Pioneers place 3rd at Graettinger tourney

Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Okoboji's Hunter Abrahamson catches Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire Connor Jensen in a cradle in their 126-pound bout Saturday. Abrahamson won the 126-pound title in Graettinger.

Okoboji wrestlers continued their solid start to 2018 with a third-place team finish at a tournament hosted by Graettinger on Saturday despite behind shorthanded.

It was the second competition for the Pioneers after the holiday break. They went 2-1 at a dual hosted by Pocahontas Area on Thursday.

"We got third as a team at Graettinger and I thought we wrestled better again," Okoboji coach Nate Dau said. "We're focusing on our wrestling IQ and making those adjustments for each match so we aren't getting caught on the same things. I thought our aggression was pretty high. We were pleased with that weekend. We were about three wrestlers short of a full squad, but we were still able to get third there."

Okoboji's Matt Anderson looks for a trip against Akron-Westfield's Damien Ericson. Anderson placed third at 138 pounds in Graettinger.

The Pioneers placed four in the finals Saturday and Hunter Abrahamson came away with the 126-pound title.

Abrahamson earned technical falls over Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire's Connor Jensen and North Union's Jacob Null in the first two round. He topped Jensen 16-1 in 5 minutes, 45 seconds, and Null 15-0 in 4:27. In the championship match, Abrahamson pinned Akron-Westfield's Hunter Walkingstick in 3:31.

"Hunter ended up wrestling a couple of kids that we will see in the postseason, specifically at sectionals, to get wins over those kids was a huge accomplishment there," Dau said. "He was able to work really hard to score in a lot of those positions. He had to fight through some adversity in some of those matches where kids were trying to keep us off of them and keep the match close. Hunter was able to find a way to blow those matches wide open. This week, we're going to see some tough kids that we're going to have to get past. This week will tell a lot for the remainder of the season with him."

Okoboji's Luke Bossard scores an early near fall against Garner-Hayfield/Ventura's Nick Billings. Bossard placed third at 182 pounds in Graettinger.

Cain Hansen, Blake Abrahamson and Tyler Wittrock were all in the finals and earned runner-up finishes for Okoboji

Hansen received a bye in the opening round before earning a 4-0 decision over GT/RA's Hunter Naig and falling to Manson Northwest Webster's Carson Collins by fall in the 120-pound final.

Wittrock earned a 4-1 decision over GT/RA's Blake Schany, but fell to West Bend-Mallard's Mason Studer in the 145-pound final.

Okoboji's Tyler Wittrock sprawls against Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire's Blake Schany. Wittrock placed second at 145 pounds in Graettinger.

Abrahamson received a bye in the opening round before pinning Manson Northwest Webster's Daniel Thoma in 1:58. He then fell to GT/RA's Lucas Hoffman by 3-2 decision in the 132-pound final.

"Blake Abrahamson had a really good tournament," Dau said. "He did take a loss in the finals to Hoffman from Graettinger, who is a really good wrestler, but that kid shows up every day to grind through practices. He likes the war. Getting him to sit through technique in practice is tough, the same with his brother (Hunter). All they really want to do is scrap and they would do it for hours if we let them. He wrestled really well on Saturday."

Okoboji had a pair of third-place finishers on the day in 138-pounder Matt Anderson and 182-pounder Luke Bossard.

Okoboji's Jacob Bockman works for a takedown in his 152-pound bout with Manson Northwest Webster's Grant Calmer Saturday in Graettinger.

Anderson earned a 16-0 technical fall over Akron-Westfield's Damien Ericson in 2:59 before falling to Manson Northwest Webster's Koby Hanson in 3:52. Anderson bounced back, pinning Manson Northwest Webster's Anthony Hircacheta in 26 seconds before earning a 16-1 technical fall over Garner-Hayfield/Ventura's Luke Brown in 5:59 in their third-place bout.

Bossard pinned Garner-Hayfield/Ventura's Nick Billings in 2 minutes before falling to GT/RA's Carter Murray in 1:10. Bossard responded by pinning Manson Northwest Webster's Carson Peterson in 1:30 and earning a 7-2 decision over Billings in the third-place match.

Caleb Miller, Ashford Williamson, Caden LaRue, Jacob Bockman, Cody Wintz and Draven Olson each placed fourth for the Pioneers.

Okoboji returned to action Tuesday at a dual hosted by Estherville Lincoln Central. The Pioneers will next be in action Thursday at Sibley.

Team Scores

1. GT/RA229.5
2. Manson Northwest Webster191
3. Okoboji147
4. Akron-Westfield104.5
5. North Union102
6. Garner-Hayfield/Ventura92
7. West Bend-Mallard50
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