Still fighting for titles: Dickinson puts 5 wrestlers in semifinals of Dickinson Classic
The Dickinson High wrestling team is off to a great start and finds themselves in second place heading into the final day of its own tournament.
The Midgets compiled 87 team points Friday, trailing only Williston's 150 at the Dickinson Classic at the DHS gymnasium.
"The boys were coming off a loss on Thursday and started out strong," Dickinson head coach Bruce Heppner said, referencing the Midgets' loss to Williston in a dual. "We have five guys in the semifinals and they picked up the slack from Thursday."
Dickinson's five that are headed to the semifinals at 11 a.m. today are Austin Hutzenbiler, Bryton Brien, Alec Lindsey, Ryder Peterson and Jade Dirk.
Brien, at 126 pounds, keyed Dickinson's biggest win with an upset over second-ranked Beau Bergeron of Williston.
"The big win of the day was Bryton Brien," Heppner said. "He's sitting pretty decent in the tournament right now."
Huztenbiler relayed his confidence from Thursday into a pair of wins at 113 pounds.
"He's stepped up and it's just a confidence booster for him," Heppner said. "He believes in himself on what he can do on the mat."
Lindsey, a 138-pound senior, is looked upon as a leader, Heppner said, and showed it on the mat. The only downside for Lindsey was that he had to beat teammate Matt Berg in the quarterfinals. Berg came away with an opening-round upset over Minot's Brian Rabe.
Peterson faces a familiar opponent in his semifinal match. He wrestles Williston's Paul Michaelson, who defeated Peterson on Thursday during the team's dual.
The final piece of Dickinson's puzzle is 170-pound senior Jade Dirk. The senior wrestles Minot's Dayne Haman for a shot at the finals.
"He's just needs to come out right away and be wrestling the way he needs to wrestle," Heppner said.
Heppner's message to his team heading into the final day of the Classic is to continue improving from match to match.
"I just got to tell the guys to relax," he said. "If we wrestle the way we've been wrestling all year, they are going to come out strong."