Tanager wrestlers go 1-4 in duals tournament

Wrestlers are sturdy and strong, but even they can't beat Mother Nature.

Vermillion's men of the mat were scheduled to be part of a quadrangular with Beresford, Marion/Freeman and Dakota Valley, but the latest snowstorm and dangerous travel conditions forced an early cancellation of that meet.

Unless some makeshift scheduling can be accomplished to reschedule that quadrangular in the meantime, the postponement will keep the Tanagers idle until next Friday, Feb. 10, when the regular season will end with a home triangular against Sioux Falls Washington and Harrisburg.

A busy week of action last week concluded Saturday when the Tanagers went 1-4 in their five duals at the Woodbury Central duals tournament in Moville, IA.

Vermillion bested Akron-Westfield, 42-30; lost to Woodbury Central, 42-24; lost to Nebraska's third-ranked Class "B" team, Bennington, 62-6; lost to Sioux City North, 66-18, and lost to Minnesota's second-ranked "A" squad, Adrian, 69-9.

Adrian went unbeaten on the day with a 5-0 record, North was 4-1, Bennington 3-2, Woodbury Central 2-3 and Akron-Westfield 0-5.

Two of South Dakota's top three Class "A" wrestling powers, Rapid City Central and Rapid City Stevens, blew through the VHS gym Friday night and defeated the Tanagers in a pair of duals.

"Central is very physical and look to put people on their backs," said Coach Joe Delvaux.  "We tried to get as many matches as possible against them for learning purposes."

Only Brett Bye at 112 pounds was able to put Vermillion team points on the board in a 78-4 Central victory.  Bye scored a major decision, 13-2, over the Cobblers' Martin Mueller.  Otherwise Central recorded 10 pins and won three other weights by forfeits.

Against Stevens in the evening's second dual the Tanagers came out more physical and aggressive, according to Delvaux.  The Raiders won the dual, 58-6.

Brett Bye won again, this time in a 10-5 decision at 112 over Keaton Ohlsen.  Regan Bye won by the same score at 130 pounds over Stevens wrestler Taylor Biggin.

The Tanagers lost six matches by pins and forfeited two others.  However, Alex Osborne wrestled a great match at 145 pounds against the Raiders' Wade Hall and was within a point in the final minute before losing a 12-7 decision. 

Will Mart came closest to winning a match.  He led his 215-pound opponent, Cody Benne, 5-3 until Benne scored a tying takedown with seven seconds left in the third period to send the match to overtime.  The first one-minute extra period ended with no additional scoring.  The next 30-second O.T. ended up 7-7.  The subsequent 30-second overtime saw Benne literally escaping with an 8-7 win over Mart.

Earlier in the week the Tanagers dominated a dual at Ponca, Neb., 45-13.  Vermillion came home with wins from Marquese Tayborn, Joey Mueller, Brett Bye, Regan Bye, Brandon Hertz, Paul May, Will Mart and Dexter Mehlhaf.

Prior to the Ponca match, the Tanagers lost a 63-16 dual at Canton.  The Vermillion team points came from Brett Bye's 16-2 win over Ryley Ostebee at 112, Joey Mueller's 58-second pin of Kale Smith at 119, and Regan Bye's pin of Dylan Krejci in 5:19 at 135 pounds.

Lance Burkhart, who sustained an injury just prior to his championship match at the Harrisburg tournament on Jan. 15, missed most of the action of the past two weeks, and earlier heavyweight Jake Knutson was lost for the season due to injury.

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