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Eagles hand Midgets a wake up call

Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson junior Clayton Tangen, top, tries for a pin against Doug Rooney from Sidney, Mont., during a nonconference dual on Thursday at South Heart High School gymnasium. The Eagles defeated the Midgets 61-15.

By Royal McGregor

SOUTH HEART — The Dickinson High wrestling team’s Christmas break carried through to its first post-holiday dual.

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However, for Clayton Tangen, losing wasn’t an option — especially in front of his home crowd at South Heart High School gymnasium.

Tangen closed out the dual with Sidney, Mont., with a decision over Doug Rooney at 152 pounds.

“I was set on winning,” Tangen said. “It made me more determined to win.”

The Eagles didn’t have any trouble defeating Dickinson 61-15 — including winning the first five matches by pin — in a nonconference dual on Thursday.

“The guys see the other guys pinning and that’s what they want to do,” Sidney head coach Guy Melby said. “Our guys worked really hard over the Christmas break and they’ve been working hard all season. Over the summer and last spring, the guys have been putting a lot of time in. We go out there with the idea we are going to win every match. It may not happen, but that’s the mentality that we have. It turned out well for us tonight.”

Tangen wrestled in South Heart two years ago when Alec Lindsey, who is now a redshirt freshman at University of Mary, was a senior in high school.

“We had a dual here a couple years ago when Alec Lindsey was a senior and I got to wrestle in that,” Tangen said. “I don’t think I appreciate how much this school does for me, so I realize now this is a big thing.”

Dickinson’s first win came at heavyweight when senior Chris Sickler collected a pin over Josh Alexander at 3 minutes, 18 seconds.

However from there, the Midgets weren’t able to swing the momentum in their favor. The Eagles won the next four matches — which included two No. 2-ranked wrestlers in the state for the Midgets.

“Wrestling isn’t a sport where you can take time off, because it’s so grueling on your lungs and on your body that you have to stay in shape,” Dickinson co-head coach Adam Orton said. “If you take advantage of your breaks, you are going to suffer on the mat.”

Sidney’s Trace Jones took a 6-4 decision in overtime against No. 2-ranked Austin Hutzenbiler at 113 pounds. The Eagles’ Ethan Graves (126) grabbed an 11-0 major decision over No. 2-ranked Jaret Lee.

Dickinson senior Devin Berger (132) ended the four-match skid with a pin over Layne Schaefer at 1:35.

“There were a lot of people that weren’t in the room during Christmas break and you can tell that it showed,” said Berger, who is ranked No. 3 at 132 pounds. “A lot of us were slacking right now. I’d say a lot of us are still in the Christmas break mindset, but now every weekend we are starting to wrestle, so we have to get back to the wrestling mindset.”

The Midgets look to forget about their post-holiday woes traveling to the two-day Bismarck Rotary beginning today.

“I hope this is a swift kick in the right direction,” Orton said. “I hope this can wake them up.”

Berger added: “Hopefully, everyone takes this loss and realize that we need to get our head in the game. The Rotary is the biggest tournament in state — other than the state wrestling tournament. You have to go out there with everything you got.”

106: Casey Christian, S, pin. Todd Irwin, 1:40. 113: Trace Jones, S, dec. Austin Hutzenbiler, 6-4, OT. 120: Gresh Jones, S, pin. Caden Haugen, 1:46. 126: Ethan Graves, S, maj. dec. Jaret Lee, 11-0. 132: Devin Berger, D, pin. Layne Schaefer, 1:35. 138: Jordan Stevens, S, pin. Tom Irwin, :53. 145: Braden Rooks, S, by forfeit. 152: Clayton Tangen, D, dec. Doug Rooney, 11-4. 160: Cody Johnson, S, pin. Sam England, :49. 170: Cody Christian, S, pin. Raphael Lopez, 3:17. 182: Dace Fisher, S, pin. Austin Lindborg, 1:32. 195: Garett Darby S, pin. Sterling Quintanella, 4:55. 220: Hunter Severson, S, pin. Dual Keck, 3:11. 285: Chris Sickler, D, pin. Josh Alexander, 3:18.