Over 1,000 North Dakota wrestlers aged 4-18 descended on the Bismarck Civic Center Friday and Saturday for the North Dakota USA Wrestling Folkstyle State Championships. Wrestlers from both big and small schools battled it out in North Dakota’s most competitive youth wrestling championships. This season, Friday night offered the first all-female folkstyle state tournament in North Dakota history, with girls competing across four USA Wrestling Age divisions. On Saturday, the boys took to the mats with some Intermediate brackets reaching thirty wrestlers. In the Intermediate 75 pound weight class, Tech Team’s Wyatt Kosidowski rolled through the 30 wrestler bracket, scoring three falls followed by a 15-0 technical fall in the finals over Eli Lyons of Lisbon. A total of 252 Intermediates wrestled in the tournament, making it the largest age group competing.
Both the Bantam and Novice age divisions registered just over 200 wrestlers each. At Bantam 55, 29 wresters competed with Zachary Spain of the Dakota Rattlers coming out on top. Spain upended Hayes Weinberger of Matpac 2-0, with the winning takedown coming of a headlock counter for two as Weinberger attempted to finish a single leg takedown. In the Novice 80 pound bracket, Connor Manse of Tech Team won the title with a 5-1 decision over Koy Grebel of the Valley City Express.
Numbers dipped a bit into the Schoolboy division, but the middle weights still featured 16 wrestler brackets with some creeping just a bit higher than that. No two Schoolboys were more dominant than Bismarck grapplers Chance Davis and Reece Barnhardt. Barnhardt, a High School state finalist in February for Bismarck St. Mary’s Central and wrestling for Mandan Wrestling Club, racked up bonus points in each match of the tournament, including a 14-2 major decision over fellow high school state placer Chase DeBlaere of Tech Team. DeBlaere went on to win on to finish true second. Seventh grader Chance Davis, also a high school state placer for Bismarck Legacy, recorded three quick falls for Big Cat Wrestling Club at 136 pounds.
64 Cadets took to the mats as well with 138 pounds featuring five state place winners from the high school season. Parker Larson of the Valley City Express won that weight class with two pins.
Bismarck Matpac won the team title for big schools with Tech Team of Fargo coming in second. For the small schools, it was the Lisbon Pee Wee wrestlers finishing first ahead of South Border to match their high school state championship won last month.