A regional wrestling tournament comes to Vermillion only once every eight or nine years, and finally it will happen next week when Vermillion High School hosts the Region 2A tournament.
Wrestlers from nine schools will vie to place wrestlers in first through fourth places in each weight class to advance them to the state tournament in Aberdeen on Feb. 24-25.
The regional at the VHS gym opens Thursday, Feb. 16, at 5 p.m. with matmen from Brandon Valley, Dakota Valley, Harrisburg, Lennox, Sioux Falls Lincoln, Sioux Falls Washington, Tea Area, Yankton and Vermillion competing. The second session will take place Friday starting at 6 p.m.
The Tanagers will first complete their regular season tonight (Friday) against two of those teams – Harrisburg and Washington – in a triangular at Harrisburg.
Last weekend the Tanagers were in Harrisburg for the Big 8 Conference tournament where they placed third among five schools with 143 points. West Central took the team title with 191 points. Madison had 155, Lennox 110 and Harrisburg 106.
Vermillion wrestlers brought home four individual championships. At 113 pounds Brandon Steenholdt pinned Harrisburg's Zach Gross in his title match in 2:20. At 132 Brett Bye remained undefeated on the season with a 56-second pin over West Central's Skyler Hastings in his championship bout. Seth Heine won 8-2 over Madison's Blake Gusso in the championship match at 220 pounds. Will Mart finished the day with a 5:48 pin in the 285-pound championship match over Ayson Jones of Madison.
Two other Tanagers reached their championship matches. Carter Kratz was second at 120 pouinds, losing in the finals 16-1 to Cole Tirrel of West Central. Alex Osborne was runner-up at 170, losing by technical fall, 15-0, to Spencer Hastings of West Central in his final match.
Brandon Hertz placed third at 145 pounds, taking the third-place match over Harrisburg's Lane Warzecha in a 59-second pin.
Kyle Seibel was fourth at 106, losing the third-place match on a 5:38 pin by Austin Ideker of West Central. James May was fourth at 152, losing 10-3 to Blake King, wrestling unattached, in his third-place match. Damarius Cheeseman was fourth at 160, losing his third-place match to Michael McComish, Madison, in 0:30.
Earlier last week the Tanagers won a 43-34 dual at Crofton, Neb., as Will Mart pinned his 285-pound opponent, Travis Allvin, in 3:50 to decide the dual.
Other winners on the mat for Vermillion were Josh Callahan by major decision, 15-6, over Corbin Wavrunek at 126 pounds; Brett Bye by technical fall over Jared Allen at 132, and Alex Osborne by major decision, 13-4, over Jake Guenther. The Tanagers' other 18 team points came on forfeit wins, and Vermillion also forfeited two weight classes.
Nathan Samudzi lost by pin at 138, James May by 12-4 decision at 145, Brandon Hertz by pin at 152, Avery Garcia by pin at 182, and Seth Heine by pin at 220.