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Letter Werks
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Golden again! Gophers win state wrestling title

Fri, Mar 7th, 2014
Posted in All Sports

The 2013-2014 school year won’t be forgotten for a long while for Chatfield Gopher sports fans, parents, students, and athletes alike. Three-plus months after a state football title, a team wrestling championship! Chatfield’s place atop the Class A field is undisputed. They went through highly ranked foes #7 Pierz, #2 Frazee, and #1 Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City as easily as one could’ve ever expected. They trailed on the scoreboard twice (3-0 both times), they won all three duals by double digits; a tremendous exhibition of mat dominance.

It started with a morning quarterfinal versus #7 Pierz (25-1, only loss to A-C-GC). At 106, per an injury to regular Treyc Van Sickle, the Gophers went with alternate Maleek Hussein against 6th-ranked Brandon Ortman. Hussein lost by decision (10-4). It was a harbinger of things to come. Chatfield won even when they lost. The unexpected narrow defeat, combined with a Jared Goldsmith (#4) win at 113, and then a huge Ty Van Sickle (#10) first period pin of Brandon Sullivan (#7) at 120, grabbed Chatfield momentum (up 12-3). After a decision loss at 126 (to another ranked wrestler), Ryan Meeker (10-2 MD), #1 Hank Friederichs (7-1 D), #5 A.J. Riley (5-3 OT D), and #3 Harvey Friederichs (4-0 D) ripped off four straight Gopher victories. Riley’s was huge. He trailed 3-2 real late in the third period (0:02), only to get awarded a stalling point. Riley then got a takedown with 2-seconds left in OT for the win over 6th-ranked Kolten Eischens. After 152, Chatfield led 25-6. The Gophers dropped the next three weights, two to decision, one to pin. Heading to 195, the Pioneers had closed the gap to 25-18. But #5 Cody Bly (195) is one late Gopher stopper. His 7-1 decision win meant either Jacob Bleess (220) or Logan Karver (285) had to (at worst) lose by decision. Both won by fall. Bleess sealed the team win with a first period stick. Karver’s first period pin, over 4th-ranked Curtis Brisk, was just a big exclamation point. The final of the dual was 40-18.

Next up was Frazee (#2, 20-1) in the afternoon session. Hussein got it rolling with a 14-3 major at 106. Goldsmith (#4) then pinned 3rd-ranked Tanner Reetz, a huge win. The Hornets took 120; Van Sickle (#10), after leading 6-0, fell 7-6 to 9th-ranked Byron Byer. Frazee also took 126; 10th-ranked Grant Jepson led Jake Mandt 9-0 after one period only to hold on 15-12. Chatfield got through three ranked opponents and to the meat of their order with a 10-6 lead. Meeker (132; 12-4 MD), Hank F. (5-3 D over 8th-ranked Austin Skillings), Riley (5-0 D), and Harvey F. (pin) then ripped off four straight victories to put Chatfield up 26-6. Alex Haffner (170; 7-5 D), Bly (195; 6-0 D), and Bleess (220; pin) got wins the rest of the way, more than enough to give the Gophers the 38-19 win.

It put Chatfield in the evening finals versus #1 Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (ACGC). The Falcons entered with a 25-1 record (including a 52-9 win over Gopher section adversary Zumbrota-Mazeppa). None of that mattered to the maroon and white. They ‘thunderstruck’ ACGC. Hussein got another lose-but-win at 106 (fell 3-2 to 9th-ranked Rylan Molinaro). The next five weights, Goldsmith (113; pin), Van Sickle (120; pin), Mandt (126; 10-2 MD), Meeker (132; 4-1 D), and Hank F. (138; 11-3 MD over #9 Derek Dengerud) all went the way of the Gophers. The pins were huge, as was Meeker’s decision over 5th-ranked Tyler Berghuis. After a loss at 145, Chatfield was halfway home up 23-9. Riley fell 4-0 to top-ranked Logan Peterson at 152, but Harvey F. (160) and Haffner (170) each moved up a weight and got decision wins. Haffner’s 9-2 victory ended his stellar wrestling career. A two-time individual state qualifier (though not in 2013-2014), the senior sacrificed for the team this year, wrestling heavier weights. His win put Chatfield up 29-12 with four weights to go. At 195, Cody Bly’s bout with Cody Berghuis was tied 2-2 late in regulation. There, Bly kept Berghuis from escaping, saving the match. In OT, Bly racked up a takedown that sealed the state deal for Chatfield. A Bleess pin at heavyweight was just icing on the cake. By a final of 38-22, the Gophers downed ACGC to grab their first ever state wrestling title. Goldsmith, Meeker and Hank Friederichs made the All-Tournament team (all went 3-0). Joel Viss was voted Class A Coach of the Year. He and Travis Bartels were Section 1A Coach and Assistant Coach of the Year also. The Gophers finish at 27-1. Meeker, Hank F., Haffner, Riley, Bly, Karver, Ian Morrison, and Ethan Wright are double state champions (football, wrestling).

A Week of Athletes

The week of Monday February 24th, there was really no singular Athlete of the Week, just a week of (awesome) athletes. Two wrestlers were crowned state champions. FCLMC senior Niko Anderson lived up to the #1 ranking he held most of the year. Anderson (37-1) won 13-5 in the round of 32. He beat ACGC’s 3rd-ranked Maverick Whitcomb (46-4) 3-1 in the quarterfinals. River Valley’s 6th-ranked Tim Krueger (37-5) fell next in the semis (7-3). In the finals, Anderson trailed USC’s 2nd-ranked Colten Carlson (38-4) 3-2 late in the third period before getting a takedown for the 4-3 win. Anderson adds state champion to his state runner-up (2012-2013) and all-time touchdown leader prep resume. Chatfield’s #1 ranked junior Hank Friederichs’ (45-2) 2013-2014 prep resume also looks mighty good; state football champ, state team wrestling champ, state individual champ. He won the 138-pound title, not surrendering a point along the way. He won 6-0 over Crookston’s’ 7th-ranked Nate Merten (37-9), by injury default over Adrian Area’s 4th-ranked Tony Lynn (36-6), and 3-0 in the semis over Medford’s 3rd-ranked Tyler Keller(31-7). In the finals, he got a first period takedown versus Minneota/Lincolin HI’s 6th-ranked Bryce Brunner (39-8). In the third, Brunner started on top and it took a neck-stretching contortionist routine for Friederichs to avoid back points. He then got a reversal for the 4-0 win and the state title. All that came after beating two top ten opponents in Chatfield’s team duals. He thus beat six of the top ten guys in state in a three day period!

Two girls recently went over 1,000 career points. Rushford-Peterson’s 5’6” senior G Kendra Crawford did so in a season-finale loss to Chatfield. The four-year Trojan starter has been excellent in Terry Pelzl’s pressing, open-court attack. Her performance against Lanesboro in the first round of the play-offs, 24 points, 8 assists, 8 steals, is on par with what the versatile guard can do night-in and night-out. She’s averaging 16-plus points, nearly 4 rebounds, 5-plus assists, and 5-plus steals per game. The points, assists, and steals all rank near the top of the 3-Rivers Conference. Crawford’s Trojans’ are having a banner year at 21-4. In Mabel, Lydia Geving also recently went over 1,000 career points. Geving is also an extra-versatile 5’8” senior guard, a four-year starter. She is averaging 14.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 3.5 steals per game. Her Cougars (15-9) are as good as an M-C girls team has been since 2006-2007, a welcome sight for Geving. She played on team’s freshman and sophomore year with a combined 14 wins. Poetically, M-C and R-P will play each other in a 1A East semifinal.

As if those four weren’t enough, Gophers (#4) Jared Goldsmith and (#3) Harvey Friederichs each were state runner-ups. Jared (34-1; 113 pounds), a junior, won 13-1, by pin, and 8-7 before falling 7-5 to LeSueur-Henderson’s #1 ranked Austin Anderly (34-3; the 2012-2013 106-pound champ) in the finals. Harvey (44-2), a senior, won by pin, 5-0, and 9-0 before falling to ACGC’s top ranked Logan Peterson 4-2. Harvey was also runner-up last year (at 132). He finishes as Chatfield’s all-time win leader. Over the three day individual and team competitions, the duo each went 6-1. GMLOK’s lone representative (#8) Wyatt Richardson finished 3rd at 195. He won 7-4 and 2-1 before falling in the semis 9-1 to eventual state champ #1 Nathan Rose. Richardson then impressively authored a pair of pins. The junior finishes the year at 29-5. Gopher senior A.J. Riley also placed, taking 5th at 145. He intermixed four wins around a 5-4 loss in the quarters (to 6th-ranked Kolten Eischens of Pierz, who Riley beat in Chatfield’s team dual) and a 5-0 defeat in the consolation semis (to Sibley East’s 2nd-ranked Hunter Retslaff). He finishes his senior at 39-6.

A Non-Shocker: Trojans 1A East Champs

One can’t technically say Sub-Section titles don’t mean anything to the third-ranked R-P boys’ basketball team (28-1). But, with a 50-3 record in sub-section play since 1997, said titles are just a step to much bigger things. R-P’s 2013-2014 staircase back to what they hope is the Promised Land (state) went through Lanesboro and Spring Grove. Against the Burros (4-seed, 17-9) in the semis, things couldn’t have started too much better for Lanesboro. About six minutes in, they led 16-10. Then a switch was flipped. R-P finished the half on a ridiculous 44 to 9 run. Tom Vix’s boys led 54-25 at halftime and prevailed 79-53. Cole Kingsley (16 pts, 5 rebs, 7 assists, 4 stls), Alex Vix (14 pts), Austin O’Hare (13 pts, 3-4 three’s), and bench wild card Noah Carlson (8 pts, 5 rebs, 4 stls) played the biggest parts in collectively consuming Lanesboro. Senior Kole Ruud pumped in 27 points (6-11 three’s, 7-14 FG’s, 7-7 FT’s) for the Burros. Their season ends at 17-10. R-P then faced the team they are likely to see in the East over the next couple years, the young Spring Grove Lions (2-seed, 25-3). The Trojans won a holiday tourney meeting with SG 79-43. And though the Lions (devoid of seniors) never tossed in the towel, they still headed to the bus with a second ‘L’ versus R-P. The Trojans took control with a 17-2 run out of gate. From there, their advantage never fell below eleven. R-P prevailed 83-65. The senior O’Hare came off the bench to score a career-high 26 points (3-6 three’s, 7-10 FG’s, 9-10 FT’s). Junior G’s Vix (17 pts, 3-4 three’s, 5-7 FG’s, 4 assists, 4 stls) and Kingsley (15 pts, 6-8 FG’s, 6 rebs, 6 assists, 5 stls) are a tremendous tandem. Chase Grinde (19 pts, 4-8 three’s), Alex Engelhardt (13 pts, 3-6 three’s), and Brady Schuttemeier (11 pts, 7 rebs) paced the Lions. R-P was an amazing 28-48 from the field (58%). Twenty-one of those field goals were assisted. Spring Grove wasn’t bad at 23 for 48 (48%). Both were good from deep (R-P 8-17/47%; SG 11-25/44%) but turnovers did SG in (24 to R-P’s 16). R-P will face West champ Goodhue (19-10) for the Section title.

Boys Basketball


3-seed Chatfield 56 (19-6), 2-seed #10 in AA P-E-M (21-7) 61 (C: Nate Skare 13; Christian Bance 11; Jayme LaPlante 11 pts, 12 rebs; Brandon Adler 10. PEM: Nick Shanks 26 pts, 11 rebs. Gophers end season at 19-7)

6-seed M-C (15-11) 46, 2-seed Spring Grove (24-3) 62 (M-C: Hunter Johnson 10 pts, 8 rebs; Donnie Lind 10 pts, 5 rebs, 3 blks. SG: B. Schuttemeier 15 pts, 15 rebs; C. Grinde 15; Dustin Vickerman 14 pts, 7 rebs. TO’s: M-C 24, SG 16. FT’s: M-C 10-21, SG 19-28. Cougars fell behind 8-0, but got things nearly even at down 19-18. SG finished first half on 16-5 run to lead 35-23 at intermission. The closest M-C got from there was seven (42-35). Their season ends at 15-12)

Girls Basketball


1A East Play-In; 9-seed Lanesboro (7-18) 63, 8-seed Houston (8-14) 50 (L: Olivia Haug 26 pts, 14 rebs, 5 stls; Haely Polin 15 pts (3-5 three’s); Kaia Hongerholt 4 pts, 6 rebs, 8 assists, 4 stls. H: Kelly Jerviss 19 pts, 12 rebs; Abbey Loken 17 pts, 14 rebs, 5 stls. Burros built a 13-point halftime lead (31-18) and then got a 12-0 run a few minutes into the second half (up 48-24). They avenge 56-53 and 58-51 losses to Hurricanes in regular season. ‘Canes finish year at 8-15)


1A East Quarter; 9-seed Lanesboro (8-18) 38, 1-seed R-P (20-4) 79 (R-P: K. Crawford 24 pts (11-18 FG’s), 8 assists, 8 stls; Brianna Koop 18 pts (8-12 FG’s), 9 rebs; Sierra McNamer 11 pts, 7 stls. L: O. Haug 17 pts, 13 rebs. Burros season ends at 8-19)

1A East Quarter; 5-seed W-K (8-17) 44, 4-seed M-C (14-9) 51 (M-C: L. Geving 20; Sara Lind 11 pts, 10 rebs; Coranda Vickerman 10 pts, 5 rebs, 4 assists, 4 stls; Hannah Nolte 8 pts, 11 rebs)

1A East Quarters; 7-seed Hope Lutheran (9-15) 45, 2-seed FC (12-12) 48 (FC: Kenzie Broadwater 13 pts (7-9 FT’s), 7 rebs, 5 assists, 3 stls; Kendyl Bennett 10 pts, 11 rebs; Sammi Bakke 10 pts, 6 reb. HL: Jenna O’Laughlin 23 pts (5-8 three’s), 6 rebs; Dakota Ellinghuysen 18 pts, 15 rebs, 4 assists, 4 stls, 5 blks. Falcons led throughgout, but never by more than 10. An O’Laughlin three with 1:11 made it 45-44. A Broadwater FT made it 46-44. In the final twenty seconds, Ellinghuysen missed a two, but Julia O’Laughlin (Jenna’s sister) was fouled on the rebound. In the double-bonus, she missed the first, made the second. Broadwater tacked on two FT’s (she was 5-6 in the final 2:00) for the win)

1A East Quarter; 6-seed Kingsland (4-22) 44, 3-seed Spring Grove (18-7) 64 (K: Melinda Woods 11 pts, 5 assists. SG: Nicki Ellingson 26 pts, 14 rebs. Knights finish at 4-23)

1AA East Quarter; 8-seed L-A (1-23) 16, #3 in A Chatfield (22-0) 74 (C: Sidney Irish 15 (3-4 three’s); Maddy Larrabee 11 pts (4-5 FT’s); Kirsten Keefe 10 pts, 4 rebs, 5 assists, 4 stls; 12 Gophers scored)



State Individual Wrestling (See ‘A Week of Athletes’ for results regarding Chatfield’s Hank Friederichs, Harvey Friederichs, Jared Goldsmith, and A.J. Riley, for FCLMC’s Niko Anderson, and for GMLOK’s Wyatt Richardson. At 120, 10th-ranked Ty Van Sickle (Chat) went 1-2 (won, lost, lost). He finishes his freshman year at 37-11. In Class AA, McCoy Tekautz (LARP) went 1-2 (lost, won, lost). He finishes his frosh year at 30-6.At 132, Ryan Meeker (Chat) went 0-2. He finishes his junior year at 33-9. At 170, 5th-ranked Cody Bly (Chat) was one and done. He finishes his senior year at 28-3. FCLMC senior Monty Holm (7th-ranked at 195) was one and done. His first loss of the year was his last. He finishes his senior year at 32-1)

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