March 1, 2012 at 8:39 a.m.

Mork and Johnson on their way to the X

Mork and Johnson on their way to the X
Mork and Johnson on their way to the X

By CHUCK FITZER
The Vikings will send two wrestlers to this weekend’s state tournament at the Xcel Center in St. Paul.  Last Saturday at the Section 7AA Tournament, at Mora, Senior Patrick Mork (160) earned his third straight trip to the state tournament by pinning eighth-grader Isaiah Johnson of Rush City/Braham in 45 seconds in the true second place match.  And sophomore Reid Johnson (126) earned his first trip to state with a 4-0 decision over senior Chris Newgard of Milaca.  The Class AA individual matches begin Friday at 1 p.m.  Mork (39-4) will wrestle junior Holden Nelson (39-2) of Thief River Falls/Goodrich in his opening match, and Johnson (32-3) will open against senior Noah Schlee (33-3) of Grand Meadow/Leroy Ostrander/Kingsland.
Eight other Vikings who participated in the section tournament placed in the top six of their weight class.  Finishing in third place:  sophomore Aaron Senne (113), junior Zack Sundly (182) and sophomore Seamus Hunter (285); fourth place:   eighth-grader Aaron Sistrunk (120), junior Jake Pilz (138), and junior Eric Bergstrom (220); and sixth place:  sophomore Tristan LaBelle (152) and junior Levi Eastwood (170).
Mork’s road to the tournament began with a 23 second pin over senior Matt Lieby of Virginia.  Next, he won by technical fall 15-0 over fellow senior Robert Noreen of Hinckley-Finlayson/Pine City.  Mork, ranked eighth in the state at the end of the regular season, decisioned junior Alex Seanger of Grand Rapids.  That earned Mork the right to face sixth-ranked junior Codie LaFromboise of Mora in the first-place match.  LaFromboise pinned Mork in 25 seconds to win the section championship and send Mork to a true second place matchup against Isaiah Johnson.  Mork pinned Johnson to take second and will once again be headed to state. Viking head coach Tony Aho said “We are real that Pat is making his third trip to the state tournament.  He’s disappointed he didn’t go longer against Cody, by Cody is very talented kid.  He will likely place at the state tournament and we think Pat can place, too.  His performance peaks this time of year and he is ready for it.”
Reid Johnson began the tournament by pinning junior Jeremy Erickson of Grand Rapids in 45 seconds.  He decisioned freshman Brandon Lucking of Mora before losing to junior Kyle Opsahl of Hinckley-Finlayson/Pine City by and 11-2 major decision.  In the wrestlebacks, Johnson again beat Erickson, this time pinning him at 4:49.  He then decisioned junior Nick Bruss of Nashwauk Keewatin Greenway 5-2 in the third place match.  Johnson then wrestled Newgard in the true second place match, blanking him 4-0 to earn a trip to St. Paul.  Aho said “Reid has been around wrestling since first grade and he is very serious about it.  It’s exciting to see him get a chance to go to the state tournament.  He’s very relieved.  He wrestled well against a pretty experienced kid in the true second match.”
Of the three Viking third place finishers, Hunter (285) came the closest to going to state.  He lost a 3-2 decision to senior Jordan Ahner of Milaca in the true second place match.  Sistrunk (120), seeded seventh in the section, ended up with a legitimate shot at state before finishing fourth in the section tournament.
Reflecting on his team’s overall performance, Aho said “All of the guys wrestled very well and we believe they gave their best effort the whole weekend.  With a couple of breaks either way, we could be sending a few more guys down to the state tournament, but that is the way it goes.  Just about every one of the guys wrestled to or above what they were seeded, and left it all out on the mat.   The team is laden with underclassmen, and should be tough for years to come.
The Vikings will send two wrestlers to this weekend’s state tournament at the Xcel Center in St. Paul.  Last Saturday at the Section 7AA Tournament, at Mora, Senior Patrick Mork (160) earned his third straight trip to the state tournament by pinning eighth-grader Isaiah Johnson of Rush City/Braham in 45 seconds in the true second place match.  And sophomore Reid Johnson (126) earned his first trip to state with a 4-0 decision over senior Chris Newgard of Milaca.  The Class AA individual matches begin Friday at 1 p.m.  Mork (39-4) will wrestle junior Holden Nelson (39-2) of Thief River Falls/Goodrich in his opening match, and Johnson (32-3) will open against senior Noah Schlee (33-3) of Grand Meadow/Leroy Ostrander/Kingsland.
Eight other Vikings who participated in the section tournament placed in the top six of their weight class.  Finishing in third place:  sophomore Aaron Senne (113), junior Zack Sundly (182) and sophomore Seamus Hunter (285); fourth place:   eighth-grader Aaron Sistrunk (120), junior Jake Pilz (138), and junior Eric Bergstrom (220); and sixth place:  sophomore Tristan LaBelle (152) and junior Levi Eastwood (170).
Mork’s road to the tournament began with a 23 second pin over senior Matt Lieby of Virginia.  Next, he won by technical fall 15-0 over fellow senior Robert Noreen of Hinckley-Finlayson/Pine City.  Mork, ranked eighth in the state at the end of the regular season, decisioned junior Alex Seanger of Grand Rapids.  That earned Mork the right to face sixth-ranked junior Codie LaFromboise of Mora in the first-place match.  LaFromboise pinned Mork in 25 seconds to win the section championship and send Mork to a true second place matchup against Isaiah Johnson.  Mork pinned Johnson to take second and will once again be headed to state. Viking head coach Tony Aho said “We are real that Pat is making his third trip to the state tournament.

 He’s disappointed he didn’t go longer against Cody, by Cody is very talented kid.  He will likely place at the state tournament and we think Pat can place, too.  His performance peaks this time of year and he is ready for it.”
Reid Johnson began the tournament by pinning junior Jeremy Erickson of Grand Rapids in 45 seconds.  He decisioned freshman Brandon Lucking of Mora before losing to junior Kyle Opsahl of Hinckley-Finlayson/Pine City by and 11-2 major decision.  In the wrestlebacks, Johnson again beat Erickson, this time pinning him at 4:49.  He then decisioned junior Nick Bruss of Nashwauk Keewatin Greenway 5-2 in the third place match.  Johnson then wrestled Newgard in the true second place match, blanking him 4-0 to earn a trip to St. Paul.  Aho said “Reid has been around wrestling since first grade and he is very serious about it.  It’s exciting to see him get a chance to go to the state tournament.  He’s very relieved.  He wrestled well against a pretty experienced kid in the true second match.”


 
Of the three Viking third place finishers, Hunter (285) came the closest to going to state.  He lost a 3-2 decision to senior Jordan Ahner of Milaca in the true second place match.  Sistrunk (120), seeded seventh in the section, ended up with a legitimate shot at state before finishing fourth in the section tournament.
 
Reflecting on his team’s overall performance, Aho said “All of the guys wrestled very well and we believe they gave their best effort the whole weekend.  With a couple of breaks either way, we could be sending a few more guys down to the state tournament, but that is the way it goes.  Just about every one of the guys wrestled to or above what they were seeded, and left it all out on the mat.   The team is laden with underclassmen, and should be tough for years to come.

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