State wrestling: Pioneers felled by Frazee, WCA

State wrestling: Pioneers felled by Frazee, WCA


State wrestling: Pioneers felled by Frazee, WCA


The Pioneers came frustratingly close to knocking off No. 2-seeded Frazee in their first-round match of the Class A state wrestling tournament.

Pierz, which took the mat unseeded, was well within striking distance coming into the 285-pound match.

The Pioneers trailed 26-23 before Garrett Malsrom snuffed out the upset by pinning Pierz’s Brad Dehler in the first period to give the Hornets a 32-23 victory.

After dropping five of its first six matches, Pierz showed signs of life when Kolton Eischens wrenched Frazee’s Isaac Schermerhorn to his back for a pin 55 seconds into the second period.

A few extracurricular activities at the end of the match cost Frazee a point for unsportsmanlike conduct.

“It got the crowd going a little bit,” Eischens said.

Matt Kummet (160 pounds) and Brett Kapsner (170) followed with decision wins to add momentum in Pierz’s favor.

It looked like the Pioneers were going to pull within five when Teddy Dehler put Alex Splonskowski on his back with a head-and-arm in the 195-pound match.

Dehler held him there for over 40 seconds but couldn’t get enough leverage to seal a pin and went on to win by technical fall.

Senior Austin Gall followed with a 7-0 decision over freshman Tanner Tapper to put the score 26-23.

If Gall and Dehler would have been able to collect pins, and a few matches went differently early on, the outcome could have been different.

“I knew I’d have to pin the guy. It’s tough, Frazee is a tough team,” Dehler said. “(We) win one or two of those matches it’s a different story against them.”

The Pioneers’ second dual was less dramatic.

The wind was taken out of their sails early against West Central Area in the consolation bracket with Pierz again losing five of its first six matches.

Kapsner (182) had a pin to pull Pierz within seven (29-22), but that’s as close as they would come as West Central Area closed out a 38-28 win to end Pierz’s season with a record of 25-6.

Though time on the big stage was brief, it looks like the Pioneers’ roster is built for an encore.

Seniors Gall and Cody Meyer (170) will depart, but Pierz returns seven sophomores, along with juniors Dehler and Eischens.

“(Jensen) said he wants one more state championship, so hopefully next year is the year,” Eischens said.

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State wrestling: Pioneers felled by Frazee, WCA
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