Burwick, Steeke among ten placers for Hettinger-Scranton

FARGO -- Kyle Burwick is happy to be back. Colbey Steeke is elated to join him. Burwick, a freshman 113-pounder for Hettinger-Scranton, earned a trip to the Class B state championship match today with a fall in 2 minutes, 45 seconds over sophomor...

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Watford City senior Jade Hepper, left, works to hold onto Bishop Ryan senior Aaron Sandy in the 145-pound semifinals of the Class B individual tournament Friday at the Fargodome. (Parker Cotton/The Dickinson Press)

FARGO - Kyle Burwick is happy to be back. Colbey Steeke is elated to join him.

Burwick, a freshman 113-pounder for Hettinger-Scranton, earned a trip to the Class B state championship match today with a fall in 2 minutes, 45 seconds over sophomore Kaydin Meiers of Stanley-Powers Lake Friday afternoon at the Fargodome. Burwick placed first at 106 pounds last season.

“I felt a little weird right away (before the match), but I calmed down, and I got to where I was focused on,” said Burwick, who is the top-seeded wrestler at 113 pounds. “It’s nothing less than what I want and what I expect. All those countless hours of practice and drilling, if you put it all out there on the mat, and you’re going to get what you earn. I’m going to pour it all out there and wrestle to dominate.”

Burwick will face second-seeded Chauncey Dittus, a freshman from New Salem-Almont today.

Steeke, a Hettinger-Scranton senior at 220 pounds, is headed to the championship match at any weight for the first time in six trips to the state tournament. Steeke won a 6-3 decision over Beulah-Hazen senior Denzel Sanders in the semifinals Friday.


“I have one goal still in mind,” Steeke said. “I’m going to wrestle the seventh seed (Michael Lafferty of Pembina County North), and he’s wrestled a good tournament with some upsets. ...  I’ve been dreaming of this moment for a long, long time.”

Lafferty has already knocked off Jake Belland, the No. 2 seed from Watford City, and Jacob Copenhaver, the No. 6 seed from Carrington. To place first today, he’d have to top Steeke, who is the top-seeded 220 wrestler and hasn’t lost a match to an in-state opponent all season.

The Night Hawks will have eight other wrestlers place in the top eight today.

“Ten placers is pretty special,” said Hettinger-Scranton head coach Randy Burwick after his team beat Central Cass for third place in the team duals. “We got some tough, tough draws, but if we wrestle like this, I’d put our kids against anybody. They were lights-out today.”

Region 4 wrestlers aim to respond from losses

At the state tournament, a Friday of heartbreak has the chance to precede a Saturday of redemption.

More than a few Region 4 wrestlers are hoping for just that.


Sterling Lee, a junior from Bowman County-Beach, came into the state tournament unseeded at 160 pounds despite a stellar regular season and immediately knocked off the third seed, Austin Urlaub of Pembina County North, and the sixth seed, Austin Collins of Kindred.

On Friday, he wrestled No. 2 seed Jordan Urbach of Lisbon as close as could be in the semifinals, but Urbach took a 9-7 sudden victory decision.

“It feels pretty good to make this this far unranked,” said Lee, who is making his third trip to the state tournament and will place for the first time today.

Bowman County-Beach’s head coach Jeff Boynton said Lee should be proud of his semifinal performance.

“I’ll tell you right now, he never should have been an unranked seed,” Boynton said. “He’s still got got a lot to prove for himself and hopefully he gets into that third and fourth (place) match and takes third.”

Watford City senior Jade Hepper lost a heartbreaker as well, falling 6-5 to Bishop Ryan senior Aaron Sandy in a tiebreaker. By the end, both were bleeding from their noses, and Sandy had busted his forehead open, creating several stoppages in the action.

“It seemed like that match lasted 20 minutes,” Wolves head coach Mitch Greenwood said. “(Hepper) showed a lot of heart and determination, and in the end he just came up one point short. We had a game plan and felt like we could score on the bottom, but the only disappointment was giving up a late takedown at the end of the third period.

“He’s disappointed. It’s the third year in a row he’s lost in the semifinals, and each of the last two years he’s come back to take third. I expect him to come back and fight hard.”


Both of Killdeer’s representatives in the semifinals suffered close losses also.

Senior Derek Tabor lost 14-10 to Carrington junior Bridger Anderson at 170 pounds, and junior Dillan Jepson lost a 9-7 decision to Lisbon junior Soren McDaniel at 182 pounds.

“Derek had a little comeback at the end, and he did a good job of battling back,” Cowboys head coach Patrick Schlosser said. “We was always looking to win the match. He never gave up.

“Dillan wrestled really great too. Knowing Dillan and Derek, they’re going to want to finish as best as they can. I expect them to go out and give it their all to get third.”

Jepson saw the error of his ways against McDaniel, but he hopes to bounce back strong.

“I didn’t take as many shots as I should have, and I was kind of lazy on the bottom,” he said. “(Tabor) is the same as me: stubborn as can be. We’ll use this as motivation tomorrow.”

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