Jacket wrestlers win own invite again
The Cambridge-Isanti wrestlers won a seventh consecutive title at their own Bluejacket Invite individual tourney on Saturday, capping off a successful weekend which included dual meet wins over Rogers and Anoka.
Senior co-captain Clayton Jennissen won his third straight title at the Bluejacket Invitational, one of four championships gathered by C-I grapplers. The Invite is a Jacket Wrestling family reunion, and the Jennissen clan had all members working in some capacity apart from Clayton’s older brother, UMD student Matt, who was coaching the Cloquet-Esko wrestling squad at the Superior, WI tourney on Saturday.
“I’ve been at the Invite ever since I can remember. It’s awesome to have so many former Bluejackets come for Alumni Day. When I was younger, Zach Molitor after his matches would wrestle around with me. Then there were guys like Billy Blumhoefer and Luke Becker who I would run around with in the wrestling room, and they would mess around with me. It’s fun to be able to wrestle in front of the alumni guys now so I can show them what I got.”
Mixed among the alumni recognition time prior to the finals matches at the Invite was a special plaque passed on to the family of Chip Imker. Imker, a former Bluejacket wrestler, died last May during a training exercise with the Cambridge Fire Department.
Another Jacket alum, Zach Molitor, was honored with his own recognition time to mark the National championship he won for Augsburg College wrestling last winter.
In the 182 lb. brackets, Jennissen, ranked No. 2 in Class AAA, posted a pin and tech fall to reach the finals where he decisioned Henry Sibley’s 10th-ranked Uthman Rabiu for the second time this season. Jennissen got a takedown in each period over the tall and tough Warrior to win 7-2.
Sophomore Tommy Guy, who opened the tourney with a bye and a pin, won the Jackets’ first title at 106 when he threw and stuck Little Falls’ Jenks in the second period. Later at 145, junior Ty Torgerson continued his hot season by pinning Brainerd’s Adams with a cradle just 54 seconds into the championship bout. The Bluejackets’ fourth title came at 220 where sophomore Dakota Johnson worked for two late turns in the first period and went on to major Prior Lake’s Pinto 11-0 with an impressive effort.
Three C-I members finished 2nd at the Invite. At 145, Nate Nassif won two decisions before Brainerd’s Boran won by fall late in the first period. At 160, Travis Holt began with a pin and a major before Grand Rapids’ 9th-ranked Hopkins took a 5-0 decision in the finals. At 170, Cole Bakke was 2-0 before Grand Rapids’ 4th-ranked Evans prevailed 10-0 in the championship.
With those seven reaching the finals, 5th-ranked Cambridge-Isanti easily outscored runner-up and 9th-ranked Prior Lake 220-170. Finishing behind those teams were Brainerd (160.5), Little Falls (160), Grand Rapids (126), Henry Sibley (111.5), Elk River (72) and Blaine (60).
Placing 3rd for C-I were: Monty Fredericksen (113), Nate Medin (120) and Ben Hartnett (126). Placing 4th were Tanner Torgerson (132) and Trent Chromy (195). Winning his 5th-place match was C.J. Schlichtman (138).
Bluejackets who went undefeated in the JV half of the Invite were Kyle Willette, Jake Pasch, Reagan Lane, Dylan Lopez, Derick DeMars, Mark Gossen and Kyle Chromy.
C-I 53, Anoka 15
Friday night at home, the Bluejackets built a 43-0 lead before finishing off Section 7AAA partner Anoka who is ranked 12th in Class AAA. Racking up falls in the victory were Guy, Medin, Hartnett, Ty Tischer, Cody Skog and Knowlton. Holt and Jennissen added major decisions in the rout.
On Jan. 5, the Jackets upped their Mississippi 8 record to 2-0 by defeating host Rogers 53-19, led by pins from David Kent (132), Robbie Phillips (138), Russell Laboe (160), Bakke (170), Ben Zins (182), and Knowlton (285).
This past weekend begins the usual grueling January the Bluejacket Wrestlers annually take on, which includes this weekend’s Kiffmeyer Duals and the Mississippi 8 title battle at St. Michael Jan. 20. More power teams heading to the Kiffmeyers on Saturday are Albert Lea, Foley, Hastings and St. Michael-Albertville.
“I think we’re starting to come together right now. We had a few JV guys in the lineup place high today, so that’s good. So I think we’re all pushing each other really hard and we’re getting a lot better. On Friday night in the win against Anoka, there were maybe three good matches, other than that we dominated every other match.”
St. Michael-Alb. 2-0, 9-3; Cambridge-Isanti 2-0, 11-2; Becker 1-1, 8-3; Monticello 1-1, 3-6; Rogers 0-1, 5-4; Big Lake 0-1, 2-4; Buffalo 0-2, 2-8.