Jacob Johnson’s championship at 145 pounds highlighted Fremont Bergan’s performance Saturday at the Howells-Dodge Wrestling Invitational.
Oakland-Craig won the team championship with 151 points. Millard South was second with 108 while Wakefield was third with 101.5. The host school had 79 points, followed by the Knights with 64.5
“I think it was a good start for us today as a whole,” Bergan coach Curtis Marolf said. “We went 25-12 as a team and there are at least three or four of those losses that our kids would want back. It is early in the season and we had some younger guys make positional mistakes, which led to those losses.”
In the pool-formatted tournament, Johnson recorded technical falls over Luke Irwin of Elkhorn South, Wyatt Uhing of Oakland-Craig and Gavin Yueill of Millard South.
The junior earned a 17-4 major decision over Josh McMillen of Scribner-Snyder before pinning Derek Gurnsey of Clarkson-Leigh in 2:17.
“Jacob wad dominant, which is what we expect from him regardless of the opponent,”Marolf said. “To rack up 21 takedowns and 14 sets of near fall points in five matches is a solid first outing.”
Freshman Martin Venzor placed second at 120 pounds. After receiving a bye, Venzor pinned Jack Pille of Oakland-Craig in 3:49. He also won by fall (:53) over Taylor Herrera of Howells-Dodge. After beating Austin Sloger of Millard South by disqualification, Venzor was pinned by Zak Hansen of Stanton in 2:36.
“Martin wrestled very well,” Marolf said. “He had a 4-0 lead in the finals when he got caught in a bad spot. If he turns right instead of left, he puts the kid on his back, but instead he ended up on his back. He’ll learn from that and will get better as the season goes on.”
Ethan Villwok went 4-1 and finished fourth at 182. He won all of his matches by pins and suffered his lone loss to Clay Thiele of Clearwater/Orchard (pin in 4:46). Teammate Peyton Cone went 3-2 to finish fourth at 220. He won three matches by pins and was edged 3-2 by Hunter Jones of Elkhorn South in the third-place match.
Zach Hamilton, in his first tournament for the Knights, went 4-1 and placed fifth at 126. The transfer pinned Gavin Saxton of Oakland-Craig in 3:51 of the fifth-place match.
“Hamilton had a great day going,” Marolf said. “Unfortunately he was in a tough pool which ended in a three-way tie and he didn’t win the criteria tiebreaker. That caused him to wrestle for fifth instead of the chmapionship. He has some technique to clean up, but he competed really well today.”
Andrew Fellers finished 2-2 to place fifth at 138. Eli Simonson compiled a 3-2 mark to finish fifth at 220. David Hinojosa earned sixth place at 285.
“I’m really happy for kids like David and Andrew,” Marolf said. “They fought hard all day and each got the first wins of their high school careers today. It’s a great reward for all of the hard work they’ve put in.”
Hinojosa recorded a pin in 2:40 against Anthony Marino of Clearwater/Orchard.
Alexander Smith (113), Dylan Swenson (132), Jefferson McNeill (138) and Justyn Hale (285) won championships for Oakland-Craig. Trenton Arlt (106) and Tom Maline (160) were second in their respective weight classes.
Miles Kulhanek (170) and Dylan Horejsi (182) won championships for Howells-Dodge.
The Knights return to action at 4:30 Friday afternoon in the Maple Valley-Antho Oto Invitational in Mapleton, Iowa.
Team Scores — Oakland-Craig 151, Millard South 108, Wakefield 101.5, Howells-Dodge 79, Fremont Bergan 64.5, Clearwater/Orchard 58, Stanton 50, Elkhorn South 48, Ponca 46, Hartington Cedar Catholic 37.5, Scribner-Snyder 25.5, Elgin Public/Pope John 22.5, Clarkson/Leigh 21, Lutheran High Northeast 13.