VHS wrestlers win team title at Harrisburg

Since the season began, Vermillion's wrestlers have been making the championship session of each of their tournaments their own little Saturday night party.

It happened again in Harrisburg last weekend when the Tanagers placed nine of their men into championship matches and seven of them emerged as champions at the Harrisburg Invitational.

Vermillion accumulated 223.5 points to win the team title, 22 points better than Sioux Falls Washington at 201.5.  Farther back were Harrisburg at 156, Fulda/Murray County Central at 128.5 and Madison at 128.

The Tanagers' championship roster included T.J. North at 112 pounds, Lance Burkhart at 135, Bennet Johnson at 145, Tanner Mart at 160, Chris Mart at 171, Nick Mart at 189 and Gerrit Heine at 215. Placing second were Earl Kiertzner at 130 and Will Mart at heavyweight. Brett Bye finished fourth at 103 pounds.

North remained undefeated after reaching his championship match by pinning Milbank's Jordan Redmond in 3:45. Burkhart secured his crown with a 7-5 decision over Jake Devine of Harrisburg.  Johnson's title came after a 4-3 decision in his finale against Harrisburg's Mitchell Devine.

Three straight titles from the Mart family all came in dominating fashion with major decisions. Tanner won over Tanner Suess of Scotland, 14-5; Chris whipped Washington's Devon O'Farrell, 13-4, and Nick toppled Jacob Jager of Madison, 20-7.

Heine won his crown with a 5-1 victory over Madison's Mason Riedesel.

Kiertzner settled for second place after a hard-luck 1-0 loss to Washington's Nate Larson in his championship match. Will Mart was pinned in 4:47 by Taylor Harris of Harrisburg in his final match. Bye got to his third-place match where he was pinned in 3:23 by Dylan Larson of Washington.

Coach Joe Delvaux and his grapplers go west to Winner's invitational tournament Saturday. On Monday they will give local fans the last chance this winter to watch this outstanding team of wrestlers on their home mat when Randolph and Ponca bring their Nebraska teams to VHS for a triangular starting at 5:30 p.m.

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