"There's no doubt our guys are competing. I'm proud of them," Devils Lake head wrestling coach Todd Lambrecht told the Journal.
By Harry Lipsiea
In a dual against one of the top programs in the EDC, the Devils Lake wrestling team put together a strong showing Thursday evening at home. It ultimately came down to the very end as Valley City ultimately edged Devils Lake 41-36.
The night featured hotly-contested matches, dramatic endings and an enthusiastic crowd. It was a solid night of wrestling, Devils Lake head coach Todd Lambrecht told the Journal.
"There were a lot of really competitive, exciting matches. It was awesome," Lambrecht said. "We've been moving guys around all year and have asked different individuals to step up. I think the guys really did step up and wrestle well today. Valley City is a tough team. They have some great wrestlers and good coaches."
The Firebirds were without their 195-pounder Thursday due to sickness. It could have played a factor in the dual as Devils Lake lost by pin at that weight.
"That hurt us," Lambrecht said. "But, that is taking nothing away from Valley City. That's a very good team."
Devils Lake received a strong performance from its younger wrestlers in the lower weights. Brant Fisk, Everett Gunther and Sam Shomento earned wins by falls at 113, 120 and 126-pound weight classes. Lambrecht also credited Kaleb Schwandt, 106, and Chandler Gunther, 132, for wrestling well in their matches. It's a good sign with the underclassmen competing at a high level.
"It's been great to see those guys keep getting better," the coach said. "Our younger kids have kept stepping up and the more experience guys have done a great job of providing leadership."
Senior Jace Estenson picked up a win at 182 pounds in 36 seconds. Also getting their hands raised in victories for Devils Lake were James Fisk, 138, and Jaztin Hunt, 285, who each won by forfeit.
The losses suffered in the dual were all in competitive matches. Lambrecht was pleased with how the wrestlers battled throughout the night.
"There's no doubt our guys are competing. I'm proud of them," he said. "We have to remember how important those losses can be. I feel you learn a lot more from a loss than a win as long as you learn from it. It shows you what you need to work on. Our guys have done a nice job working hard in practice."
The dual against Valley City was the first of three home events in the next three weeks. On Thursday, Jan. 26, Devils Lake will compete in a triangular with West Fargo and Carrington. The Firebirds have a home dual Feb. 2 against Grand Forks Central. Area fans are encouraged to attend the events, Lambrecht said.
"When we have a great crowd, it makes such a difference," he added. "The kids love having the support. This year has been awesome that way. I can't thank everyone enough for coming out. It means the world to our program."
The full results are as follows:
106: Bennett Rogelstad (VACI) over Kaleb Schwandt (DELA) (Fall 1:06) 113: Brant Fisk (DELA) over Austin Rogelstad (VACI) (TB-1 (Fall) 6:00) 120: Everett Gunther (DELA) over Jonah Schuldheisz (VACI) (Fall 3:44) 126: Sam Shomento (DELA) over Evan Mielke (VACI) (Fall 3:12) 132: Parker Larson (VACI) over Chandler Gunther (DELA) (TF 22-5 4:00) 138: Parker Vilandre (DELA) over (VACI) (For.) 145: Jonathon Langer (VACI) over Parker Vilandre (DELA) (Dec 7-2) 152: David Peterson (VACI) over Colby Rance (DELA) (Fall 5:33) 160: Sage Kvien (VACI) over Cody Bjornson (DELA) (Dec 6-2) 170: Logan Erlandson (VACI) over Luke Knowski (DELA) (Fall 2:17) 182: Jace Estenson (DELA) over Jonathan Redfearn (VACI) (Fall 0:36) 195: Jake Tangen (VACI) over James Tice (DELA) (Fall 0:59) 220: Jaden Oestern (VACI) (Fall 4:16) over George DeMarce (DELA) (Fall 4:16), 285: Jaztin Hunt (DELA) over (VACI) (For.) (DELA Pin 3.00)