West Fargo's Waylon Cressell wins 170-pound final at North Dakota Class A individual tournament
Three Valley City grapplers also picked up individual wins while Bismarck won its sixth straight team title
FARGO — Waylon Cressell moved to North Dakota from Indiana to live with his brother Noah, who wrestled for North Dakota State.
Now, just a few short years later, Waylon is a North Dakota high school state champion.
Entering Friday's Class A individual state finals at the Fargodome, the freshman was a technical underdog as the No. 3 seed at 170 pounds, going up against West Fargo Sheyenne junior and top-seeded Connor Manske.
Evidently, Cressell didn't care if he was the underdog or not, winning 7-4 to pull the upset and claim the crown.
"It feels pretty good," Cressell said after rebounding from a runner-up finish at 145 pounds last season. "I just got back to what I needed to do. This is just a small part on my list."
Noah Cressell wrestled for the Bison in 2019-20. The two brothers are originally from Wabash, Ind. and when it was time for Noah to move away for college, Waylon took a leap of faith and decided to come with.
Waylon didn't know what he was getting himself into, but he quickly found a home with the Packers.
"I'm pretty much in my comfort zone," Cressell said. "It's pretty nice here. They treat me like a family and they're my family. Everyone (at West Fargo) is super kind and supportive."
That support from his teammates, coaches and peers, Waylon said, is what helped him reach the top of the podium in the upper Midwest.
"It feels very nice out here," Cressell said. "Being a state champ out here feels different. It's a big feeling."
With 172.5 points, Bismarck claimed its sixth straight team title in the individual competition. Following the Demons were Bismarck Century with 151.5 points, Williston with 145 points, West Fargo with 130 points and West Fargo Sheyenne with 125 points.
The Demons had 11 placewinners, including champions Ben DeForest at 120 pounds and L.J. Araujo at 160 pounds.
DeForest, a sophomore and the No. 1 seed, earned his second consecutive state crown with a 7-0 decision over West Fargo Sheyenne eighth-grader and No. 2 seed Landon Zink. Araujo is now a four-time state champion after the top-seeded junior pinned Mustangs' second-seeded junior Sawyer Carr via fall at 4 minutes, 26 seconds.
Valley City trio picks up wins
The Hi-Liners had a strong showing with three individual champions, including the dynamic duo of Koye and Koltyn Grebel.
Koye, a senior, won his third state title after defeating Fargo North junior Augustus Maughan via 15-0 technical fall at 138 pounds. Koye was the top seed at 138 while Maughan entered the bout as the No. 3 seed.
Top-seeded Koltyn made it back-to-back titles in 2022 and 2023 after the sophomore — with just one loss on the season — topped Bismarck Legacy freshman and No. 2 seed Joey Enzminger 12-6 at 113 pounds.
The key to being a three-time state champion? A calm demeanor, hard work and faith.
“The biggest thing in anything now is that I just have to be calm,” Koye said. “The results, I can’t control them. But I can control how hard I work and God is always with me and that’s kind of what I think.”
As for Koltyn, he’s got two more years to either tie or surpass his older brother, although he noted that Friday’s finals didn’t go as perfectly as hoped.
“I didn’t wrestle how I wanted to, but I got it done,” Koltyn said. “The match didn’t go how I wanted it to. I always want to strive for perfection and I didn’t get that. But I’ve just got to keep my head up and go through adversity and keep it going.”
Koye said he was elated to see Koltyn earn his second state crown.
“He’s way better than I could ever be,” Koye said. “I love watching him just be great.”
The third piece to Valley City’s puzzle was Broden Muske. The No. 1 seed senior won the 220-pound weight class via 7-0 decision over Minot senior and No. 2 seed Kaydn Turnbow to rebound from a runner-up finish at 195 pounds a season ago.
Jamestown magic continues for Walters
Since last summer, Jackson Walters has played in an American Legion baseball state championship game, the Class 11A football state championship game, and now he’s a wrestling champion, as well.
The one-loss senior was the top seed at 182 pounds and he proved why on Friday, edging Williston junior and No. 6 seed Ty Wiedrich 3-2.
Standing atop the podium at the Fargodome has been a goal of Walters’ since last season, when he finished runner-up at 170 pounds.
“This is the goal. Ever since what happened last year, I’ve been working with my coaches and we’ve just been trying to get better. Get better every day and keep working hard. It ended up finishing well, which is what I wanted to do.”
A second-place finish in 2022 seems like a blip on the radar for Walters now. With the Blue Jays winning their second straight Class 11A football title at Dakota Bowl XXX in November 2022, it’s the second state title for Walters in a little more than three months.
“I’m very fortunate,” Walters said. “We went to the baseball championship, the football championship and now here. But I was always thinking in the back of my mind — the match I had in the finals being thrown and then trying to come back from it and I wasn’t able to — that was always back there and that was always pushing me to be better as a person and in everything in life.”
The North Dakota high school state wrestling tournament concludes Saturday with the dual competitions at the Fargodome. Doors open to the public at 9 a.m. with quarterfinals commencing at 10 a.m., semifinals and consolation semis at noon, and the championship rounds at 2 p.m.
Class A Championships
Team scores - Top 20
1. Bismarck 172.5; 2. Bismarck Century 151.5; 3. Williston 145; 4. West Fargo 130; 5. West Fargo Sheyenne 125; 6. Jamestown 121.5; 7. Valley City 119.5; 8. Minot 114; 9. Fargo Davies 106; 10. Bismarck Legacy 101; 11. Bismarck St. Mary’s 94.5; 12. Dickinson 78.5; 13. Fargo North 67; 14. Grand Forks Central 52; 15. Watford City 48; 16. Devils Lake 36.5; 17. Mandan 33; 18. Turtle Mountain 28; 19. Breckenridge/Wahpeton 17; 20. Grand Forks Red River 3
Championship - Olav Taylor (Bismarck Century) 39-5 won by fall over Korbyn Draper (Williston) 32-11 (Fall 3:37)
3rd Place Match - Zach Lilly (Fargo Davies) 38-11 won by major decision over Bridger Owens (Bismarck) 30-16 (MD 13-2)
5th Place Match - Connor Lamb (West Fargo) 27-12 won by fall over Jacob Bild (West Fargo) 11-15 (Fall 0:00)
7th Place Match - William Marks (Bismarck St Mary`s) 11-14 won by major decision over Kaden Manske (West Fargo Sheyenne) 22-16 (MD 14-3)
Championship - Broden Muske (Valley City) 45-3 won by decision over Kaydn Turnbow (Minot) 17-2 (Dec 7-0)
3rd Place Match - Landon Riely (Williston) 34-8 won by fall over Ayden Schlafman (Bismarck) 25-16 (Fall 2:03)
5th Place Match - Logan Moore (West Fargo) 18-10 won by decision over Michael Torgerson (Grand Forks Central) 33-16 (Dec 6-2)
7th Place Match - Ethan Gall (Jamestown) 22-21 won by fall over Ryzon Allery (Turtle Mountain) 8-10 (Fall 3:29)
Championship - Nivon Hayes (Watford City) 36-5 won by decision over Dylan Carlquist (Fargo Davies) 27-3 (Dec 2-0)
3rd Place Match - Daniel Suda (Grand Forks Central) 36-7 won by decision over Treyson Renken (Bismarck Legacy) 30-13 (Dec 4-2)
5th Place Match - Gunner Cadreau (Fargo North) 21-6 won in sudden victory - 1 over Amaree Williams (West Fargo) 30-16 (SV-1 6-4)
7th Place Match - Easton Egeberg (Bismarck) 10-8 won by major decision over San Inman (Watford City) 4-6 (MD 12-4)
Championship - Nicolas Enzminger (Bismarck Legacy) 42-2 won by fall over Aaron Morris (Williston) 28-10 (Fall 0:38)
3rd Place Match - Jake Glaser (Dickinson) 30-11 won by tech fall over Jack Schauer (Jamestown) 32-13 (TF-1.5 4:41 (17-0))
5th Place Match - Cole Sauvageau (Fargo Davies) 39-9 won by decision over Alijah Piatz (Bismarck Century) 11-9 (Dec 3-0)
7th Place Match - Grady Iverson (Bismarck Century) 30-16 won by decision over Chase Clemenson (West Fargo Sheyenne) 24-12 (Dec 11-5)
Championship - Koltyn Grebel (Valley City) 44-1 won by decision over Joey Enzminger (Bismarck Legacy) 37-6 (Dec 12-6)
3rd Place Match - Hudson Egeberg (Bismarck) 33-11 won by decision over Kellan Larson (Williston) 31-15 (Dec 8-2)
5th Place Match - Seamus Kuklok (Bismarck Century) 23-14 won by decision over David Llamas (Minot) 24-18 (Dec 5-3)
7th Place Match - Aidan Dahmus (Dickinson) 27-15 won by decision over Nolan Mack (Fargo Davies) 23-25 (Dec 6-5)
Championship - Ben DeForest (Bismarck) 29-2 won by decision over Landon Zink (West Fargo Sheyenne) 32-9 (Dec 7-0)
3rd Place Match - Gavin Morel (Dickinson) 27-14 won by decision over Wyatt Turner (Dickinson) 22-14 (Dec 6-3)
5th Place Match - Braeden Halverson (Bismarck) 9-7 won by fall over Tanner Thoreson (West Fargo) 18-16 (Fall 1:42)
7th Place Match - Cole Bohne (Bismarck Century) 17-16 won by decision over Aiden Keilman (Minot) 27-19 (Dec 7-6)
Championship - Jesse Thompson (Bismarck Legacy) 40-3 won by decision over Marquis Richter (Mandan) 25-12 (Dec 7-2)
3rd Place Match - Jack Coles (Williston) 34-13 won by fall over Gage Glaser (Dickinson) 31-10 (Fall 3:51)
5th Place Match - Owen Lindstrom (Devils Lake) 31-6 won by fall over Pete Rasmussen (Jamestown) 35-13 (Fall 3:22)
7th Place Match - Ethan Kuntz (Bismarck Century) 24-19 won by decision over Ty Burton (Minot) 14-22 (Dec 6-1)
Championship - Gabe Mortensen (Minot) 45-3 won by fall over Tucker Johnson (Valley City) 38-8 (Fall 2:37)
3rd Place Match - Colin Steidler (Bismarck St Mary`s) 28-14 won by major decision over Brody Ferderer (Bismarck Century) 31-13 (MD 10-0)
5th Place Match - Wade Isom (Williston) 28-17 won by fall over Owen Magnell (West Fargo) 23-18 (Fall 2:01)
7th Place Match - Jackson Alexander (West Fargo Sheyenne) 30-14 won by major decision over Daniel Charboneau (Devils Lake) 7-13 (MD 12-0)
Championship - Koye Grebel (Valley City) 44-2 won by tech fall over Augustus Maughan (Fargo North) 35-12 (TF-1.5 4:33 (15-0))
3rd Place Match - Daniel Fernandez (Minot) 41-6 won by decision over Landon McMahen (Bismarck) 29-13 (Dec 9-4)
5th Place Match - Joryn Richter (Bismarck St Mary`s) 19-15 won by fall over Evan Berg (Minot) 25-17 (Fall 2:25)
7th Place Match - Colton King (Dickinson) 25-20 won by decision over Brier Arnegard (Watford City) 15-28 (Dec 6-2)
Championship - Kaden DeCoteau (Bismarck Century) 40-4 won by decision over Wyatt Kosidowski (Fargo Davies) 42-6 (Dec 1-0)
3rd Place Match - Ethan Dennis (Watford City) 39-14 won by decision over Marcus Johnson (West Fargo Sheyenne) 29-12 (Dec 8-4)
5th Place Match - Brendan Winn-Kelley (Grand Forks Central) 26-14 won by major decision over Stephen Leonard (Turtle Mountain) 19-15 (MD 15-5)
7th Place Match - Dylan Kostelecky (Bismarck) 34-12 won by fall over Espen Kunze (Valley City) 22-14 (Fall 1:55)
Championship - John Richter (Bismarck St Mary`s) 16-3 won by decision over Tyler Porter (West Fargo) 37-3 (Dec 10-5)
3rd Place Match - Aden Braun (Jamestown) 16-3 won by major decision over Brayden Morris (Bismarck Century) 34-14 (MD 15-6)
5th Place Match - Tate Olson (Bismarck) 33-3 won by fall over Colin Parisien (Turtle Mountain) 26-14 (Fall 2:58)
7th Place Match - Carter Zink (West Fargo Sheyenne) 24-12 won by decision over Tyson Rice (Williston) 25-18 (Dec 6-4)
Championship - LJ Araujo (Bismarck) 42-0 won by fall over Sawyer Carr (West Fargo Sheyenne) 30-7 (Fall 4:26)
3rd Place Match - Harrison Grad (Bismarck St Mary`s) 27-13 won by major decision over Malachi Werremeyer (Fargo Davies) 31-13 (MD 14-2)
5th Place Match - David Erlandson (Breckenridge/Wahpeton) 30-18 won by injury default over Emery Slater (Mandan) 21-18 (Inj. 0:50)
7th Place Match - Jax Gums (Bismarck Century) 28-18 won by fall over Adyn Eckart (Jamestown) 18-25 (Fall 0:33)
Championship - Waylon Cressell (West Fargo) 39-3 won by decision over Connor Manske (West Fargo Sheyenne) 32-8 (Dec 7-4)
3rd Place Match - Colton Mewes (Jamestown) 36-5 won by tech fall over Cole Radenz (Bismarck Century) 24-12 (TF-1.5 4:09 (20-5))
5th Place Match - DeJarius Jones (Minot) 38-12 won in sudden victory - 1 over Hugh Meyer (Dickinson) 34-15 (SV-1 7-3)
7th Place Match - Jerys Burckhard (Bismarck Century) 14-9 won in sudden victory - 1 over James Bozovsky (Dickinson) 27-18 (SV-1 4-2)
Championship - Jackson Walters (Jamestown) 32-1 won by decision over Ty Wiedrich (Williston) 29-11 (Dec 3-2)
3rd Place Match - William Ward (Fargo North) 24-4 won by fall over Tate Estenson (Devils Lake) 20-6 (Fall 0:51)
5th Place Match - Tyrus Jangula (Bismarck) 27-14 won by medical forfeit over Kaleb Porter (West Fargo) 30-6 (M. For.)
7th Place Match - Max Cunningham (Minot) 17-6 won by decision over Maddox Weigel (West Fargo Sheyenne) 28-18 (Dec 3-0)