March 12, 2009 at 8:47 a.m.
"I thought Boyd was a little cautious in the finals, and in the state tournament, you have to throw caution to the wind," Head Coach Tony Aho said. "But, he had a very nice tournament."
Four other Viking wrestlers also appeared the state tournament. John Morrison (285) won his opening match 5-3, but lost 3-2 in the second round. Morrison pinned his opponent in the first round of wrestlebacks, then lost 3-2 in four overtimes to end his state tournament appearance. Sophomore Jake Kostik (112), senior Tom Mork (130) and sophomore Justin Bergerson (215) each lost their first round matches.
Suparat, ranked second in Class AA at 135 pounds, wrestled Tommy Teigen of Meadow Creek Christian in the opening round. Suparat was aggressive from the beginning of the match. He scored a takedown 28 seconds into the first period. Teigen nearly managed a reversal midway through the period, but Suparat held him off. Suparat rode Teigen hard the rest of the period and led 2-0 after one. Suparat started on the bottom in the second period, and scored a reversal at the one-minute mark. He was awarded two near fall points at the end of the second period and led 6-0 after two. Suparat scored the final points of the match on a near-fall with 42 seconds remaining to make the final score 8-0.
A little razzle-dazzle helped Suparat win his quarterfinal matchup against Ethan Smith of Hutchinson. Suparat's spin move midway through the first period moved him into position to attempt a takedown. Suparat completed the takedown for a 2-0 lead. Smith escaped later in the period, and Suparat led 2-1 after one. Suparat started on the bottom in the second period. He nearly had a reversal 20 seconds into the period, but couldn't complete it. His escape 30 seconds later increased his lead to 3-1. Starting on top in the third period, Suparat squashed Smith's chance at a reversal 35 seconds into the period to maintain a 3-1 lead. Smith escaped at the 1:17 mark to cut Suparat's lead to 3-2. Suparat rebuffed all of Smith's attempted moves for the last 43 seconds of the match to eke out a 3-2 win.
Suparat won his semifinal match against third-ranked Nic Harrison of Pequot Lakes 6-5 and moved on to the championship match for the second year in a row.
"Boyd had meant so much to this program," Aho said of his first state champion. "He has done everything we've asked of him. We can always look back and say 'This is what Boyd did'. He's just a great ambassador."
In his opening round match, Morrison (285) had a big throw at 33 seconds of the first period to take a 2-0 lead over Sam Pokornowski of Dassel Cokato. Pokornowski escaped with 15 seconds left in the period to cut Morrison's lead to 2-1. Morrison, starting on the bottom, escaped two seconds into the second period to increase his lead to 3-1. He came up with another big takedown at 1:15 of the period to go up 5-1. Pokornowski escaped with just two seconds left in the period to cut the lead to 5-2. Pokornowski started on the bottom in the third period, but had to work hard to get an escape halfway through the period, and Morrison held on for a 5-3 first round win.
Morrison's quarterfinal match against Charlie Gelhaye of Simley was a war of attrition. Neither wrestler showed any aggression throughout most of the match, exhibiting what one observer referred to as "the heavyweights' lean." It looked like they were each waiting for the other one to make a mistake and the two of them were down on the mat for a total of twenty seconds in the entire match. Morrison started down and escaped quickly in the second period, and Gelhaye started down and escaped quickly in the third period. But with 15 seconds left, Gelhaye surprised Morrison by attempting a takedown and succeeded. Morrison escaped, but couldn't make a move in the last few seconds of the match and lost 3-2.
"With the way he works and listens, John's going to be up there [on the medal stand] next year," Aho noted. "He wrestled very well and earned a lot of confidence in this tournament."
Billy Frank, who narrowly edged Morrison by a score of 3-2 in the section finals, went on to win the state tournament, so Morrison is right on the cusp.
Kostik's opponent at 112, senior Charlie Wilczek of Little Falls, got a takedown early in the first period to take a 2-0 lead. A near-fall increased the lead to 5-0. Kostik got a reversal with 20 seconds left in the period to cut Wilczek's lead to 5-2. An inspired Kostik then began turning Wilczek toward a possible pin, but he ran out of time as the period ended. Wilczek pinned Kostik 59 seconds into the second period to end the match.
Wilczek had come down from 119 pounds, where he wrestled most of the year, so he was physically bigger than Kostik, and he also held the experience edge over North Branch's sophomore.
"Those Little Falls guys are known for their cradles, and Jake just didn't catch his hand as he locked it in," Aho explained. "When they cradle guys, it usually gets done. But, Jake was very aggressive, and he has the ability to beat Wilczek. [Wilczek] just came with a little more intensity."
Mork had a tough draw in his opening round match against the number-one ranked wrestler at 130 pounds in Class AA, Tommy Glenn of Simley. Glenn got a takedown halfway through the first period. After allowing an escape by Mork, Glenn's takedown with 10 seconds left in the period gave Glenn a 4-1 lead. In the second period, a near-fall by Glenn stretched his lead to 7-1. A pair of reversals made the score 9-3. In the third period, Mork started on top and stayed there the entire period, probing for a chance to pin Glenn. With 40 seconds left in the match, Mork turned Glenn for a split second, but Glenn recovered and held on for a 9-3 win. "The kid Tom wrestled was fifth in state the year before, so he had the experience. Tom had a few chances against him, though, he just couldn't quite finish," Aho explained.
In the wrestlebacks, Mork was pinned midway through the third period by Jordan Hansen of Hutchinson.
Bergerson (215) faced fifth-ranked Casey Sazama of Perham in the opening round. Bergerson started aggressively, scoring a take down just 15 seconds into the match. Sazama tied it with a reversal 15 seconds later, then pinned Bergerson at the 1:28 mark of the first period to end the match. "He was aggressive like we wanted, but he showed his inexperience," Aho said. "He was a little rushed. He just works so hard and wanted to hustle."
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