought of Calvin and that last period that flurry at the end just cutting him and taking him down. That was all for Calvin.”
At the sound of the first whistle, Elkins took control of the match and ended with first period with a 2-0 lead. After the second period, Elkins held a commanding 8-0 lead. Not only was this match for Calvin Steeke, the 4-year-old son of assistant coach Trevor Steeke who died in an ATV accident two weeks ago, but it also signified the first individual champion for the Night Hawks cooperative agreement.
“I got to do it as the last Black Devil and now I got to do it as the first Night Hawk,” said Elkins, who attends Hebron High School and is part of the team through that co-op. “You just can’t buy a memory like that.”
The moment was special for the Hettinger-Scranton head coach Randy Burwick.
“Calvin was smiling today,” Burwick said. “It was an emotional ride for us these last couple weeks. I’m just glad he (Elkins) could do that for him. It’s great effort on his part and a fine tribute to a fine young boy.”
The Killdeer wrestling team’s senior River Voigt (152) also stood atop the podium after his finals match with Brett Schurmann of North Border-Cavalier. Voigt used an 8-5 decision to cap his high school career and first state championship.
“It’s feels awesome,” Voigt said. “My uncle, exactly 30 years ago, won a state championship. It feels good for that hard work to pay off.”
Voigt wrestled a strong match and jumped out to a 6-0 lead. A key to that successful was getting the first takedown.
“He really established himself on his feet,” Killdeer head coach Shane Olson said. “That just set the tempo. Every tournament we go to we’ll ask the guys, who got the first takedown. About 75 to 80 percent of the time, whoever got the first takedown usually won the matches.”
The Cowboys also had Logan Schaper (126) in the finals. Schaper wasn’t as lucky. He lost to undefeated South Border’s Blake Bosch, who finished the season 44-0 this season and claimed an 18-2 technical fall in the championship.’
“Logan had a tough match,” Olson said. “One of the only undefeated kids left in the state. He had an uphill battle and wrestled a tough match.”
The Night Hawks also had Jeff and Trevor Abrahamson finish the tournament as place winners. Both of the Abrahamsons finished in eighth place.
“I’m real proud of Jeffrey, he did a real nice job,” Burwick said. “He’s earned that position. I was real happy with Trevor. He’s one of those young kids that’s gaining experience and gaining more confidence.”
The Cowboys went home with four more placers as seniors Hunter Fredricks (138) finished fourth, Jerad Lee-Gay (132) came in fifth, Lane Oversen (182) got seventh and, despite a knee injury, eighth-grader TJ Moore (285) still placed sixth.
“We just wanted to reiterate after our dual win (on Friday night) to try to keep that momentum going,” Olson said. “Just see if they could carry that into their individual parts. I told them today is for them.”
The nerves started kicking for Voigt once he participated in the ceremonies of the championship round.
“I was pretty nervous,” Voigt said. “After the first takedown, I was able to settle down a lot.”
Though Elkins’ high school career is over, the work ethic instilled in the the Night Hawks’ young wrestlers for is a valuable asset for the upcoming years.
“I think what he’s taught our young kids are some valuable lessons for us,” Burwick said. “We just have to carry on and continue to do the things he did.”
For Elkins, he’s glad it’s done, but had a great time along the way.
“You can’t but a better exclamation point on something like that,” Elkins said. “It’s been a long run, I’m glad it’s done and it was fun doing it.”