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Spirit Lake Park sends six to districts – Indians compete in team duals today

By Staff | Feb 5, 2008

EMMETSBURG — Six Spirit Lake Park wrestlers will have a chance to qualify for the state wrestling meet next Saturday at the Class 2A District meet in Cherokee.

The Indians crowned four champions and had two second-place wrestlers at Saturday’s Class 2A Sectional meet in Emmetsburg.

Winning titles were Lewis Johnson (112), Dillon Miner (130), Grant Willard (135) and Alex Will (215). Placing second were Derrick Miner (125) and Brad Engel (189).

“It was close to what we wanted,” said SLP coach Rick Vander Woude. “The key is to get further than districts.”

SLP also placed second overall with 171.5 points behind Algona, which had 205 points. The Indians advance to the district team dual meet against Ballard Huxley at Humboldt today. Algona will take on Jefferson-Scranton with the winners competing for the right to advance to the state dual team tournament.

Johnson, who has wrestled mostly at 103 this season, moved up to 112 for the postseason.

Coach Vander Woude said the 103 weight class is very tough this season and Johnson may be able to compete better at 103.

On Saturday, he won a 15-5 major decision over Estherville Lincoln Central’s Austin Greig then won 2-0 over Algona’s Alex Dittrich.

Dillon Miner, rated No. 1, was all business in the 130-pond bracket. He pinned Humboldt’s Tanner Boyd in 2:36 and ELC’s Joel Christensen in 2:34.

“He wants to be the first two-time state champion,” said VanderWoude. “He’s fun to watch.”

At 135 pounds, Grant Willard also made his way to the finals, winning by fall in 2:26 over ELC’s Ryan Kaltved and a 9-3 decision over Algona’s Kyle Walker.

“We’ve always known Grant’s this good,” said Vander Woude. “We want to get him to state where we think he can place.”

At 215 pounds, Will won 5-2 over Algona’s Logan Johnson and then turned Emmetsburg/Armstrong-Ringsted’s Adam Leuer in the finals in 2:57. The two finalist needed overtime to decide the match at the Lakes Conference meet a week earlier.

At 125 pounds, No. 2 Derrick Miner wrestled No. 3 Jake Ingalls in the finals with Ingalls coming up with a 3-2 win.

“Those guys will see each other again next week and probably again at state,” said Vander Woude.

Miner had to wrestle back against Emmetsburg/A-R’s Jake Stubbs and won by fall in 58 seconds to advance.

At 189 pounds, senior Brad Engel opened with a 12-1 major decision over Emmetsburg/A-R’s Ridge Christiansen and lost 5-3 to No. 5 Kelan Richardson of Rockwell City-Lytton.

Engel will have a tough road to state as top-rated Josh Ihnen of Sheldon will be at the district meet.

“Brad’s going to have to beat one of the best kids or have to beat the Rockwell City wrestler,” said Vander Woude. “We were in that match and it came down to that last shot.”

Placing third for the Indians were Nick Schultze (152) and Kyle Kruger (171).

“It was good to see them wrestle well, because we needed all those points to get another match,” said the coach, referring to today’s team dual meet.

Placing fourth was senior Wade Franek.

“As a senior without a lot of experience, Wade’s a kid that wanted to get further. He put the champ into overtime and they way he fought shows he gave us 100 percent,” said Vander Woude.

Placing fifth were Brandon Griffin (140), Cullen Andera (145) and Brett Goldtrap (160).