VALLEY CITY - For the first time in several years, the Dickinson High wrestling team collected a team trophy at the end of a tournament.
The Midgets accomplished that feat at the Valley City Holiday Tournament, taking home third with a score of 168.5 points on Saturday, Dec. 15, from Valley City High School.
“Overall, I think our kids did pretty well,” Dickinson co-head coach Trevor Conrad said. “When you look at the competition, it wasn’t the biggest tournament of the season, but it had a number of Class A teams; I think there were 15 of the Class A teams in the state, so in a way, it was kind of a pre-state tournament for some our kids to get a look at both the West and East teams. … I think we definitely improved from last week and took a good step forward.”
Defending Class A champion Bismarck High won the event with a score of 240.5 points. Two-time reigning Class B champion Lisbon captured the runner-up spot with a mark of 220.
Dickinson’s brightest performance came from 145-pound senior Mathew Meschke, who won first place in his weight class after defeating Valley City junior Parker Larson in a 9-8 decision. Meschke jumped out of the gate to an early advantage and held on for the win as Larson began gaining steam as the match came to a close.
“Matt did a good job. He went out firing on all cylinders right away, went up big in the first period and really had a good mindset and attitude going into the match,” Conrad said. “In the second period, he did really well too, but in the third period, his opponent came out and really turned it on. Matt stuck with it. … Winning the tournament was something really good for him, doing as well as he’s been during this season, so that was a big step in the right direction for him.”
Meschke was one of three Midgets to grapple in a championship match, as 138-pound freshman Troy Berg and 160-pound senior Tate Nordby each came home in second place.
Sophomore Tanner Jarrett along with seniors Caleb Usher and Jaren Berger picked up third-place finishes in the 182-, 170- and 132-pound weight classes, respectively.
Two Dickinson wrestlers captured fourth in their divisions while two others earned fifth, including sophomore Tyler White, who pinned Fargo North senior Conner Liedberg in a 220-pound battle.
“We’re excited as a coaching staff for Tyler’s performance today,” Conrad said. “He lost his first match and after that reeled off three straight victories. … Had a lot of kids next to his mat excited when he came off the matt, and as coaches we were too because it’s good to see him have the success he’s been working towards lately.”