Midgets pay tribute to service members with dominant victory
With the WDA tournament on the horizon, Dickinson thrashed St. Mary's in a 42-25 season ending dual.
DICKINSON — The Dickinson High School boy's wrestling team paid tribute to service members on Friday, honoring former wrestler Dawson Ritcher and current National Guardsman, as well as two active wrestlers in James Bozovsky and Tanner Easterday, both of whom plan to enlist. The Midgets dominated the mat against the St. Mary's Saints in a 42-25 victory.
As the national anthem echoed through the gym, the Midgets stepped onto the mat dressed in army green, ready to showcase their skills in front of a packed crowd for military appreciation night. Gage Glaser, ranked third in the state, wrestled up a weight class at 126 pounds, set the tone for the night with a dominant 16-0 technical fall win.
“It is just a mindset thing. A few extra pounds is not that big of a deal,” Glaser said. “It was just where the team needed me…You just have to go out and wrestle hard.
By the time Gage Glaser stepped onto the mat, the Midgets had already built a commanding 36-0 lead against the Saints, with three quick pins from Jackson Melvin, Landon Fichter and Ethan Halvorson in the heaviest weight classes.
Melvin pinned in three minutes and 23 seconds, Fichter, wrestling at 220, was even quicker and only needed half of the first round to get the pin. Ethan Halvorson's fall win came in the second period at two minutes and 23 seconds, starting on top.
Jake Glaser added to the score with a 12-6 decision victory, choosing bottom to start the third period to gain as many points as possible, even though he already had a 7-4 lead. Aidan Dahmus dominated the 113 weight class with a 10-2 major decision, featuring two takedowns and a near fall.
Gavin Morel picked up the fourth and final pin for Dickinson, battling in the 120 weight class, securing the shoulders for the tap in one minute and 15 seconds of the first period.
Trevor Conrad, DHS head coach, said that the team has moved some of its wrestlers around to facilitate better opportunities for success as a team, including eighth-grader Wyatt Turner who wrestled at 132.
“It was good for those guys to see where they want to be,” Conrad said. “Wyatt Turner has been wrestling 120 and he bumped up to 132 for the dual. That was asking a lot for an eighth grader, but he answered the call.”
The Saints attempted a comeback, with back-to-back falls in the 132 and 138 weight class and wins in the 152, 160, and 182 weight classes, but the Midgets held strong with a well-fought decision victory from Conrad Kopari and a dramatic 10-9 decision win from freshman Hugh Myer in a match against the No. 2 state wrestler at 160.
“Kopari is another eighth grader who has come in. He has been wrestling at 145 lately, going up against a kid that’s a little bigger than him,” Conrad said. “He did really well and ended up getting the victory in the third. So kudos to Kopari on that one.”
The match that had Coach Conrad on the edge of his seat was the 170 lbs. showdown between Dickinson's Hugh Myer and Harrison Grad, the No. 2 ranked wrestler in the state at 170. Despite being taken down and facing a two-point near fall in the first period, Myer, who is ranked sixth in the state at 170 as a freshman, showed remarkable grit and fortitude in staging a remarkable comeback over three rounds to emerge as the winner in a thrilling 10-9 decision victory.
"It was an incredible performance by Hugh Myer, showing his determination and heart against a tough opponent,” Conrad said. “He found himself on his back early in the first period and then they battled back and forth. That’s two high level wrestlers going at it so that was a fun match to have near the end.”
Emerging victorious in their final home dual of the season, the coaches and wrestlers said the win was made all the more special by the fact that they had the opportunity to perform in front of active and veteran servicemen and women, who were in attendance to support and cheer them on.
With their final home dual victory under their belt, the team now looks ahead to the next challenge on the horizon as focus shifts to the Western Dakota Association region tournament, which is set to take place Saturday at Williston High School.