FARGO — The final chapter of the rivalry between Lisbon's Jordan Sours and South Border's Jake Herr is waiting to be written at this weekend's North Dakota Class B state wrestling tournament at the Fargodome.
The latest chapter in the battle finally went Herr’s way in the 160-pound championship match at last Saturday’s Region 1 tournament, as he defeated Sours by 3-1 decision.
Herr had fallen to Sours four times in a row prior to last Saturday’s triumph, but had come close previously, taking his rival to overtime at the Lisbon Storhaug tournament. But this time he took the prize.
Sours and Herr will be favored to face off one more time this Saturday as the top two seeds at Class B 160 in the individual tournament. Despite falling to Herr in their most recent encounter, Sours enters the state as the No. 1 seed, while Herr is No. 2.
“It’s a close one,” South Border coach Adam Bettenhausen said. “Both guys know they have to be on top of their game or they’re not going to come out on top.”
Sours is a two-time state champion, winning the 152-pound title to cap a 39-0 season last year and defeating Herr in the championship match at 145 pounds in 2018.
Lisbon coach Richard Lacina says that Sours’ greatest strength are his quick feet.
“He is so quick and smooth on his feet,” Lacina said. “He’s got great takedowns and good shot defense. He’s led the team in takedowns a couple of times. He’s really smooth and once he sets the pace on his feet, he can really take control of a match.”
As well as being able to take control of a match, Sours takes control of the wrestling room. The coach says he is a leader for everybody on the team all the way from the 106-pounder to the heavyweight.
“It’s great to see somebody who buys into that team aspect,” Lacina said. “We’ve got a whole herd of them. We’ve got seven seniors that have bought in and they all want to make each other better.”
In the family
Wrestling is the family business for Central Cass brothers Aidan and Cade Olson-Tingelstad. They grew up watching their relatives wrestle always knew that they wanted to be like them and wrestle, too.
“Our family from Lisbon is all wrestlers and they’re all really good,” Aidan Olson-Tingelstad said. “We grew up watching them. We had to be wrestlers or else they would make fun of us.”
The brother each won region titles at the Region 2 tournament last weekend and are looking to follow that up with a successful state tournament. Cade is seeded fifth at 106 pounds and will face Minot Ryan’s Lane Cooper in the first round, while Aidan is unseeded and will face fourth seed Jaden Schmidt of Lisbon in the first round.
“I wrestled Schmidt from Lisbon and I’m so close to beating him,” Aidan Olson-Tingelstad said. “I just have to have that mental game and be stronger. That’s what stands between me and a state title. He caught me in a dump and beat me at Storhaug, but we were neck and neck the entire match.”
However his first-round match goes, Aidan Olson-Tingelstad says he's always going to be there cheering for his younger brother.
“If he’s on the mat, I’m freaking out on the side of it,” the older brother said. “It’s amazing. We’ve wrestled together our whole lives. It’s just part of our family.”
Cade Olson-Tingelstad, an eighth-grader, said he has improved over the course of the season and thinks he's at his best heading into the state tournament during his first season on varsity.
“I’ve gotten a lot better on bottom, getting out” Cade said. “One thing I need to work on is keeping him down when I’m on top and working my moves on top.”
Motivated by loss
Hillsboro-Central Valley senior 126-pounder Luke Leshuk has used a loss in January as his motivation for the final month of the season.
On his team’s senior day on Jan. 16, the last time he wrestled in front of his home fans in his home gym, he got pinned with one second left in a dual against Crookston (Minn.).
“It stung for about three days,” Leshuk said. “But it has pushed me during conditioning and in the practice room when things get tough. It makes me think about all the time I’ve put into this sport and where I want to be at the end of the season.”
Leshuk (34-3) wants to be at the top of the podium. But he enters the state tournament as the No. 2 seed in a loaded 126-pound bracket. The top seed is Kindred’s Carter Shmitz (30-5), last year’s 113-pound state champion Caleb Nielsen (35-10) is the No. 4 seed, and Williams County’s Ethan Wonser (40-4) is the third seed.
“I just have to push the pace the entire tournament,” Leshuk said. “Keep my feet moving in the neutral position and stay a monster on top.”