FARGO – The North Dakota High School Activities Association has released seeding assignments for the upcoming state Class B wrestling individual tournament in Fargo Thursday.
Four Hillsboro-Central Valley wrestlers were ranked in the top 12 in their respective weight classes Sunday prior to the tourney.
Seventh-grader Sawyer Owens, sophomore Henry Nelson, and juniors John Geray and Barrett Willison received seeds for the two-day event.
Owens drew the No. 9 seed in the 106-pound weight class, while Nelson took the eighth seed at 138 pounds.
Geray picked up the 12th seed in the 152-pound weight class and Willison earned the No. 7 seed at 170 pounds.
Before the official seedings were released this week, H-CV head coach Trace Bakke said he thought only Nelson and Willison would earn seeds in the state meet.
But, based on Owens’ wins in the second half of the season and Geray’s first-place finish in Cavalier at the Region 2 individual tournament, the Burros doubled their number of ranked wrestlers heading into Thursday's tournament.
However, Bakke said he was a little disappointed with the seedings his wrestlers earned.
“Some of the seeds we weren’t quite happy with, but that’s just how it all shook out and you’re just going to have to win those matches anyway,” Bakke said.
“Everyone’s goal is to win state, so it doesn’t matter what seed you are. You’re still going to have to beat those people anyway and go out and wrestle your match.”
Bakke also said some of the guys have a chip on their shoulders with where they were placed and said they’re using it as motivation.
The wrestlers are working on a few key fundamentals heading into Thursday’s first day of competition.
“With Sawyer, we’re just working with him to get back to healthy, we haven’t been working on any certain moves or game plans for him. We just want him to get his knee back to 100 percent,” Bakke said.
“For Henry, we’re working on being able to escape off the bottom. John, we’re just trying to stay consistent every single match and not just looking for his favorite move … (and) Barrett we’re working on aggression. He has to get mean out there.”
In addition to H-CV's four seeded wrestlers, the remaining members of the team will be competing at their respective weight classes.
Seventh-grader Carson Kozojed will take on Killdeer wrestler Dean Dumas at 113 pounds.
Freshman Adam Smith faces No. 9 seed Timothee Ford from Kenmare-Bowbells at 126 pounds while fellow freshman Carter Iverson takes on top-ranked and undefeated Ethan Wonser from Williams County at 132.
Eighth-grade 145-pounder Ben Thompson has been pitted against No. 3-seeded Jayce Horgan of Pembina County North.
At 160 pounds, Burros senior Devin Hankel takes on No. 12 seed Connor Harvey from Bishop Ryan.
Rounding out the H-CV lineup will be Derik Cecil, who received a bye in the first round of the 195-pound bracket. Cecil likely will face top seed Nathan Schauer of South Border in the second round.
Doors open to the public at 8 a.m. Thursday at the Fargodome.
The round of 32 is set to begin at 9 a.m. with the first round of wrestle-backs at 10 a.m.
The round of 16 will kick off at approximately 10:30 a.m. with the second and third round of wrestle-backs around 11:30 a.m.
The quarterfinals will follow Thursday at approximately 12:45 p.m.
The tournament continues Friday.
The full schedule for individual and team events can be found on trackwrestling.com.