Vermillion Boxing Team members compete at Siouxland Invitational

Vermillion Boxing Team members compete at Siouxland Invitational Eleven Vermillion Boxing Team members traveled to the Siouxland Boxing Gym in Sioux Falls to compete in an eight-team tournament.

Boxers from Grand Forks, ND, Fremont, NE, Madison, NE, Sioux City, iA, SDSU, Clark, Siouxland and Vermillion took to the ring at 7 p.m. in preparation for their upcoming state's Junior Olympic competitions. Jacinta Varns, Junior Simon and Rich Boyd, VBT boxers, did not get matched.

In the second bout of the evening, Dustin Seney, 65# 9-10 year-old class, in his second match, took on C.J. Pesicka from the Cheyenne River Boxing Team. The more experienced Pesicka quickly took command of the fight in the initial stages and showed skills in punching and counter-punching against Seney. Seney, shortly into the second round, began putting together a counter-punching and lateral movement style that allowed him to land effectively and stay with his tough competitor.

In the third round both boxers showed movement and punching skills consistent with thoughtful offense and defense. Seney was able to effectively move forward against his opponent and mounted an offense that allowed him to land more punches than his opponent. Seney received the judge's decision in a well fought battle by both young boxers.

Lyle Simon, in his first bout, took on a tough and experienced opponent, Casey Greeser, from Fremont Boxing in the 100# 11-12 year-old division. Simon quickly received his boxing legs and applied an effective defense against the onslaught of punches from his opponent.

Showing a lot of heart and stamina with a skilled opponent, Simon was able to display good basic skills in the second and third round. He lost a decision in what was a very promising first match of his career.

The next fight of the evening was Joey Kemp, 120# 13-14 year-old class, who fought a larger and more experienced boxer, Ricardo Romero, from Sandoval Boxing. The hard-hitting and aggressive competitor was effective in the first round and the bout was stopped in the interest of boxer safety as Kemp's opponent was victorious.

Matt Varns, in the 132# 15-16 year-old class, took on Andy Wookey from the Clark Boxing Team. In the first match of each careers, these young boxers challenged each other's skills in different ways. Wookey punched, moved, slipped and ducked Varn's attacks.

Varns was able to effectively cover and dodge against a quick opponent and rocked his opponent with hard counter-punching and effective right-hand crosses. Wookey took the match by decision.

Karlis Baisden boxed an experienced Grand Forks boxer (John Vervalen) in the 139# 13-14 year-old class. Baisden, in his first match since National Silver Gloves competition and being ranked nationally, showed his characteristic style of control, multiple combinations, effective penetration and distinctive aggressiveness.

Baisden was able to score at will and effectively countered his opponent's jabs, hooks and right-crosses. Baisden's victory readies him for his first Junior Olympics competition.

Wahacanka Wilch, in the 115# 13-14 year-old class, took on a more experienced, older and very skilled boxer from the Cheyenne River Boxing Team, Jeremy Schrempp. Schrempp and Wilch met for the second time in their boxing career with Wilch looking to even the score.

Wilch showed effective aggressiveness early in the match and landed many strong and quick punches against Schrempp. Schrempp, showing considerable skill and an effective defense, was able to counter many of Wilch's shots.

Wilch stepped up the pace in the second and third round and showed the heart of a true competitor as he was able to effectively penetrate Schrempp's defense. Schrempp, able to withstand multiple effective hooks and straight right hands, continued to challenge Wilch through the last two rounds requiring Wilch to use both offensive and defensive skills. In the end, Wilch took the decision in what was one of the best matches of the evening.

Ben Bazemore, a 17 year-old in the 156# class, took on Tim Warren from Sandoval Boxing. Bazemore very aggressively took charge and attacked his opponent and effectively scored with jabs, right hands, and hooks throughout the first round. Unfortunately, early in the second round Bazemore was caught with a punch that caused his contact lens to pop out and the referee stopped the contest as a safety to the boxer. The Sandoval boxer was given the victory.

In another 156# senior contest, Vermillion's Oli Hope took on SDSU and Clark Boxing Team veteran, Preston Miles. Hope faced an older and 25# heavier opponent who is known for his effective hooks and hard right hands.

In the first round, Hope's experience, quick hands and footwork paid off. Hope was able to neutralize Miles' quick jabs and hooks and effectively scored with his own jabs, hooks and right hands.

Miles, a determined opponent, continued with his pursuit of Hope during the second round. Hope countered many of Miles' punches and, although missing a series of right and left hooks, was able to stun Miles with an effective right hand that appeared to damage Hope's right thumb.

In the third round, Hope returned to effective defense through counter-punching and blocking Miles' punches, neutralizing what appeared to be Miles' strategy of needing a knock-out to win. The victory went to Hope in his second competition of the season.

The VBT won 4/8 and Coach Zimiga was pleased with the performances.

"I was pleased with the team performance this evening as our boxers showed skill in the ring and a good sense of camaraderie outside the ring. Our boxers learn from their victories and their defeats and improvement takes place back in the gym," he said.

The team travels to the South Dakota State Junior Olympics in Sturgis April 28-29. The senior division boxers will also compete in the South Dakota State Under-19 Junior Worldchampionships in Sturgis on April 28-29. Regional Junior Olympics will be held in Cheyenne, WY, on May 19-20.

Drawing for the VBT Spring Raffle will take place at the State Junior Olympic tournament on April 29. The team thanks all of their sponsors and the community for support and encouragement.

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