Prep wrestling: Brainerd topples an Apollo lineup with 2 forfeits, 48-24

Prep wrestling: Brainerd topples an Apollo lineup with 2 forfeits, 48-24


Prep wrestling: Brainerd topples an Apollo lineup with 2 forfeits, 48-24


St. Cloud Apollo is dealing with a dual-meet lineup that is two wrestlers short, meaning the Eagles are down 12-0 before they start because of forfeits.

It also means state-ranked wrestlers like Bryce Kirchner and Peter Nelson are focusing on their individual matches, trying to get ready for what lies ahead, which at the moment is the Tom Keating Invitational at 9 a.m. Saturday at Foley.

“It seems like the team part is not coming together right now,” Kirchner said.

Brainerd beat Apollo 48-24 Thursday night in a Central Lakes Conference dual at Apollo.

While some individuals wrestled well, the Eagles are struggling with filling out the lineup.

Apollo coach Tim Bengtson noted that the two forfeits are “a 24-point swing.”

“I can’t coach a forfeit,” he said. “But I can coach a body.”

So, he’s coaching who’s there.

Thursday, that included Kirchner and Nelson. Kirchner is ranked fourth in the state in Class 3A. He improved to 14-2 with a 3-2 win over Brainerd’s James Weiss, who weighed in at 287, which is the maximum one can weigh and wrestle in the largest division.

Kirchner weighed in at 252.

“That’s the biggest guy I’ve ever wrestled,” Kirchner said.

The weight differential is the biggest difference for him this season. He’s a two-time state qualifier at 220, taking fifth last season.

Bengtson said the best thing about Kirchner wrestling at 285 is that it will better prepare him for the next level. Kirchner has committed to St. Cloud State.

“In college, the next smallest weight is 197 and he (Kirchner) will never wrestle there,” Bengtson said. “It’s an advantage for him to wrestle bigger guys now because it’s getting him prepared for college.”

Nelson, a freshman 126-pounder, also has moved up in weight after qualifying for state at 106 as an eighth-grader.

Nelson pinned Ivan Vasquez in 54 seconds. He’s ranked eighth in the state and finding out that 126 is tougher than 106.

“There’s a difference in his approach,” Bengtson said. “He’s trying more things.

“He’s not as one-dimensional as he was in the past. Last year, I think he was pretty predictable. He doesn’t go after one thing anymore.”

Bengtson said Nelson would try a sweep single to his right all the time. It’s not his only option this season and it’s paying off.

“It’s tougher wrestling up,” Nelson said. “You have to expect tougher wrestlers, a lot more upper classmen.”

The goal is to get back to state.

“I’m hoping,” he said.

Also ranked at 126 from Apollo’s Section 8-3A is Alexandria’s Trent Piepenburg, a senior ranked ninth right behind Nelson.

There are others, Nelson said.

Brainerd, meanwhile, was happy to record its first dual-meet win of the season. The Warriors got pins from Andy Schlosser (120), Doug Fillbrandt (132), Isaiah Stewart (152), Chris Laber (195) and Sam Adams (220) to improve to 1-2 in the CLC, 1-5 overall.

“We figured they were a team like us,” Brainerd co-coach Mike Boran said of the Eagles. “They’ve got some good individuals, but they give up some points in the lineups.

“Besides the forfeits, we match up real well with them.”

Brainerd fielded a full lineup for the first time this season.

Besides Kirchner and Nelson, Apollo’s wins came from Brandon Karolus (a pin at 138), Christian Pierce (a pin at 145) and Nick Graham (a 5-0 decision at 182).

Kirchner said the team is having issues with some wrestlers showing up for practice over the holidays. The room has been noticeably more empty lately.

“I’ve been talking to guys to get them out wrestling,” Bengtson said. “We’ve got some in some spots.

“But you can’t coach nobody.”

106 – Cole Kubesh (B) dec. Alex Pachan 3-2; 113 – Drew Breun (B) dec. Ryan Sok 9-3; 120 – Andy Schlosser (B) pinned Aiden Schlitz, 4:18 126 – Peter Nelson (A) pinned Ivan Vasquez, :54; 132 – Doug Fillbrandt (B) pinned Brett Kirchner, 4:19; 138 – Brandon Karolus (A) pinned Matt Schubert, 1:14; 145 – Christian Pierce (A) pinned Taylor Borders, 2:19; 152 – Isaiah Stewart (B) pinned Roba Ibro, 1:19; 160 – Dillon Solid (B) won by forfeit; 171 – C.J. Wohl (B) won by forfeit; 182 – Nick Graham (A) dec. Cole DeRosier, 5-0; 195 – Chris Laber (B) pinned Martin Hanson, :41; 220 – Sam Adams (B) pinned Kevin Cao, 1:09; 285 – Bryce Kirchner (A) dec. James Weiss, 3-2.


More USA TODAY High School Sports