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Spuds wrestlers show potential in dual with Detroit Lakes

Moorhead's young roster won six matches on Thursday night but ultimately fell to the Lakers

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Moorhead's Owen Borud, left, wrestles Detroit Lakes' Donavon Zima during a team dual Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, at Moorhead.
Abby Makay/The Forum
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MOORHEAD — The Moorhead wrestling team has a lot to prove this season and had a prime chance to do it at home Thursday night in a dual with Detroit Lakes.

The Spuds certainly showed their potential, winning six of the 14 contested matches but ultimately falling to the Lakers 44-31.

"The message with our kids was, 'We went out and battled,' " said Moorhead head coach Gerad Fugleberg. "DL is a really good team and my guess is that their expectations are getting out of the section and going to that state tournament.

"We've got a few things — we've got to fix some positions but we were right there with them."

The Spuds opened the dual with four consecutive wins to race out to a 19-0 lead.

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Freshman Dane Ellingsberg kicked things off in the 106-pound weight class with a 6-0 decision over Detroit Lakes eighth-grader Talon Baker. Spuds eighth-grader Owen Borud followed that up with a fall over Lakers seventh-grader Donavon Zima at 5 minutes, 57 seconds in the 113-pound division.

Sophomore Michael Jenkins proceeded to give Moorhead its second of four falls on the night by pinning Detroit Lakes eighth-grader Jeremy Linn at 4:53 in the 120-pound bout. At 126 pounds, eighth-grader Dalton Humeniuk topped Lakers sophomore Everett Northup by a 10-2 major decision.

From that point on, Detroit Lakes won eight of the final 10 matches. The Lakers took their first lead of the night at 27-25 when senior Colby Ortloff pinned Spuds junior Draeden Prosby 45 seconds into the 170-pound contest.

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Detroit Lakes' Everett Northup, top, wrestles Moorhead's Dalton Humeniuk during a team dual Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, at Moorhead.
Abby Makay/The Forum

Moorhead pulled within two points after junior David Krabbenhoft quickly pinned Lakers senior Cameron Cannon in the 195-pound class, but Detroit Lakes won the final two matches on falls from seniors Henry Lee and Class 2A eighth-ranked Jeffrey Moen at 220 and 285 pounds.

It's a dream start for Detroit Lakes first-year head coach and former North Dakota State grappler Taylor Nein, whose team is coming off a first-place finish at the Alfred Olson Memorial Tournament in Fosston, Minn. last week. Now, Nein and the Lakers have a dual win beneath their belts.

"Nerve-racking but it was awesome to get this first dual," Nein said. "Some things we definitely still need to work on and things to improve on but we saw a lot of good stuff from the team (tonight) and it was awesome to see them compete."

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Detroit Lakes' Sawyer Stroeing, top, wrestles Moorhead's Tristin Sundet during a team dual Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, at Moorhead.
Abby Makay/The Forum

Seniors Leroy LaCrosse, Tyson Ullyott, Cade Okeson, Cade Jackson and freshman Sawyer Stroeing also picked up match wins for the Lakers.

Ullyott — a Minnesota State Moorhead commit and ranked sixth in the 145-pound class — topped Spuds sophomore Will Borud by 15-4 technical fall.

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Okeson — ranked ninth at 160 pounds — defeated Moorhead junior Bridger Mongeau by 10-1 major decision.

Junior Lee Ellingsberg picked up another win for the Spuds at 152 pounds with a fall over Detroit Lakes junior Brock Swiers at the 4 minute mark.

With no seniors on the roster, guys like Ellingsberg and Krabbenhoft will need to step into those leadership roles for the Spuds this season.

"Our team is pretty young and we've got a lot of new guys," Ellingsberg said. "But I think we're still doing pretty good. We do have a pretty strong junior class, so hopefully next year we'll be pretty good."

"I feel like we did a good job fighting (tonight)," Krabbenhoft said. "We have a lot of new guys and I feel like they went out there and fought. (The goal) is to just keep growing as a team. We're still a young team, we have a lot of new wrestlers and it's just about getting better every day."

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Moorhead's Lee Ellingsberg, left, wrestles Detroit Lakes' Brock Swiers during a team dual Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, at Moorhead.
Abby Makay/The Forum

Fugleberg said the future within the program is bright with many seventh and eighth-graders waiting in the wings.

"We've been looking forward to this group for a little while," Fugleberg said. "We're definitely excited about them and it's a beautiful thing having them back next year too. We get to continue developing and we're kind of seeing the kids click into that 'win now' mentality too."

And while thinking ahead is fun, the Spuds are still ready to give it their all this season, as well.

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"Our goal is section finals," Fugleberg said. "Let's get there and let's make something happen. There's no reason we can't be a top two team and that's where we've got our eyes set.

"We've got an awesome group that really truly loves wrestling. It's starting to show in our intensity and our passion. It's fun to watch."

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Moorhead's Dane Ellingsberg, right, wrestles Detroit Lakes' Talon Baker during a team dual Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, at Moorhead.
Abby Makay/The Forum

Detroit Lakes 44, Moorhead 31

106, Dane Ellingsberg, Moorhead, dec. Talon Baker, Detroit Lakes, 6-0; 113, Owen Borud, Moorhead, pin Donavon Zima, Detroit Lakes, 5:57; 120, Michael Jenkins, Moorhead, pin Jeremy Linn, Detroit Lakes, 4:53; 126, Dalton Humeniuk, Moorhead, major dec. Everett Northup, Detroit Lakes, 10-2; 132, Leroy LaCrosse, Detroit Lakes, pin Azhar Salih, Moorhead, 0:43; 138, Sawyer Stroeing, Detroit Lakes, pin Tristin Sundet, Moorhead, 3:18; 145, Tyson Ullyott, Detroit Lakes, technical fall Will Borud, Moorhead, 15-4; 152, Lee Ellingsberg, Moorhead, pin Brock Swiers, Detroit Lakes, 4:00; 160, Cade Okeson, Detroit Lakes, major dec. Bridger Mongeau, Moorhead, 10-1; 170, Colby Ortloff, Detroit Lakes, pin Draeden Prosby, Moorhead, 0:45; 182, Cade Jackson, Detroit Lakes, pin Ron Addo, Moorhead, 2:28; 195, David Krabbenhoft, Moorhead, pin Cameron Cannon, Detroit Lakes, 0:21; 220, Henry Lee, Detroit Lakes, pin Ashton Spieker, Moorhead, 0:49; 285, Jeffrey Moen, Detroit Lakes, pin Jake Erdmann, Moorhead, 2:48

Ryan Spitza joined The Forum in December 2021 as a sports reporter. He grew up in Marquette, Mich., a city of 20,000 on the southern shore of Lake Superior. He majored in multimedia journalism and minored in public relations at Northern Michigan University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in May 2019. While attending college, Spitza gained real-world experience covering high school and college athletics for both The Mining Journal and The North Wind.

Spitza can be reached at 701-451-5613 or rspitza@forumcomm.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryspitza.
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