Wrestling survival is on the line at the Vermillion High School gym tonight (Friday) as the final session of the Region 2A Tournament has its first faceoff at 6 p.m.
On the line are berths in next week's state "A" tournament at Aberdeen. The top four placers in each weight class qualify for that event, and those wrestlers will be determined tonight. The regional began with a 5 p.m. session last night (Thursday).
Matmen from Tea Area, Harrisburg, Dakota Valley, Sioux Falls Washington, Brandon Valley, Sioux Falls Lincoln, Yankton, Lennox and Vermillion are competing for the coveted state tourney trips.
For the Tanager wrestlers the regular season ended with a win and a loss in a triangular at Harrisburg last Friday. The win was a major one, however, as the Tanagers by defeating Harrisburg, 42-30, clinched the Big 8 Conference regular-season duals championship.
Vermillion won seven of the 12 weight classes actually wrestled, and one of the most exciting of those wins came at 138 pounds where Nate Samudzi won his first-ever varsity match with a pin in 4:38 over the Tigers' Matt Hudson.
Kyle Seibel got the ball rolling for VHS with an 8-7 decision over Taylor Dalen at 106 pounds. Carter Kratz won big-time over Bryce Zamora at 120, accumulating points to the tune of 17-1 for a technical fall. Josh Callahan won by major decision over Joe Feiler, 14-8, at 126 pounds.
Besides Samudzi's pin, the Tanagers had three others win by that method—Brett Bye in 2:20 over Payton Sim at 132, Damarius Cheeseman in 5:32 over Ethan Janis at 160 and Alex Osborne in 1:29 over Cody Kraft at 170. Will Mart won by forfeit at 220 pounds.
In other Tanager matches, Brandon Steenholdt lost by pin in 4:08 to Zach Gross at 113, Regan Bye lost by pin in 5:05 to Jake Devine at 145, Brandon Hertz lost in 24 seconds to Mitchell Schenk at 152, Avery Garcia lost in 1:23 to Tom Hudson at 182, and Seth heine lost in 2:30 to Matt Schirado at 195. Neither team fielded a wrestler at 285 pounds.
In Regan Bye's case the match marked his return to competition after missing several duals and tournaments due to injury.
In the other dual at Harrisburg, the Tanagers lost to Sioux Falls Washington, 61-12. Six of those 12 Tanager points came from Osborne, who pinned Jamal Hawkwing in 2:22 at 170 pounds for his second victory of the night. Brett Bye won 7-3 over Dylan Larson at 132. Mart was a 3-0 winner at 285 over Chris Vrooman.
Seibel, Callahan, Samudzi, Cheeseman, Garcia and Heine all lost by pins against Washington, and Kratz and Hertz lost by decision.