(File photo by Michael Fischer)
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.
(Photo by Kent Jones)
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.
SECTIONALS AND DISTRICTS AHEAD
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.
SPENCER WRESTLING LINEUP
Next match: Sectional tournament - Cherokee - Saturday, Feb. 2 - Noon
|106||Dylan Huntoon||10||28-6||23 pins, Lakes runner-up|
|113||Trevor Streuli||11||26-3||2-time Lakes champ, 19 pins|
|120||Bailey Hawn||12||30-12||State qualifier, 18 pins, Lakes runner-up|
|126||John Christopherson||12||39-1||4-time Lakes champ, State: 4th in '11, 5th in '12|
|132||Levi Gilmore||11||37-5||2-time Lakes champ, state qualifier, 25 pins|
|138||Tyson Samsel||11||11-10||4 pins, 3rd at Lakes|
|145||Hunter Cauthron||11||23-22||16 pins, 3rd at Lakes|
|152||Jacob Sandvig||10||6-17||4 pins, 4th at Lakes|
|160||Tanner Schaefer||12||34-1||2-time Lakes champ, State: 6th in '10, 6th in '12|
|170||Blaine Johnson||12||35-8||2012 Lakes champ, 30 pins|
|182||Pierce Jensen||11||16-20||14 pins, 4th at Lakes|
|195||Ben Pingel||11||11-22||10 pins|
|220||Tony Botcher||12||9-13||9 pins|
|285||Casey Seversen||9||13-13||11 pins, 4th at Lakes|