Madison sending eight wrestlers to State A Tournament

MADISON'S SAM OLSON (top) looks for a hold against Sioux Falls O'Gorman's Beau Beavers in the 138-pound championship match during the Region 1A Tournament on Saturday at Watertown. Beavers won by a 12-6 decision.

The Madison Bulldogs will send eight wrestlers to the State A Tournament in Rapid City this week.

Qualifying for the state tournament are Caleb Hodges (106), Truman Stoller (120), Isaac Henry (126), Sam Olson (138), Jess Englert (152), Sutton Bern (160), Riley Kearin (170) and Tyler Reck (285).

Madison placed fifth with 132.5 points in the Region 1A Tournament held in Watertown on Saturday. Winning the team title was Watertown with 230.5 points.

Following the Arrows were Tea Area 174, Dell Rapids 151, West Central 147.5, Madison 132.5, Brookings 121.5 Sioux Falls O'Gorman 105 and Sioux Falls Roosevelt 55.

Henry and Olson placed second in their respective weight divisions.

"We've been talking about the importance of taking advantage of opportunities, and these kids did a great job of capitalizing on Saturday," Madison Coach Chris Waba said. "These kids are now fighting for the 340 square inches of wall space in our wrestling room to put their name," he said, "and taking advantage of opportunities is going to again be key to their success."

Henry pinned Gabriel Stern of Brookings in 1:55 in his first-round match. Henry earned a 15-9 decision over Canyon Lowman of Dell Rapids in the semifinal match.

Tea Area's Wyatt Stuntebeck gained a major decision 13-2 over Henry in the championship match.

Olson had a first-round bye and then earned a technical fall 16-1 over Elijah Leonhardt of Sioux Falls Roosevelt in the semifinals.

Beau Beavers of Sioux Falls O'Gorman earned a 12-6 win over Olson in the championship match.

Hodges placed third. Stoller, Englert, Bern, Kearin and Reck all placed fourth.

"We had six wrestlers come up short on Saturday, but it was not for lack of effort," Waba said. "I thought even in defeat they represented themselves well and made their opponents fight for everything they got. They still have another year or more to get it done, and I believe they are all only a few steps away."

The state tournament will begin on Thursday and will run through the weekend.