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Wrestling: Knights face tough competition at the Rumble on the Red Tournament

The Knights placed 13th out of 60 teams at the Rumble on the Red Tournament in Fargo, North Dakota, on Dec. 29-30, 2022.

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West Central Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville's Anthony Sykora tries to break down BBE's Carson Gilbert during their championship match 182 pounds at the Grant County Tournament on Dec. 10, 2022. Sykora is 16-1 on the season after taking third at the Rumble on the Red Tournament from Dec. 29-30, 2022, in Fargo, North Dakota.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press
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The West Central Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville wrestling team competed in a big tournament on Dec. 29 and 30 as it wrestled in Fargo, North Dakota, at the Rumble on the Red Tournament at the Fargodome.

In the 60-team tournament, the Knights placed 11th and had 75 team points. Senior Anthony Sykora, who won the Class A state title last season at 170 pounds, had the best finish for the Knights at the Rumble on the Red as he placed third at 182.

His lone loss of the tournament came to Caden O’Malley of Tri-City United, by a 12-3 major decision in the quarterfinals. O’Malley placed third in the Class A State Tournament at 170 last season.

Sykora (16-1) earned four wins by pin and two wins by decision, including a 3-2 win over Minnetonka’s Marco Christiansen in the third place match.

Senior Justin Blascyk (285) picked up a sixth place finish after starting the tournament with two wins by decisions. He also had a decision win in consolation round four, and a pin (2:44) in consolation round five.

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Sophomore Hunter Gruchow (145) started off his tournament with a 19-8 major decision in the prelims, an 8-0 major decision in the first round and a pin (1:57) in the second round. After a 9-0 major decision loss to Wyatt Kosidowski of Fargo North in the quarterfinals, Gruchow bounced back with a 3-1 decision win in consolation round four but lost his next match via injury default and the final one via medical forfeit. Gruchow (15-4) finished eighth in his bracket.

Senior Beau Robinson (182) picked went 3-2 at the tournament (7-4 overall) and won his three matches with pins, while junior Adam Lohse (138) went 2-2 and won one match with a pin (2:18).

8th-grader Owen Gruchow (106) went 1-2 in the tournament, with his win coming in the second consolation round (0:40). He has a 10-2 record on the year.

Junior Solomon Wales (152) picked up one win at the tournament (a first period pin, 1:26) and is 10-5 on the season, while fellow junior Will Rustan (220) picked up one win via 8-0 major decision at the tournament and is 7-5 on the season.

Junior Weston Ulrich (160) went 1-2 at the tournament, and junior Kolby Peters (138) wrestled as well (6-6 on the year). Sophomore Jeremy Blascyk wrestled at 170 and is 5-8 on the year.

New Prague won the tournament with 193.5 points, while Stillwater placed second with 146 points.

The Knights had five girls wrestle in the girls tournament, 8th-grader Ashlyn Lohse (100, 2-2), 8th-grader Ava Lohse (110, 2-3), 8th-grader Skylar LaRue (115, 1-2), junior Lucea Wales (120, 0-2) and freshman Jasmine Ulrich (125, 2-5).

Ulrich picked up two wins, including a pin in the third consolation round (2:29), while Ashlyn Lohse picked up one win via pin (0:51), and Ava Lohse picked up one win via a 5-2 decision.

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The Knights sent a big group of 15 wrestlers to the JV tournament, and they got some valuable experience.

WCA-A-B-E, along with Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale-Parkers Prairie and Border West, is scheduled to wrestle in a quad at Barnesville on Thursday starting at 5 p.m.

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
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