10 area wrestlers will open state competiton Wednesday

Published 3:14 pm Monday, March 2, 2009

Ten area wrestlers will be put to the test this Wednesday through Saturday at the Minnesota State wrestling meet at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

All of them will face tough tests, but some will have it tougher as five wrestlers will take on competitors ranked in the top-five of their weight class in the opening round Wednesday.

Class ‘AAA’

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The Austin wrestling team has two wrestlers set to wrestle at state: Michael Hirsch at 189 pounds and Howie Underwood at 145 pounds.

Hirsch, a junior, has a record of 34-3 and is ranked second in Class ‘AAA.’ This is his second straight trip to the state meet. He did no win a match at state last year. Hirsch will open up against Erik Berdahl (37-4 overall), a senior from Coon Rapids. Berdahl is ranked third in Class ‘AAA.’

There are three returning medallists at 189 pounds.

Underwood is making his first trip to state for the Packers. He has a record of 29-9 overall and will open up with Jake Waste, a sophomore from Anoka. Waste (32-1 overall) is ranked second in Class ‘AAA’ and finished fourth at state at 130 pounds last season. He is one of five medallists returning at 145 pounds.

Class ‘AA’

The Grand Meadow/LeRoy/Ostrander/Kingsland wrestling team is sending three wrestlers to the state meet.

Noah Schlee, a 112-pound sophomore from GMLOK will open up with Cody Paulson (35-3 overall) of Totino/Grace. Schlee is 31-8 on the season and Paulson is ranked fifth in Class ‘AA.’

At 189 pounds, GMLOK sophomore Carter Brandt (29-10 overall) will take on Johnny Krocak, a senior from Montgomery/Lonsdale/LeCenter. Krocak is 40-1 and ranked sixth in Class ‘AA.’

At 215 pounds, GMLOK’ senior Jacob Hamlin (32-7 overall) will open up with Kris Olson, a senior from Foley. Foley is 39-1 and ranked first in Class ‘AA.’

Class ‘A’

The Rebels are sending two wrestlers to state

At 119 pounds, Southland sophomore Grant Hegge (35-4 overall) will open with Adam Bates, a junior from Sibley East. Hegge is ranked second in Class ‘A’ and Bates (23-2 overall) is ranked seventh. Hegge took fifth at state at 112 pounds last season and is one of six returning medallists.

At 130 pounds, Southland senior Matt Schroeder (37-0 overall) will open with Brad Maas (33-11 overall), a freshman from Medford. Schroeder is ranked fourth in Class ‘A’ and is the only unbeaten competitor in the bracket, which three returning medallists.

This is Schroeder’s second trip to state, as he advanced as a sophomore.

Hayfield is sending three wrestlers to state.

At 130 pounds, Hayfield senior Nick Masching (30-9 overall) will open up with Matt Hagen (32-4 overall), a senior from Wadena/Deer Creek.

At 140 pounds, Hayfield sophomore Myles Moreno (16-12 overall) will open up with Frazee senior Mike Lucero (30-2 overall). Lucero is ranked second in Class ‘A’ and he took sixth last season at state.

At 152 pounds, Hayfield senior Mark Evjen (29-9 overall) will open up with United North Central senior Josh Meech (21-6 overall). Evjen is ranked eighth in Class ‘A.’