Things looked different at this year’s Class A state wrestling tournament, but the Packers and Mustangs managed to find success with a combined 11 state placers.
West Fargo put six on the stand at the individual state tournament. West Fargo Sheyenne placed five on the podium.
West Fargo senior KC Ortiz was the lone finalist for the Packers. He improved on last year’s fifth-place finish to leave the Fargodome the runner-up at 285 pounds. Fourth-seeded Ortiz lost a close 3-2 decision to top-seeded Wahpeton senior Josh Krump in the championship.
The Packers got two third-place finishes in Tyler Porter and Nicholas Anderson. Sixth-seeded Porter edged third-seeded Tim Kadrmas of Bismarck Legacy in a 2-1 decision at 145 pounds. Nicholas Anderson, the No. 4 seed at 152, also topped the higher seed in his third-place match, grabbing a 4-1 decision over Williston’s third-seeded Cutter Jones.
West Fargo Sheyenne’s Will Post entered the tournament as the No. 12 seed at 182, and left a fifth-place finisher. He secured his final win in underdog fashion with a 7-4 decision over Valley City’s Jonathan Redfearn, the No. 2 seed.
The Mustangs got a second fifth-place finish from Connor Manske at 138 pounds. Manske suffered a season-ending injury at the East Region tournament last year and missed the state tournament.
Sheyenne junior Kellen Hoornaert was the sixth-place finisher at 145 pounds. West Fargo’s Tanner Nein took sixth in the 160-pounds bout, losing by fall at 4:16 to Dickinson’s Cody Booth in the fifth-place match.
Sheyenne’s Marcus Johnson pinned his way to a seventh-place finish (1:38) at 126 pounds over Bismarck Century’s Jacob Ersland. West Fargo’s Kaleb Porter placed seventh in the 170-pounds bout with a 7-1 decision over Bismarck St. Mary’s Jaxyn Richter.
Packers senior Housten Visto ended his high school career with a seventh-place spot on the podium at 220 pounds.
Mustangs senior Eloy Flores reached the podium with an eighth-place finish at 120 pounds.
The Mustangs made their Class A team dual state tournament debut Saturday as the fourth seed from the East. They lost to top-seeded and two-time reigning dual champion Bismarck High in the quarterfinals. The Demons rolled Valley City 60-7 for their second straight dual championship, the highest margin of victory in tournament history.
Sheyenne moved to the consolation semifinals to face Devils Lake, eventually falling to the Firebirds 48-27.