The Tanagers hit the road for the state tournament Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22 and 23, in Rapid City.
The team finished 18th in class A with seven wrestlers and a 36.5 total score. Rapid City Stevens was the first-place team with 162.5 combined points.
“We really had some setbacks this year, but I guess we just put our head down and go forward,” said head coach Joseph Delvaux. “It is always hard to lose kids to injuries, especially seniors and returning placers, that’s why having a lot of kids our and some depth helps as a team.”
Going into the state tournament, junior Lucus Anglin was ranked second at 138. He came out on top as state champion. In the first round, Anglin pinned Jackson Wilson of Douglas/RC Christian. Anglin advanced to defeat #7 Peyton Johnston of Watertown by technical fall, 18-3. In the semifinals, Anglin won by a 13-3 major decision over #3 Chipper Shillingstad of Huron. He advanced to face the top wrestler in his weight-class, Isaac Klinkhammer of Brandon Valley. Anglin reclaimed the title after falling to Klinkhammer in the region tournament. Anglin earned the crown in sudden victory, 4-2. Anglin finished the season with a 42-3 record.
Eleven-seed freshman Jack Kratz (152) defeated #6 Jake Werner of Watertown, 8-3, in the first round. Kratz was then pinned by #3 Nolan Johnson of Madison in the quarterfinal and by Tanner Swab in the second round of the consolation bracket. Kratz ended this season 31-17.
At 195, 4-seed junior Kobe Culver topped Tice McVay of Sturgis Brown in a 5-2 decision. In the quarterfinal, Culver received a serious injury, removing him from the tournament and advancing #5 Gage Gehring of Pierre by injury default. Culver finished the season 32-13 overall.
At 126, #7 senior Jarett Rueb fell to Jace Bench-Bresher of Pierre in a 3-9 decision. Rueb came back to top Kaden Krause of Milbank in a 3-0 decision. Rueb then lost to #9 Logan Desersa of Sturgis Brown by a 3-9 decision. Rueb finished the season 20-10.
At 106, 10-seed sophomore Nick Roob lost to #7 Connor Hanson of Watertown by a 3-12 major decision. Roob went on to defeat Jacob Wolfe of Brandon Valley in a 3-1 decision, but then fell to #9 Logan O’Connor of Harrisburg by a 2-4 decision. Roob ended the season 29-16.
Senior Mason Schroeder (145), the 13-seed, first fell to #4 TJ Morrison of Rapid City Central by technical fall, 0-15. Schroeder bounced back to defeat Cayden Wolfe of Belle Fourche by a 7-4 decision. He then lost to #6 Reese Jacobs of Sturgis Brown in a 4-8 decision. Schroeder ended the season 18-17.
The 10-seed freshman Zach Brady (285) was pinned by #7 Preston Taylor of Pierre in round one. He came back to pin Michael Streeter of Belle Fourche but lost in the next match by a 3-5 decision to #9 Connor Braun of Douglas/Rapid City Christian. Brady finished his first wrestling season 22-20.
“I truly enjoy seeing these kids grow with the challenges that this sport provides,” said coach Delvaux. “I enjoy watching them become better young men and seeing them mature. There are many unique challenges to this sport, and anybody that’s ever participated in wrestling understands that it can be humbling to even the toughest competitors.”
The Tanagers will lose seven of their seniors looking into next season.
“This group of seniors brought a varied level of experience, but they all gave much to the program, their contributions: immeasurable,” said coach Delvaux. “Our senior leaders have been key to helping our younger kids, and many of them volunteer with our youth program. Imagine what it's like for an 8-year-old to have a high school kid help them out in a sport, these kids are like heroes to them.”