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DSU splits at home: Blue Hawks take win over Regina, loses to University of Great Falls

Press Photo by Meaghan MacDonald Dickinson State junior Tyler Johnson, top, tries for a pin against University of Great Falls (Mont.) senior Nick Schmidt at 157 pounds during a dual on Friday at Scott Gymnasium.

The only thing a wrestler can control is his effort.

The Dickinson State wrestling team exerted its effort and was able to walk away with a split in its duals against University of Regina and University of Great Falls Friday night at Scott Gymnasium.

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In the first dual, the Blue Hawks beat the Cougars 41-12, while in the second Great Falls won 34-12.

“The Regina dual, I think the young guys wrestled really well,” DSU head coach Thadd O’Donnell said. “For the most part I think we were aggressive all the way through, they looked good at top and definitely, University of Regina they wrestle freestyle, so they do a lot more stuff on their feet and I think we held our own on our feet too.”

DSU started out aggressive and won the 125 and 133 weight classes by a technical fall and a major decision, respectively. The Blue Hawks continued to exert their effort and talent with major wins over their opponents. DSU sophomore Sean Elkins, who won by tech fall over Dana Bueckert in the first period, collected five near falls in the match.

Sophomore Skyler Carroll recorded the only pin of the night for DSU at 197 pounds over Rylan Peterson in 4 minutes, 8 seconds.

“It was mostly shaking off the cobwebs from Christmas break and everything and getting everything under control and seeing where I was at,” Carroll said. “It was a pretty big confidence booster to come in and wrestle the (197s) pretty well.”

At heavyweight, sophomore Meyer Bohn rounded things out with a revenge 10-1 major decision over Issac Cubiack, who he lost to on Nov. 27.

“Lost the match by two but I knew throughout the season I would work way harder than that kid and it showed tonight,” Bohn said. “I could wrestle him 100 more times and I’d beat him based on conditioning. I just felt confident going into that match.”

In wrestling, the final score doesn’t tell the whole story. Despite losing 34-12 to Great Falls, O’Donnell is pleased with how the team wrestled against a top-tier team like the Argos and saw positive strides.

In the first bout of the night, sophomore DeShun Haynes (125) held his own against Daniel Luttrell and kept it scoreless until the very end of the first period when Luttrell escaped and went up 1-0. At the beginning of the second, Haynes chose down and escaped to tie it up but Luttrell was able to snag one extra point to win by decision.

The Blue Hawks lost their first four matchups with a decision, two pins and a major decision before junior Tyler Johnson (157) was able to put some points on the board with a tight, last minute 5-4 decision over senior Nick Schmidt. Johnson started off with a takedown a three-point near fall to go up 5-0, but Schmidt retaliated and scored four unanswered points. Johnson and Schmidt battled until the end and Johnson was able to outlast his nationally-ranked opponent for the win.

“That was a good match for Tyler, really grounded out,” O’Donnell said. “Tyler’s one who earlier in the year he would get nervous and hold his breath out there just trying too hard. Now he’s starting to relax a little bit. The score was close but I think he wrestled very well and did exactly what he needed to.”

Among the new wrestlers, freshman Lane Overson had a battle and continued to show improvements. The Killdeer High School graduate defeated senior Casey Park 3-1 at 184 pounds. Overson didn’t score until the end of the second period with a takedown.

“Going in I knew the kid was going to be tough, so I knew I was going to have to be patient, take my time setting up my shots, making points happen,” Overson said. “I was expecting it to be a tough one and knew I would have to grind it out.”

O’Donnell added: “He’s one who definitely when the match starts he’s aggressive and he has that drive and gets into a tough situation, he’s going to bull through it and that’s great to see him out there. He’s really made some great strides.”

Confidence is a key aspect the Blue Hawks have been continuously trying to work on since the season began. Each match the younger wrestlers have been making strides and the tough competition has been helping the Blue Hawks see what they need to do for the end of the season and postseason.

“We got a lot of season left, a lot of time to work on things and need to really take advantage of it and make it happens when it counts in the postseason,” Overson said.

The Blue Hawks get back in action and host the Tyler Plummer Classic starting at 9 a.m. today. Besides DSU, University of Great Falls, MSU-Northern, University of Jamestown and University of Mary will be competing for the championship and offer hard competition for the Blue Hawks. O’Donnell said his team is slowly but surely maturing and coming around and today’s tournament will be another good test for the young wrestlers to gain confidence and see their potential.

“That’s what we got to get them believing that they are working and push them to that point and they’re willing,” O’Donnell said. “This group is willing to do whatever we ask so they just have to be patient and keep trying to build off that.”

Dickinson State 41, Regina 12

125: Brice Gorsline, DSU, tech. fall Conner MacLahlan 17-1. 133: Cade Coles, DSU, maj. dec. Sam Dietrich 13-1. 141: Deven Lemieux, R, pin. Pat Tangen, 6:31. 149: Sean Elkins, DSU, tech. fall Dana Bueckert, 17-0. 157: Manny Reyes won by forfeit. 165: Matt Felder, R, pin. Jeremiah Hayes,0:49. 174: Jon Morales won by forfeit 184: Jesse Carney, DSU, tech. fall Regan Pratt 17-1. 197: Skyler Carroll, DSU, pin.Rylan Peterson, 4:08. HWT: Meyer Bohn, DSU, maj. dec. Issac Cubiak 10-1.

Great Falls 34, Dickinson State 12

125: Danny Luttrell, UGF, dec. Deshun Haynes, 2-1. 133: Jared Berlinger, UGF, pin. Robert Meador, 3:46. 141: Kyle Wilson, UGF, maj. dec. Seth Ehlang, 15-5. 149: Chase Burns, UGF, pin. Manny Reyes, 2:58. 157: Tyler Johnson, DSU, dec. Nicholas Schmidt, 5-4. 165: Shawn Lau, UGF pin. Tyler Brown, 4:20. 174: Brock Picard, UGF dec. Jon Solano, 9-4. 184: Lane Overson, DSU, dec. Casey Park, 3-1. 197: Jesse Hellinger, DSU, won by forfeit. HWT: David Lopez, UGF, pin. Meyer Bohn, 2:03.

Meaghan MacDonald

Meaghan is the sports page designer and copy editor for the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.  After graduating from James Madison University (Va.) in May 2013, she moved from New Jersey to North Dakota to start pursuing her career in sports journalism and was a sports reporter for the Dickinson Press and covered Dickinson State athletics. Meaghan has been working for the Forum since June 2015.