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Wrestling roundup: Alexandria's Fettig, Osakis' George take 1st at Melrose; Two Lakers take 1st at Big Lake

Alexandria's Nolan Fettig, Osakis' Reggie George, along with Minnewaska's Miles Wildman and Nick Ankeny took home titles from their first meet of the season. Alexandria and Osakis had multiple top-six finishers at the Sauk Centre-Melrose Defender Open on Friday, Dec. 2, while Minnewaska did the same at the Big Lake Invite.

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Alexandria's Nolan Fettig attempts to break down KMS' Trey Gunderson in their finals match at the 50th Annual Big Ole Invite on Jan. 15, 2022. Gunderson pinned Fettig to take first place. Fettig began the 2022-23 season by winning the 113-pound bracket at the Sauk Centre-Melrose Defender Open on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press
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The Alexandria and Osakis wrestling teams began their season on Friday, Dec. 2 at the Sauk Centre-Melrose Defender Open and left with some top finishes.

Alexandria’s Nolan Fettig, a freshman, took home the title at 106 pounds, while Osakis sophomore Reggie George did so at 113 pounds.

Fettig and George’s wins came in convincing fashion. Fettig began the tournament with a first-minute pin, then beat Andover’s Brady Wadel by a 14-2 major decision and he pinned Paynesville Area’s Roman Roberg in the finals (3:33). Fettig outscored his opponents 30-3 in his matches.

George began his day with a win by technical fall (16-1, 4:47). He then earned pins in the semifinals over Alexandria freshman Drayson Elfering in the semifinals (1:27) and Dominic Kerzman in the finals (1:48). George outscored his opponents 20-1 in the tournament.

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Osakis Reggie George works for a pin in a consolation match at the 2022 MSHSL State Championships on March 5, 2022. George won the 106-bracket at the Sauk Centre-Melrose Defender Open on Dec. 2, 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Fettig is ranked No. 8 at 106 in Class AA by The Guillotine while George is listed at the No. 2 spot at 106 in the Class A rankings.

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Alexandria placed fourth out of nine teams in the open as a team with 122 points, while Osakis placed eighth with 78 points.

In addition to Fettig, Elfering, Blaze Nelson (145), Kelly Johnson (170), Landon Seward (182) and Dylan Gray (195) earned top-four finishes.

Nelson earned a second period pin in a preliminary match, a major decision (18-4) in the first round, and a 9-4 decision in the semifinals to get to the finals. With a late takedown and three-point nearfall, Albany’s Owen Carlson won the finals match 11-8.

After falling to George in the semifinals, Elfering pinned Andover’s Henry Watson (2:11) and Thief River Falls’ Ian Jacobson (2:51). Elfering went 3-1 on the day and all of his wins were pins.

Seward had a strong to his season by going 4-1 and earning third. Seward’s lone loss of the tournament was a first period pin to the eventual champion Peyton Hemmesch (Paynesville Area) who was one win away from winning a medal at the state tournament last spring.

Seward earned two decisions and two pins on the day.

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Landon Seward, top, gains control of his match with Moorhead's Jack Olstad on Dec. 23, 2021. Seward pinned Olstad to help the Cardinals get a sweep of the Spuds and Little Falls in their home triangular. Seward went 4-1 in the 182-pound bracket at the Sauk Centre-Melrose Defender Open on Dec. 2, 2022.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

Johnson went to overtime in his third place match against Paynesville Area’s Aaron Mages and got the takedown to win it 5-3. Johnson also picked up a 7-2 decision over Osakis’ Tyson Hagedon and a 27-second pin against Albany’s Connor Plumski.

Gray pinned Josh Herrera (Thief River Falls) in the first period (1:15) to earn third at 195.

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The Silverstreaks had a pair of third place finishes from Kale Drevlow (152) and Gaven Cimbura (160).

Drevlow earned a technical fall (15-0, 2:41) in the first round, a 40-second pin in the consolation semifinals, and a first period pin (2:00) in the third place match. Drevlow’s loss was a 7-2 decision in the semifinals to Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa’s Tanner Viessman.

Ashton Pastian earned fourth at 106 with a major decision in the first consolation round (9-1) and a sudden victory-1 win (13-8) in the consolation semifinals.

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Kale Drevlow
File Photo

Thief River Falls won the open as a team with 194.5 points.

Alexandria hosts a triangular against Fergus Falls and Sartell at 5 p.m. on Thursday while Osakis wrestles in a tournament at Ortonville on Friday.

Osakis and Alexandria also have ranked wrestlers in Jacob Taplin (No. 8 in Class A at 126) and Mason McGrane (No. 4 in Class AA at 120) who didn’t wrestle on Friday.

ALEXANDRIA TOP-SIX FINISHERS - Nolan Fettig (1st, 106); Drayson Elfering (3rd, 113); Logan Timm (5th, 120); Blaze Nelson (2nd, 145); Cole Vatsnald (5th, 152); Kelly Johnson (3rd, 170); Landon Seward (3rd, 182); Pablo Garcia (6th, 182); Dylan Gray (4th, 195); Jackson Saffert (220, 5th)

OSAKIS TOP-SIX FINISHERS - Ashton Pastian (4th, 106); Reggie George (1st, 113); Kale Drevlow (3rd, 152); Gaven Cimbura (3rd, 160); Tyson Hagedon (6th, 170); Kaleb Helberg (5th, 182)

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Minnewaska’s Wildman, Ankeny earn titles at Big Lake Invite

The Minnewaska wrestling team began its season on Friday at the Big Lake Invite and placed sixth as a team out of 10 with 134 meet points. Seven Lakers placed in the top four, led by first place finishes by Miles Wildman (106) and Nick Ankeny (138).

Wildman, a freshman, began his day with an 18-second pin in the first round, which was followed by a 10-2 major decision in the semifinals and a first period pin (1:46) over Roman Mckinney (Pine City/Hinckley Finlayson) in the finals. Wildman outscored his opponents 16-5 in the tournament.

After earning an escape to force overtime, Ankeny took down Royalton’s Brady Yourczek to earn a 5-3 win in sudden victory period one. Ankeny, a senior, earned an 8-1 decision in the first round and a 12-6 decision in the semifinals.

Royalton won the invite with 218 team points.

The Lakers had a trio of third place finishers with Chase Smith at 120, Myles Reichmann at 160 and Chase Boelke at 182.

Smith earned an 11-5 decision in the first round, a 4-1 decision in the consolation semifinals and an 11-3 major decision in the third place match. Smith’s lone loss came in the semifinals (first period pin) to Trey Gunderson of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, who won the Class A state title at 106 last season.

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Minnewaska's Chase Smith (Green) tries to finish a takedown in a match at the MSHSL State Tournament on March 4, 2022. Chase took second in the 113-pound bracket at Big Lake Invite on Dec. 2, 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Reichmann began his day with a pin in the first period in his first round match (1:58) but was pinned by last year’s Class A state champion at 152, Nicholas Leibold (Royalton) in the second period of the semifinals (3:51).

Reichmann ended his day with a first period pin in the consolations semifinals and a major decision (8-0) in his third place match.

Boelke earned a first period pin in his first match (1:52) and earned pins at the 1:54 mark of the first period in the consolation semifinals and the third place match to earn third at 182.

Xander Johnson and Noah Jensen round out the Lakers' top four place winners.

Johnson (170) pinned eventual third place finisher Caleb Koch (Pierz) in the first round (5:33) and earned a second period pin in the consolation semifinals (3:37). Koch earned a technical fall victory (20-5, 3:46) over Johnson in the third place match.

After a first round loss Jensen (220) earned a pin in the first consolation round (3:08) and in the consolation semifinals (0:41) to get to the third place match. Mason Olson (KMS) beat Jensen with a 10-0 major decision.

Minnewaska has a couple of ranked wrestlers in The Guillotine’s Class A rankings, Wildman (No. 6 at 106), Torii Johnson (No. 5 at 113, didn’t wrestle on Friday) and Smith (No. 3 at 120).

Minnewaska’s first home matches of the year are on Friday, Dec. 9, against Benson and Crosby-Ironton, starting at 5 p.m.

MINNEWASKA TOP-SIX FINISHERS - Miles Wildman (1st, 106); Chase Smith (3rd, 120); Nick Ankeny (1st, 138); Jayce Kovarik (6th, 145); Myles Reichmann (3rd, 160); Xander Johnson (4th, 170); Chase Boelke (3rd, 182); Noah Jensen (4th, 220)

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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