Mandan Lions Adds West Fargo To An Already Strong Field

West Fargo will join the loaded field of South Dakota and Western North Dakota talent at this year’s Mandan Lions.  The Lions, because of its pool wrestling format, has a hard line at twelve teams and rarely loses entries.  The loss of Grand Forks Red River last year means a slot for the perennial East Region power and its nationally ranked 152 pounder Jared Franek (Franek will likely wrestle 160 during the North Dakota season).  West Fargo’s lineup also features two-time state champion J.J. Harms at 145  and state champion Cade Pederson at 170.  The Packers are competing under a new leader entering this season as previous head coach Kevin Fynboh has taken a college job at Northland Tech in Thief River Falls, MN.  Ben Berogan, who was the head coach at the University of Mary before relocating to Fargo and coaching with the Packers, is now the stand alone front man.

Seven wrestlers will be back looking for Lions titles after winning last season.  That includes two wrestlers, Devin Steidler and Parker Wahl, for a Bismarck High squad that won the team title with 287 points last season.  Surgis state champion Jacob Wood won the Lions last season at 106, but is not entered in the event for the Scoopers.

There is the  potential for another finals showdown between North Dakota’s two most talented Juniors, 3X state champion Kyle Burwick of Hettinger and 2X state champion Ryan Ripplinger of Bismarck, at 126 pounds.  Ripplinger upended Burwick in the finals at last year’s Lions.   Returning state champions could also meet at 138 where Turtle Mountain’s Dawson Zerr and Hettinger’s Cael Schalesky could both be entered.

Last Season Team Results

  1. Bismarck  287
  2. Century  266
  3. RC Central  227.5
  4. Mandan 196.5
  5. RC Stevens 195

Last Season Individual Lions Champions (Bold Wrestlers competing this season):

106:  Jacob Wood (Sturgis)

113 TJ Morrison (RC Central)

120: Ryan Ripplinger (Bismarck)

126:  Spencer Stockman (RC Stevens)

132: Dawson Zerr (Turtle Mountain)

138:  Mason Schulz (Century)

145:  Isaac Berger (Mandan)

152:  Devin Steidler (Bismarck)

160:  Parker Wahl (Bismarck)

170: Donte Colicheski (RC Stevens)

182:  Dale Spilman (Mandan)

195:  Matthew Kaylor (Legacy)

220:  Timmy Paris (RC Central)

285:  Sam Harris (St. Mary’s)

Wrestlers to Watch at the Lions

For North Dakota, wrestlers listed are those ranked in the current NDwrestle A and B rankings.  Thus, you may see wrestlers entered at a different weight than of that listed below.  South Dakota’s wrestlers are listed based on their state tournament finish last season.  The list of Rapid City Stevens returning state qualifiers can be found after the 285 pound match.  I did not receive their lineup for this season, so we will have to wait until Friday to see where their talented returners are at.


NDA2 Hayden Johnsrud (Century)

NDA3 Ben Kleinknecht (Mandan)

NDB3 Connor Andress (Hettinger/Scranton)

NDANR Wilfried Tanefeu (Bismarck)


NDA1 Reece Barnhardt (St. Mary’s)

NDA2 Clay Radenz (Century)

NDB2 Mason Defoe (Hettinger/Scranton)

NDA4 Devon Johnson (Mandan)

NDA5 Preston Fettig (Bismarck)


NDA1 Laken Boese (Bismarck) State Champion

NDA2 Devin Schulz (Century)

NDA3 Brendan Johnson (Dickinson)

NDA6 Declan Genova (West Fargo)

SDASQ Shae Owens (Sturgis)


NDA1 Ryan Ripplinger (Bismarck) 2X State Champion

NDB1 Kyle Burwick (Hettinger/Scranton) 3X State Champion

NDA2 Drew Steidler (St. Mary’s)

NDA3 Will Kleinknecht (Mandan)

NDA4 Dylan Barchenger (Century)

NDA5 Tate Laducer (Turtle Mountain)

SDA State 7th @ 120 Kadyn Kraye (Rapid City Central)



NDA2 Adam DeBoer (Bismarck)

NDA4 Izaiah Bitz (Century)

SD State 6th @ 113 TJ Morrison (RC Central)


NDA1 Dawson Zerr (Turtle Mountain) State Champion

NDB1 Cael Schalesky (Hettinger/Scranton) 2X State Champion

NDA2 Jaden Schmidt (Bismarck)

NDA3 Clint Coleman (Century)

NDA4 Ethan Fleck (Mandan)

NDANR Shane Fleck (Century)


NDA1 J.J. Harms (West Fargo) 2X State Champion

NDA3 Devin Steidler (Bismarck)

NDA6 Kolten Reisenauer (Mandan)


NDA1 Isaac Berger (Mandan) State Champion

NDA4 Matthew Rader Century

NDA 5 Tod Irwin (Dickinson)

SDA 1st at 145 Bailey Brengle (Sturgis)

SDASQ Tanner Skaare (RC Central)


NDA1 Jared Franek (West Fargo)

NDA4 Dylan Fleck (Mandan)

NDA5 Thomas Scheet (Legacy)

SDASQ Jaren Puhlman (Sturgis)


NDA1 Cade Pederson (West Fargo) State Champion

NDA2 Parker Wahl (Bismarck)

NDA4 Trevis LaRocque (Turtle Mountain)

NDB4 Isaac Anderson (Hettinger/Scranton)

SD State 2nd @ 182 Kolby Kost (RC Central)

SDA 8th @ 170 Jake Sailer


NDA1 Jacob Boehm (Mandan)

NDA2 Ronald Wilkie (Turtle Mountain)

NDA4 Mason Steckler (Bismarck)

SDASQ Bridger Kraye (RC Central)


NDA1 Matt Kaylor (Legacy)

NDA4 Louis DeCoteau (Turtle Mountain)

NDA6 Eli Gulland (West Fargo)

SDSQ 285 Tice McVay (Sturgis)


NDA1 Chase Dockter (Bismarck)

NDA2 Adam Boehm (Mandan)

NDA2 Marcus Goulet (Turtle Mountain)

NDA6 Chandler Bradner (Legacy)

SDA 2nd @ 220 Joel Carpenter (Sturgis)

SDA 8th @ 195 Mathias Thompson (RC Central)


NDA4 Kolby Brunelle (Turtle Mountain)

NDA5 Brandon Steinhauer (West Fargo)

SDSQ 195 Clayton Smith (Sturgis)

RC Stevens Returning State Qualifiers

106 Cody Stockman

120 Cody BeVier

126 Spencer Stockman

138 Cooper Voorhees

145 Brandon Sharkey

160 Steele Fuegen

170 Dante Colicheski

182 Caleb Brink

195 Hunter McMath

220 Darien Stutz

285 Zechariah Patterson








Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s