Team Race: After winning the Region dual championship from the three seed last weekend, New Salem/Almont is primed to win the individual portion over contenders Bowman County and Hettinger. The Holsteins are in good position as they have thirteen entries, along with more high end fire power than anyone else in the Region. A major factor in this region overall is the low numbers compared to the rest of the Class B landscape. It should keep things close between the top three teams, whereas New Salem should distance itself at the state tournament with all their state champion potential. Region 4 only has seven teams total, and two of them only have one wrestler respectively. Seven of the fourteen contested weight classes in Region 4 will advance all entered wrestlers on to the state tournament.
Toughest weight class: 106
106 boasts three wrestlers in the top five of the NDwrestle state rankings in #1 Cole Gerhardt (New Salem/Almont), #2 Mason Mellmer (Beulah/Hazen), and #5 Jaron Frank (Hettinger). All three wrestlers have bright futures in the state without question, with Gerhardt boasting the same trajectory as three-time state champion older brother, Clay. Gerhardt owns a 7-4 win over Mellmer this season from way back on December 14. Gerhardt owns a pin and major decision over Frank. Mellmer’s lone B losses are to Gerhardt and his exceptional teammate Wyatt Engwitch. Mellmer has held down the second spot in the ranking since December due to his early-season 8-4 victory over #3 Colin Dean of Velva. Should Mellmer get a region title over Gerhardt Saturday, Beulah/Hazen coaches could argue for a move to the #1 seed in the state. Pay attention Saturday to see what unfolds.
Individual match ups to keep and eye on:
113: No one’s stock rose after East/West as much as Hettinger 113 Peyton Tuhy. Tuhy’s major decision over region foe Connor Bosch of Beulah/Hazen in the semifinals, followed by a pin of Charles Herr of South Border in the finals, vaulted Tuhy to the sate’s #1 ranking. Tuhy and Bosch will be the top seeds entered, but keep your eyes on New Salem’s Wyatt Engwitch. Engwitch was the #1 wrestler in the state at 106 before teammate Gerhardt took over the spot. Size will be an issue, but Engwitch has the stuff to stick with everyone at the weight. The more he wrestles these 113 pounders, the more I like Engwitch’s chances of making noise at the weight.
126: #5 Tucker Strand of Bowman County/Beach has pinned New Salem/Almont’s #6 Cody Irwin twice this season, but I have a feeling this one will be tighter if a region title is on the line.
132: Three-time state champion Clay Gerhardt ends his Region IV reign this weekend. He will likely see Hettinger’s Cade Warbis. Gerhardt is 4-0 against Warbis on the year.
195: Rylan Sago (Beulah/Hazen) and Mitch Stuber (Bowman County/Beach) are 1-1 on the year. Big potential seeding implications for two wrestlers currently on the edge of the top six.
285: Bowman County/Beach 285 Nate Boehn currently ranks second in the state and has a 6-1 victory over New Salem/ Almont’s AJ Heinz on his record. Both will be seeded in the top six at the state tournament and are title contenders.
What did we miss? What are you looking most forward to this weekend in Killdeer?