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Road Crew advances 3 to state

Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus Road Crew seniors Anthony Philipson (106 pounds) and Justin Mackenthun (182) each won titles while Jared Adkins (285) was second at the Section 8AA individual wrestling tournament on Saturday, Feb. 22, at Perham.

Philipson (30-2 overall), Mackenthun (29-3) and Adkins (25-7) advance to the Class AA state individual competition starting at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 28, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Semifinals and championship matches will be on Saturday, March 1.

“The team wrestled extremely well last week to win the section 8AA tournament,” said Road Crew coach Travis Hoffarth, whose team captured its first section team title and will face Foley in the Class AA quarterfinals on Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Xcel Energy Center. “It’s hard to keep the emotions up for two weeks, and we seemed a little flat on Friday (at individuals). They did come back and wrestle extremely well on Saturday and all 12 of the wrestlers that we brought placed. I believe that’s probably the first time that has happened in Road Crew history.”

Philipson received a bye then advanced with a pair of pins. In the championship, Philipson advanced to face Antonio Ortiz (24-9), who couldn’t wrestle due to an injury in a prior match where he was slammed to the mat. Philipson, a three-time state entrant, split four matches last year at state.

Mackenthun had a bye and two quicks pin to advance to the title match against Perham’s William Parks (31-7), who he dominated for a 5-0 decision. It was the first title for Mackenthun, who lost the true second match last year at sections.

Jared Adkins had a bye, a pin in 3:15 and a 7-2 decision to reach the final. He then lost 1-0 to James Huwe of Detroit Lakes. Adkins also lost to Huwe last year in the true second match.

“Jared wrestled well all weekend,” Hoffarth said. “We knew the match against Huwe was going to be tough and close.”

Third-place matches

The Road Crew’s Nate Adkins (132) won 14-0 before losing 4-3 to Will Funk of Sauk Centre/Melrose. In the wrestlebacks, Adkins got a pin at 4:24, a 1-0 decision over Luke Payne of Detroit Lakes, and a 3-2 win over Brett Jerome of Roseau in the third-place match. Adkins, a sophomore who missed most of the season with concussion issues, is 6-5 overall.

The Road Crew’s Triston Rubner opened with a bye at 138, and then won with a pin at 5:56. He then lost 1-0 against Thief River Falls’ Austin Hjelle (34-5).

“Hjelle is a very good wrestler and we knew it was going to be a tough match,” Hoffarth said.

In the wrestlebacks, Rubner defeated Ben Max of Foston-Bagley with a pin at 2:38 and then pinned Casey Warner of Roseau in 3:49 for third.

Senior Jace Loge won his first two matches at 152 before losing to Parker Jackson of Detroit Lakes 12-3. Loge then won by fall over Perhman’s Austin Schultz and placed third by defeating Nick Wamre of United Clay Becker 9-3. Wrestling for true second, Loge was defeated by Carter Holthaus of Albany, who improved to 31-3.

Junior Nick Gravdahl, competed at 160, started with a bye and pin before losing to Jarrett Nosal of Perham 9-7. Gravdahl pinned Sam Manecke of Fosston/Bagley, and then pinned Pat Glynn of Perham at 3:54 for third place.

“Nick did a good job by battling back,” Hoffarth said. “This is the farthest he has gone in sections. He defeated some very good wrestlers.”

Freshman Spencer Richards started with a bye and quick pin at 120 pounds. He then lost 7-2 against Josh Bernier of Thief River Falls. He bounced back with a 9-3 win over Chandler Mooney of Roseau. Richards placed fourth after losing 13-5 against Spencer Sikkink of Fergus Falls.

Dillon Nichols, a junior competing at 145, had a bye and a pin at 3:10 before losing to eventual champion Mason Swegarden of United Clay Becker 11-9. Nichols eventually lost 8-5 against to Collin Neitzke of Perham and finished fourth.

Senior Ozzy Miller won his first two matches, but was pinned by Cole Schmitz of Perham. He was trying a throw, but instead ended up losing. Miller eventually lost to Eli Deziel of East Grand Forks in the third-place match.

Brandon Mager, a senior competing at 126, received a bye then lost to Den Schirdler of Fergus Falls. Mager advanced to the fifth-place match where he lost to Jarret Lange of United Clay Becker.

Freshman Chris Foster lost to Abram Aho in his first 195 match, and then pinned Colton Milner in 2:43. Foster lost his next two matches to place sixth.

Road Crew coaches honored

Hoffarth and assistant coach Tom Demars were voted as Section 8AA Coach and Assistant Coach of the year.

“This is a great honor, but it could not have been won without the great effort of the wrestlers,” Hoffarth said.

Section 8AA results:

106 championship: Anthony Philipson (Road Crew) injury forfeit over Antonio Ortiz (Sauk Centre/Melrose)

120 third place: Spencer Sikkink (Fergus Falls) dec. Spencer Richards (Road Crew) 13-5

126 fifth place: Jarret Lange (United Clay Becker) forfeit over Brandon Mager (Road Crew)

132 third place: Nate Adkins (Road Crew) dec. Brett Jerome (Roseau) 3-2; True second: Noah Bernier (Thief River Falls) pinned Adkins 2:43

138 third place: Triston Rubner (Road Crew) pinned Casey Warner (Roseau) 3:49

145 third place: Colin Neitzke (Perham) dec. Dillon Nichols (Road Crew) 88-5

152 third place: Jace Loge (Road Crew) dec. Nick Wamre (United Clay Becker) 9-3; True second: Carter Holthaus (Albany) dec. Loge 7-0

160 third place: Nick Gravdahl (Road Crew) pinned Patrick Glynn (Perham) 3:54

170 third place: Eli Deziel (East Grand Forks/Sacred Heart) pinned Ozzy Miller (Road Crew) 5:41

182 championship: Justin Mackenthun (Road Crew) dec. William Parks (Perham) 5-0

190 fifth place: Zach Come (Foston/Bagley) dec. Chris Foster (Road Crew) 3-0

285 championship: James Huwe (Detroit Lakes) dec. Jared Adkins (Road Crew) 1-0.