Davidson is state champion

Ray Maloney, Sports
Devils Lake’s Brock Davidson receives a congratulatory hug from assistant coach Brandon Flynn after Davidson scored a 6-3 win over Bismarck’s Ethan Dockter to claim the 145 pound state championship Saturday afternoon at the Fargodome. Davidson became the 15th state champion in Devils Lake High School history with the victory.

FARGO, N.D. — Deep down Brock Davidson knew something plenty of people expected. On Saturday, Davidson’s vision became a reality.

Davidson scored a 6-3 decision over Bismarck’s Ethan Dockter to claim the 145-pound championship at the state wrestling tournament at the Fargodome.

Davidson was one of five Devils Lake wrestlers to finish among the top eight in their respective weight classes. The Firebirds tallied 64.5 points to finish 14th in the team standings.

Tanner Hilliard and Jacob Lagasse finished fifth and eighth, respectively, in their weight divisions.

Austin Schall finished eighth at 125 pounds, as did teammate Chris Sommer at 189 pounds.

Bismarck won its third straight team title by outdistancing West Fargo 191-188.5 ine final team standings.

Century (157), Fargo South (144) and Belcourt (143.5) rounded out the top five.

The new state champion, the 15th in Devils Lake High School history, scored a takedown of Dockter just 34 seconds into their title match.

“He did what he needed to do,” Devils Lake coach Jay Schneider said of Davidson’s performance, especially in the championship match.

Dockter, known for his footwork, never had much of a chance at showing that.

Davidson was in control for much of the match and never allowed Dockter to seriously challenge to gain any momentum.

“I knew that if I could ride him and keep him on the mat, I had a chance to win,” Davidson said of his strategy of the match.

“On top, (Davidson) is tough,” Schneider said. “He kept control of the match,

With Davidson clinging to the 6-3 advantage as the match drew to its conclusion, the plan was simple.

“I just didn’t want to do something ridiculous,” Davidson said. “I could smell the victory and I was hoping the time would just fly by. It turned out to be the longest 30 seconds of my life.”

Davidson wasted little time in solidfying his path into the final. He won his first two matches by fall and earned a technical fall in the semifinal round to set up the title match with Dockter, a sophomore.

Davidson won his first match with a pin of Fargo North’s Caleb Worral in just 48 seconds to send him into the next round.

Davidson advanced to the state championship match after pinning Wahpeton’s Cole Gillis in 1:45 before defeating Kaccee Morin, of Grand Forks Central, with a technical fall in 3:31 to continue his quest for a state championship.

While Davidson’s title was the obvious individual highlight of the three-day tournament for Schneider and the Firebirds, the 14th-place finish was also something the coach and team are certain to savor.

“I am happy with the way we wrestled,” the Devils Lake coach said. “We had two unseeded wrestlers finish in the top eight. We had at least two other wrestlers that came within one win of placing.

“If this was not the best we have wrestled all year, it was close to the best,” Schneider added. “That’s all you can ask for as a coach.”

Hilliard finished fifth at 140 pounds. He entered the tournament with a 25-15 record on the season and was seeded No 7.

He defeated Fargo Shanley’s Zach Manthie 11-1 in his first match, but was sent to the wrestlebacks after dropping a 2-1 tie-breaker decision to Johnny Schmitz of Jamestown. Schmitz went on to finish second after being pinned by Bismarck’s Joey Schumacher at 5:18 of their title match.

A 6-5 win over Fargo North’s  Brandon Lee sent Hilliard into the fifth-place match, where he pinned Dickinson’s Pat Tangen in 3:16.

Lagasse also competed in the fifth-place match at his weight division, but came up short of matching Hilliard’s performance.

Lagasse was pinned in his final two matches to finish sixth.

Schall dropped a 1-0 decision to Dickinson’s Alec Lindsey to finish eighth, while Bismarck’s Tavin Johnson pinned Sommer in 55 seconds of their match for seventh place at 189 pounds.

Sommer, like Davidson, won his first match of the tournament, but was unable to advance in the championship round.

A 6-5 win over Bryan Fretheim, of Williston, moved Sommer into the next round, where Tyler Lehman, the No.-2- ranked wrestler in the nation at 189 pounds, scored a pin in just 18 seconds.

Jacob Clouse (112) and Brandon Ramsey (152) both came one win short of placing at the state tournament.

Clouse, a sophomore nearly stunned No. 4-seed Cole Mehring in their opening-round match before the Fargo South freshman secured an 11-10 victory to send Clouse into the wrestlebacks.

Mehring had pinned Clouse in their previous meetings this season, according to Schneider.

“(Clouse) battled hard in that match and had a terrific tournament,” Schneider said.

Ramsey, unseeded at his weight class, took Mandan’s Tate Schwagler into the third period before being pinned at 5:33 of their opening-round tilt.

Schwagler went on to earn the state title when Bismarck’s  Drew Spaulding forfeited the championship match after tearing a rotator cuff in his semifinal match.

Ramsey pinned Dickinson’s Michale Dobitz at 2:27 in the first round of wrestlebacks. Ramsey’s season came to a close in the next match when he was pinned in 2:09 by Fargo South’s Luke Paper.

“Clouse and Ramsey both had outstanding tournaments,” Schneider said. “They both came up short ... but both battled.”