Bluejackets send 8 to State
The Cambridge-Isanti wrestlers put together a very strong showing at the Section 7AAA Individual tourney they hosted at CIHS Feb. 25-26. The Bluejackets set a team record with eight members earning State berths out of the rugged section brackets.
The Class AAA State Individuals will run Friday-Saturday, March 4-5 at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center. The opening round begins at 1 p.m. on Friday, with quarterfinals at 7 p.m. that evening followed by wrestlebacks. Consolation quarters begin at 10 a.m. Saturday and championship semifinals at 11:15 a.m.
Third and fifth-place matches take place at 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon, with the championship matches at 7:30 p.m. Here’s a breakdown of each Bluejacket State entrant’s work at sections, along with a look at his opening State match:
Tyler Tischer, 125 runner-up
Tischer opened sections with a pin, then the junior held off St. Michael-Albertville’s Mallinger 10-9 in the semifinals. 2nd-ranked Austin Leibel of St. Francis then prevailed 9-5 in the championship match.
“Tyler showed signs of sticking right with Leibel. Maybe he’ll get another shot at him at State,” said C-I Coach Neil Jennissen.
6th-ranked Tischer (15-4) opens State against Bemidji’s Jake Crosby (30-11). A win could have him facing top-ranked Dakota Trom of Apple Valley in the quarterfinals.
Travis Holt, 135 runner-up
Sophomore Holt opened with a pin before earning an 8-5 decision over 4th-ranked Eric Stevens of Elk River. Andover’s Sam Stewart then slipped past Holt 6-4 in the championship.
“That was a typical Travis tourney. He and Stevens really were tearing into each other in that semifinal match,” said Coach Jennissen.
6th-ranked Holt (34-8) gets another stiff test in his State opener against 7th-ranked Weston Droegemueller of Wayzata (38-4).
Cody Skog, 140 champ
4th-ranked Skog continued his solid first season with the Bluejackets by hammering out two pins to start his 7AAA tourney. In the finals, he defeated SMA’s Nerdahl 8-6 for the title.
“Cody just went out there and wrestled his slick style to be one of our two champions,” described Coach Jennissen.
Skog (35-7) gets 9th-ranked Gavin Larsen of Chaska (30-7) in his opening State match.
Adam Kelling, 145 runner-up
Senior Kelling broke through the 7AAA tourney for his first State trip after beginning with falls in the first two rounds. In the 145 championship, 2nd-ranked Holton Lubinski of Elk River won by a 10-5 decision.
“Adam wrestled a pretty solid match against Lubinski, giving him all he could handle.” said Coach Jennissen.
9th-ranked Kelling (31-9) opens State against 4th-ranked Daniel Woiwor of Apple Valley (33-4).
Cody Glines, 152 runner-up
Senior Glines was an emotional favorite to reach State, breaking through from his 4th-seed at sections. After opening with a 6-0 decision, he knocked off top-seed Jake Lillie of St. Michael 5-3 in the semis before Andover’s Corey Parsons won 12-2 in the finals.
“That was a big upset for Cody over Lillie,” described Coach Jennissen. “He was tremendously steel-minded and didn’t chase Lillie around the mat. He just stood in the center, countered Lillie’s moves and turned them into his own offense.”
Glines (18-12) takes on Alex Napiwocki of Robbinsdale Armstrong (20-5) in his opening 152AAA battle.
Mark Volker, 160 runner-up
Volker had the long route to make State after opening sections with a 9-1 major and an 18-2 tech fall. The senior was pinned by 2nd-ranked Kyle Begin of Anoka in the finals, then Volker stuck SMA’s Ricky Briggs in the True Second match.
“Mark figured he had enough of Briggs and turned him three times in the first period, getting his pin that final time,” said Coach Jennissen.
Volker (30-12) will have his hands full with 6th-ranked Tommy Longendyke of White Bear Lake (32-7) in the State opener.
Clayton Jennissen, 171 champ
3rd-ranked Jennissen earned his return trip to State with a big run through the 171 brackets. The junior had a pin in a pigtail match followed by 14-3 and 16-3 majors. He then muscled past SMA’s Ryan Stott 7-5 in the championship.
“Clayton kept his competitive attitude going despite giving up the first takedown to Stott. Clayton dumped Stott to his back for a takedown in the third period which could have led to a pin if they didn’t go out-of-bounds,” said Coach Jennissen of his son.
Jennissen (36-6) gets 8th-ranked Jake Swenson of Hastings (29-12) in the opening round at State. Jennissen finished 4th at 152 last year at State.
Derek Swanson, 189 runner-up
Swanson was the final C-I senior earning his first State trip after getting a bye and a 9-3 decision to reach the section finals. There, 3rd-ranked Swanson locked up with 2nd-ranked Shaun Little of St. Michael, with the Knight prevailing 1-0.
“Derek really battled Little well. Hopefully he gets another shot at him at State,” said Coach Jennissen.
Swanson (35-5) will open State against 10th-ranked Jon Volp of Osseo (29-8).
• Also placing for the Bluejackets at sections were David Kent (4th at 112), Tanner Torgerson (5th at 119) and Ben Hartnett (4th at 130).
The Bluejackets also earned the Section 7AAA Academic championship with their combined cumulative GPA.
• St. Michael-Albertville will represent Section 7AAA in the March 4 Class AAA Team tourney at the Xcel, facing Centennial in the morning quarterfinals. The Knights had seven wrestlers reach State Individuals, including four section champs.