106: Beating Cole Gerhardt is going to be a tall task. The bigger question is who comes out of the bottom half of the bracket. That half is loaded with talented seeded wrestlers all at similar talent level including #2 Colin Dean (VELVA), #3 Carter Wallner (LISBON), #6 Jaron Frank (Hettinger), and #7 Tristan Lepp (South Border). Keep an eye on these quarterfinals.
Unseeded Wrestler To Watch: Cody Meehl (Oakes)
113: Carrington’s Treston Lura and South Border’s Charles Herr are 1-1 on the top side in what could be a very intriguing semifinal with team implications. On the bottom half, a potential semifinal with #3 Mike Nelson of Lisbon and #2 Peyton Tuhy of Hettinger/Scranton is juicy. Nelson and Tuhy have not me this season. Nelson has looked fantastic over the last few weeks, but Tuhy is a strong wrestler capable of pinning anyone. This was best exemplified in Tuhy’s run at an East/West title at the end of January.
Unseeded Wrestler To Watch: Jason Briones (Grafton)
120: For an eighth grader not wrestling at 106, Killdeer’s #3 Gus Bombach has had a very impressive season. Bombach has 7-5 and 6-5 losses to #2 Jakob Hudson of Northern Lights, so should both make it that far, expect a fantastic semifinal. Don’t count out the #6 and #7 seeds in what is a very deep 120 pound weight class. #6 Isaiah Carruth’s loss to Bombach was a 5-3 decision, and in the Region 1 final Carruth lost to #1 Marshall Lindgren 1-0. Up top, I think South Border’s #1 Lindgren and Carrington’s #4 Duchscherer are are the cream and should advance through to the semifinals. Lindgren won their only matchup this season 6-5
Unseeded Wrestler To Watch: Octavio Alvarez (Bishop Ryan)
126: After spending much of the year at 120, Kindred state champion Carter Schmitz bumped back to 126 and promptly scored two wins over Lisbon state champion Caleb Nielsen 12-2 and 7-4. Schmitz’s move also made this a weight five deep with contenders. Hillsboro/CV’s Luke Leshuk and Williams County’s Ethan Wonser are primed for a showdown in the bottom of the bracket. Leshuk owns a 6-3 decision victory in their only bout this season. At the top, #5 Gunnar Mogen and and #4 Caleb Nielsen will battle it out in the best 4/5 quarterfinal of the tournament. Their bout is a rematch of the 113 pounds state final from a year ago. Even better, the two are 1-1 on the season. Sitting at the top is Schmitz, who hasn’t wrestled Mogen or this season and is 2-0 against Nielsen. Saddle up, this weight class will be FIRE.
Unseeded Wrestler To Watch: Kael Kovar (Carrington)
132: Clay Gerhardt of New Salem/Almont will likely join an elite group of eleven four-time Class B state champions Saturday afternoon. Gerhardt’s title run has been workmanlike, with little fanfare but a lot of wins. Shout out to Clay from NDwrestle on a fantastics season. On the opposite side are two pretty clear favorites in South Border’s Grant Schneider and Carrington’s Brecken Lura. Lura is 3-0 with Schneider this season, and has had a strong season overall. A win from either wrestler is hugely important for the team race.
Unseeded Wrestler To Watch: Cristian Lagunes (Williams County)
138: Top ranked and undefeated freshman Boeden Greenley of Lisbon is at the top of this bracket and as likely a state champion as anyone. The bottom half of the bracket is interesting due to the evenly matched competitors and team race implications. In the 3/6 quarterfinal, #3 Ethan Hammons of New Salem/Almont will likely see South Border’s Jon Schockley. The two are 1-1 in the year, with Schockley winning the last matchup via fall at East/West. The 7/2 quarterfinal is also intriguing, as Conner Andress of Hettinger/Scranton and Preston Litton of Pembina County North have not met this season.
Unseeded Wrestler To Watch: Keyton Meyers (Stanley), Alex Ibanez (Grafton)
145: If not for injuries that forced Pembina County North’s Tanner Urlaub to miss large parts of the last two seasons, there would be a greater buzz surrounding one of the best seniors in a fantastic group of Class B wrestlers graduating this spring. Urlaub was a state champion two seasons ago and runner-up last season. Urlaub may not be fully healthy, but he was healthy enough to go 8-0 and take the top seed into the state tournament. Garrett Hebl of LaMoure has quietly had a fantastic season, with no losses to Class B competition. He has three wins over #3 Hunter Schwab of Lisbon, but each bout has been tight including one that went to overtime. Keep your eyes on Trey Jacob of Linton/HMB. Jacob is unseeded and drawn into the 4/5 quadrant. He has not wrestled #5 Ezra Weichmann of Hettinger/Scranton, but has lost twice to #4 Cody Rudolph of Stanley via one and three points respectively.
Unseeded Wrestler To Watch: Trey Jacob (Linton/HMB)
152: Mark Jochim dominated this weight class for thirty-two straight wins before falling in the Region 1 final to Easton Ogren of Kindred. Ogren, who came down to 152 from 160 in mid-January scored the top seed at the state tournament for his trouble. Jochim was rarely tested during the regular season, so I expect he should roll through the bottom half of the bracket to the finals. The question for me is whether the winner of the 4/5 matchup between Lisbon’s Jaden Schmidt and DLB’s Walter Winkler can challenge Ogren. Schmidt has a 2-0 win over Winkler in the regular season, but Winkler is coming off a strong showing in the Region 3 tournament in which he beat Bransyn Yanish of Velva 4-3
Unseeded Wrestler To Watch: Ty Wolding (New Salem/Almont)
160: This weight is top loaded with three fantastic wrestlers. Two-time state champion Jordan Sours of Lisbon leads the way and is the #1 seed in the tournament. After five decision losses to Sours, South Border’s Jake Herr finally broke through in the Region 1 title match and solved the puzzle. Herr’s victory created what will likely be the most anticipated state final of the B tournament. If it happens. Do not count out #3 seed Tate Hoggarth of Carrington. Hoggarth is 0-1 to both Herr and Sours, but bother were decision losses.
170: For the first time in Class B history, it is likely we will see two four-time champions crowned in the same season. Senior Garrett Jangula has been nothing short of amazing in his Napoleon career, and especially this season. Jangula has always made what is challenging to other wrestlers seem very easy. If this is it for his career, hats off to one of the all-time North Dakota greats. One of the most exciting potential semifinals can be found on the opposite side of Jangula. Killdeer junior Zack Anderson and Carrington’s Michael Clifton have been as good as #2 and #3 seeds can be this season. The two are 1-1 on the season, with Clifton winning 7-2 at the Linton Holiday, but Anderson scoring revenge 10-9 at East/West.
Unseeded Wrestler To Watch: Jacob Reinke (Lisbon)
182: Corbin Okeson of Bishop Ryan is the top seed and looking for a state title after coming up just short in the finals last season. Okeson only has two losses this year; One in the Rumble on the Red finals 13-10 to #1 ranked 3A Minnesotan Brock Rinehart of Woodbury, and one up a weight class to 195 pound #1 Coy Spooner of Des Lacs/Burlington 5-0. The point is this: Corbin Okeson is the real deal. So much so that he is headed to perennial Division 2 #1 St. Could State in the fall. The lone loss of the season for Oakes senior #2 seed Logan Sell was 13-3 to Okeson in the finals at East/West. Sell defeated #3 Ethan Carruth of E/E/K via second period fall in the East/West semifinals.
Unseeded Wrestler To Watch: Cameron Johnson (Williams County)
195: Des Lacs/Burlington senior #1 Coy Spooner hasn’t been beaten since the state tournament of 2018. Of his forty wins this season, twenty-seven came via fall. One of those falls came over #2 seed Nathan Schauer. Spooner’s other win over Schauer was a 14-0 major decision. Schauer has wrestled likely semifinal opponent Bridger Mathern of Ellendale/Edgeley/Kulm a astounding eight times. Of those eight, Schauer has won seven including the last five.
Unseeded Wrestler To Watch: Chris Heyd (LaMoure/L/M)
220: I love the top six at this weight class and can’t wait to see how everything shakes out. #1 Peyton Grunfelder and #2 Sam Rieger are likely safe in the quarterfinal round, but match ups in the 3/6 and 4/5 quarterfinals should be interesting. #3 Ethan Ellingson of Ellendale/Edgeley/Kulm and Carrington’s #6 Colton Buskness have wrestled two tight matches in recent weeks, with Ellingson winning both 7-6 and 5-2 respectively. In the 4/5 quarter, Velva junior Jeremiah Jesperson will meet Adam Morman of New Salem. Morman defeated Jesperson 7-0 in their only matchup this season. Should Grunfelder and Rieger make it through the bracket to the finals, the two are 1-1 on the year.
Unseeded Wrestler To Watch: Noah Swegarden (Bishop Ryan)
285: Bishop Ryan’s Keegan Henjum has been Class B’s best wrestler throughout this season, and he is the top seed going into the stat tournament. Henjum is 2-2 with #3 Nick Hodges of Velva, including a loss 9-4 in the Region 3 title match. Hodges win pushed him into the #3 seed where he will wrestle New Salem’s #6 AJ Heins in the quarters. Hodges is 2-1 with Hines this season. A win from Hodges would mean a semifinal bout with #2 Nate Boehm of Bowman County/Beach. Boehm pinned Hodges at East/West, where Boehm then went on to lose to Henjum 12-5 in the finals. The likely top side semifinal between Henjum and Lisbon’s #4 Ethan Lyons should also be great. Henjum defeated Lyons 6-5 in their only meeting this season. There is a lot to digest at 285, and I fully expect the unexpected.
Unseeded Wrestler To Watch: Andre LeTexier (Pembina County North)