FARGO — Kindred’s Carter Schmitz is looking for payback in the North Dakota Class B state wrestling tournament semifinals.
The fourth-seeded, 132-pound wrestler will face Williams County’s Ethan Wonser in Friday’s semifinal round in a rematch of last year’s 126-pound championship match. Wonser won a tightly contested 2-1 decision over Schmitz last year, but the Vikings’ grappler is ready for another shot in a loaded 132-pound weight class.
“I didn’t get to see either the 1 or 2 seed before the state tournament. It’ll be a surprise facing Ethan Wonser as the 1 seed,” Schmitz said. “It was a good battle that we had last year. I’m looking forward to scrapping it out with him again in the semifinals this year.”
Each of the top-four 132-pounders were top-three finishers at state last year. No. 1 Wonser was first and No. 4 Schmitz was second at 126. No. 3 Marshall Lindgren of South Border was the state champion at 120, No. 4 Cade Warbis of Hettinger-Scranton was third at 132 and No. 5 Mike Nelson of Lisbon was third at 113.
Schmitz was a state champion at 106 as an eighth-grader in 2018, third at 106 as a seventh-grader in 2017, and second at 120 as a ninth-grader in 2019.
The two semifinal matches are Schmitz against Wonser and Lindgren against Warbis.
“It feels good to be back to the second day,” Schmitz said. “The second day is where it all happens.”
Schmitz got to the second day by winning a pair of matches on Thursday. After a first-round bye, he pinned Kenmare-Bowbells’ Landan Spear in 27 seconds in the first second round. He then defeated Nelson 6-1 in the quarterfinals.
Schmitz led the quarterfinal 4-1 going into the third period, powered by a takedown 47 seconds into the first and another takedown 42 seconds into the second. He got a reversal early in the third to take a 6-1 lead and knew he had it locked up from there.
“That reversal definitely seals it up for me,” Schmitz said. “When I get ahead by at least five, then I know it’s about wrapped up even if it’s still early in the third. I know I can fight my way out of moves if somebody gets me in them, or I can play it off or just keep going back at it and get my points at it.”
Nelson reached the quarters with a pair of pins in the first two rounds. He pinned Bishop Ryan’s Parker Baier in 39 seconds in the first round and Harvey Wells County’s Kayl Sieg in 3:28 in the second round.
Lindgren had a first-round bye before pinning Central Cass’ Ryker Bruesch in the second round and won a 9-0 major decision over No. 6 Carson Brown of Pembina County North.
Lindgren took down Brown in the first period, scored a takedown and three back points in the second and got a takedown in the third.
The 132-pounder is one of six Mustangs to make it to the semifinals. He's joined by 195 No. 1 Nathan Schauer, 220 No. 2 Ashton Peterson, 120 No. 5 Tristan Lepp, 145 No. 4 Jon Shockley and 152 No. 6 Baxter Sand.
From second string to semifinals
Lisbon junior heavyweight Josh Shearer was a second-stringer last year. This year he is undefeated going into the state semifinals.
He said the turnaround from last year to this season is all about having a winning mentality, and the support of his family and his teammates. He came into the season 35 pounds overweight, needing to cut down from 320 to reach the 285 weight limit for heavyweights. His family and teammates pushed him to attack the season, cut down and have his best season possible.
“To go from second-string heavyweight to having such a good start to this year has been awesome,” Shearer said. “It was just my team and my mom really pushing me hard to get down to this 285. It’s really paid off a lot and I owe them all the credit. If they wouldn't have pushed me, I wouldn’t have done it. I’d probably still be at home right now eating Dot’s pretzels.”
Shearer went 2-0 on Thursday, pinning Bowman County’s Wyatt Roberts in 1:08 in the round of 16, and beating No. 5 Rhett Moch of Ellendale-Edgeley-Kulm 8-4 in the quarterfinal.
Shearer built up a 5-0 lead over Moch in the first period, but Moch took the second 4-1 to send it into the third with Shearer leading 6-4. The Broncos heavyweight scored a reversal right away to open the third and rode it out from there.
Shearer will face No. 1 seed Nick Hodges (25-3) of Velva in the semifinals.
“Rhett is a big leg rider. This was my third time wrestling him, so I knew he was going to put a leg in,” Shearer said. “So I had my hand ready to grab it and just go over. It was a good strategy to get that reversal.”
Shearer is one of six Broncos to make it to the semifinals. He’s joined by No. 2 120-pounder Blaze Reinke, No. 1 Boeden Greenley (152), No. 2 Jaden Schmidt (160), No. 1 Jordan Sours (170) and No. 3 Averey Dick (195).
Greenley, a two-time state champion, only needed about two and a half minutes to win three matches on Thursday. He won in 12 seconds in the first round, 47 seconds in the second round and 1:37 in the quarterfinals. He faces New Salem-Almont’s Ethan Hammons in the semifinals.
“I was really proud of all of my teammates, especially those younger guys never having been around here before,” said Schmidt, who had a 17-second pin in the first round, a 4:36 pin in the second and won a 7-1 decision in the quarterfinal. “Even if some of them aren’t winning, they’re learning. And I love seeing my classmates and everybody else on the team winning. It’s great.”