Devils Lake Wrestling dominates on home mat against Red River, 51-6

John B. Crane
Devils Lake Journal

DEVILS LAKE – It did not take long for the Devils Lake Firebirds to settle in on their home turf on Military Appreciation Night. 

“Settle in,” of course, would refer to constant grappling, gripping and clinching against Grand Forks Red River at Devils Lake Sports Center Tuesday evening. 

Devils Lake vs. Grand Forks Red River Wrestling 11/23/21

From start to finish, aggression was what the varsity wrestling team illustrated on the mat as the Firebirds went on to dominate the Roughriders, 51-6, on Nov. 23. 

With the win, the Firebirds have started their 2021-22 campaign on a strong foot. The Firebirds placed seven wrestlers during the Minot Early Bird Tournament over the weekend. 

“A lot of good things,” Devils Lake head coach Brendon Flynn said. “We had a good showing at Minot, and our older guys really performed well. That is what I talked about [in] in that mental toughness, just knowing how to prepare yourself for battle, because it is a battle between you and someone else. It is a battle of wills, and just knowing that, going out there…I thought they did a great job. Our young kids did a great job. You are not really sure what you are going to expect. You have a lot of highs, a lot of lows, a lot of question marks with some of our young guys, but they came out tonight, stepped up and did very well.” 

It did not take an in-depth analysis to see why Flynn was pleased. Even when you discounted Devils Lake’s four victories via forfeit (David Campbell, Jenna Gerhardt, Tucker Bennett and Landon Zinke), the Firebirds excelled in the pinning department. In Devils Lake’s seven non-forfeit matches, four ended in a pin (Owen Lindstrom in 1:36, Colton Young in 1:42, James Charboneau in 2:28 and Marcus Heiser in 5:07). 

In Devils Lake’s three remaining matches, two ended with a victory in favor of the Roughriders (Tanner Swanson over Peyton Horton and John Bjerke over Boden Alvord). Tate Estenson claimed the one decision-deciding win for the Firebirds (over Troy Stenehjem). 

Although his team still has several areas they need to improve on, Flynn was satisfied with the performance and believes the momentum from the match will carry over. 

“I thought the turnout was great tonight for the community,” Flynn said. “That was a lot of fun to see. It gets the kids excited. It is exciting for the program…we have a lot to build on. A lot of good things to build on. I thought our leaders stepped up, led the team tonight, got the wins we were supposed to and set a good example for these young guys.” 

The Firebirds will next tackle Grand Forks Central and Wahpeton at Red River High School on Nov. 30. 

Full results (by order/weight class): 

Final score: Devils Lake (DL) 51.0 Grand Forks Red River (GFRR) 6.0

285: David Campbell (DL) over (GFRR) (For.) 

106: Jenna Gerhardt (DL) over (GFRR) (For.) 

113: Tucker Bennett (DL) over (GFRR) (For.) 

120: Owen Lindstrom (DL) over Brandon Gehman (GFRR) (Fall 1:36) 

126: Double Forfeit 

132: Landon Zinke (DL) over (GFRR) (For.) 

138: Tanner Swanson (GFRR) over Peyton Horton (DL) (Dec 10-4) 

145: Colton Young (DL) over Max McCarthy (GFRR) (Fall 1:42) 

152: Double Forfeit 

160: James Charboneau (DL) over Kelly Middleton (GFRR) (Fall 2:28) 

170: Tate Estenson (DL) over Troy Stenehjem (GFRR) (Dec 7-3) 

182: Double Forfeit 

195: Marcus Heiser (DL) over Cooper Schweigert (GFRR) (Fall 5:07) 

220: John Bjerke (GFRR) over Boden Alvord (DL) (Dec 5-2)