State wrestling preview: Austin’s Erie is ready to go

Published 6:47 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Going into this wrestling season Austin senior Jayden Erie was looking to get his feet back after he sat out a year of sports as a junior and missed out on football season this past fall due to injuries.

Now Erie is setting his sights on putting together a strong performance at the Class AAA state wrestling meet in Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The Class AAA opening matches will take place 6 p.m. Friday.

“I’m really excited and I’m pumped. That’s all I’m thinking about,” Erie said of making it to the state meet. “It took a lot of work. I worked really hard this season and I did a lot of weight lifting in the offseason. It was really hard mentally and physically.”

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Erie, who is 26-14 on the season, will open up the 160-pound bracket at the state meet with a match against Lincoln Shinn of Willmar, who is 27-7 overall.

Erie has already proven he can win tough matches as he came back from a big setback in the Section 1AAA meet Saturday. Erie was leading his semifinal match by four points with 30 seconds left when he ended up losing. He was able to bounce back in the wrestlebacks and clinch his trip to state by winning two straight elimination matches.

“It was a really long and tough day of wrestling,” Erie said. “I had to wrestle back and when I won my true second match that was a relief and it felt great.”

Erie has been one of the hardest workers in the wrestling room for the Packers this season. Austin head coach Jer Osgood said that he’s made big strides after starting the sport as an eighth grader.

“He’s dynamic on his feet and he’s coming up really nicely when he’s on top,” Osgood said. “He has progressed nicely. He dedicated a lot of time and effort into the sport. Missing last year was a bummer for himself, our coaches and our team, but he kind of rebounded nicely this season. He’s been a leader on our team not only in the room, but outside of the room.”

Erie wanted to thank all of those who helped him get to this point in wrestling.

“I just want to thank my mom and dad for helping my whole wrestling career and encouraging me to keep doing the sport,” he said. “Also I thank my coaches for making me better every day and my wrestling partners who push me hard every day.”

Class A

The Class A state wrestling opening round will be held in Xcel Energy Center 4 p.m. Friday. There will be nine area wrestlers in action.

Jackson Hale, a GMLOS sophomore, will open up against Brandon Funk, a freshman from Pierz at 106 pounds. Hale is 32-3 on the season and Funk is 24-14.

Ethan Arett, a junior for the Westfield Razorbacks, will open up against Taylor DeFrang, a freshman from Dover-Eyota at 106. Arett is 27-5 on the season and DeFrang is 29-6.

Chris Romero, a GMLOS junior, will open up against Canon Swanson, a freshman from Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa at 113. Romero is 20-7 and Swanson is 38-3.

Brenn Olson, a GMLOS senior, will open up with Owen Novacek, a sophomore from Badger-Greenbush-Middle River at 138. Olson is 29-4 and Novacek is 32-10.

Colton Krell, a freshman for Westfield, will open up with Logan Tesch, a junior from Sibley East at 160. Krell is 29-4 and Tesch is 23-16.

Morgen Moreno, a junior for Westfield, will open up with Elijah Cloos, a junior from Ortonville at 170. Moreno is 32-3 and Cloos is 30-8.

Christophor Bain, a GMLOS senior, will open up against Logan Quam, a junior from Kenyon-Wanamingo at 195. Bain is 27-0 and Quam is 24-10.

Mitchell Oswald, a junior for Westfield, will open up against Jacob Bittmann, a senior from Park Rapids at 220. Oswald is 25-3 and Bittmann is 30-6.

Trey Chatman, a senior for Westfield, will open up against Devin Pries, a senior from Badger-Greenbush-Middle River at 285. Chatman is 28-5 and Pries is 35-4.