Conference domination

Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Spencer senior Blaine Johnson won his first Lakes Conference championship Friday, Jan. 25 at 170 pounds in Le Mars. Johnson is 35-8 on the season with 30 pins. (File photo by Michael Fischer)

Spencer moves from another big Lakes win to Sectionals

Spencer's domination of Lakes Conference wrestling is complete for another year. The 60+ point win in Friday's tournament in Le Mars signals the Tigers are ready to begin their first postseason in Class 2A.

Spencer placed seven wrestlers into the final, while 12 of 14 placed fourth or better. It was the sixth consecutive conference tournament win for Dave Schaefer's group of young men. We caught up with the head coach following the win.

"What a great showing. To place all 14 kids, and have 12 of the 14 get top-4, it's an outstanding team performance. It really shows all our work and the challenges we faced this month with the schedule we wrestled, it's nice to see it pay off here at this part of the season," Schaefer said. "Tournaments are won on the back end and we got some huge wins in the consolation brackets and some big third-finishes, along with the seven in the finals."

Senior John Christopherson became just the fourth Spencer wrestler to win four Lakes Conference wrestling tournament championships, and the first one since 1984. Christopherson pinned Cherokee's Hunter Morrow in the second period to win the 126-bracket Friday.

Spencer senior John Christopherson, sizing up Cherokee's Hunter Morrow in the 126-pound final Friday night, became just the third Tiger wrestler to win four Lakes Conference titles in their career. Christopherson (40-1) won the 126-pound bracket with two pins and became the first four-time champ at Spencer since 1984. (Photo by Kent Jones)

"He's a standout," Schaefer said. "It's a very rare accomplishment because not many guys can wrestle at that level for four years."

Blaine Johnson won his first title at 170 pounds, collecting his 30th pin along the way. Johnson is now 35-8 on the season and has reached the 30-win plateau for the second-straight season.

"Blaine's been flying under the radar but he's having an outstanding year," Schaefer said.

Tanner Schaefer (34-1) won his second Lakes title, this year at 170 pounds. He last won in 2010 after not competing in the tournament last year. Trevor Streuli won his second conference title in a row and improves to 26-3 on the year. Bailey Hawn reached 30 wins for the second consecutive year before falling to Spirit Lake's Doug Miner in the final.


Next up is Class 2A postseason competition beginning Saturday, Feb. 2, in Cherokee. The Tigers will face Bishop Heelan, Cherokee, Estherville LC, Humboldt and Sioux Central/Laurens-Marathon in the Sectional Meet, which begins at noon. The top two place-winners in each weight class will advance to Districts, which are Saturday, Feb. 9 in Spencer.

Except for Bishop Heelan, Spencer has wrestled the four other opponents. The toughest competition is presumably Humboldt, who took third at the Ames Invite with 159.5 points, and Spencer was eighth with 119 on Jan. 5. Spencer defeated ELC, Cherokee, and SC/LM handily in duals and tournaments this season.

The top-2 teams advance to the State Regional Dual, which will be held Tuesday, Feb. 5 in Spencer at 6 p.m. Winners at those Duals advance to state in the team duals competition.

The 2A District Meet is also in Spencer and will feature the top-2 place-winners from schools including Spirit Lake Park, Sheldon, Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley, MOC-Floyd Valley, Sioux Center and Western Christian going against the Cherokee Sectional winners for a trip to Des Moines. Wrestling will begin at noon.


Next match: Sectional tournament - Cherokee - Saturday, Feb. 2 - Noon

106Dylan Huntoon1028-623 pins, Lakes runner-up
113 Trevor Streuli1126-32-time Lakes champ, 19 pins
120 Bailey Hawn1230-12State qualifier, 18 pins, Lakes runner-up
126John Christopherson1239-14-time Lakes champ, State: 4th in '11, 5th in '12
132 Levi Gilmore1137-52-time Lakes champ, state qualifier, 25 pins
138 Tyson Samsel1111-104 pins, 3rd at Lakes
145 Hunter Cauthron1123-2216 pins, 3rd at Lakes
152 Jacob Sandvig106-174 pins, 4th at Lakes
160 Tanner Schaefer1234-12-time Lakes champ, State: 6th in '10, 6th in '12
170 Blaine Johnson1235-82012 Lakes champ, 30 pins
182Pierce Jensen1116-2014 pins, 4th at Lakes
195 Ben Pingel1111-2210 pins
220 Tony Botcher129-139 pins
285Casey Seversen913-1311 pins, 4th at Lakes
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