VCHS Seniors Undem, Horner Look Strong in Final Home Matches
Red River 46, Valley City 21
106: Cole McGough, VC, def. Trey Larimer 7-0; 113: Rodell Johnson, RR, pinned Logan Erlandson, 1:33; 120: Jakob Ashline, VC, won by decision, 15-10; 126: Sean Murphy, RR, pinned Jonathon Langer :53.
132: Chase Christian, RR, pinned Jake Tangen 1:36; 138: Mark Miller, VC, def. Malek Larimer 5-2; 145: Gunar Hanevold, RR, major dec. Evan Carroll 17-3; 152: Shane Undem, VC, pinned Ben Trenne, 4:35.
160: Michael Forrester, RR, pinned Mason Bjornson 2:16; 170: Zach Hettwer, RR, def. Christian Swenson 7-0; 182: Jordan Magnuson, VC, pinned Alex Sondreal :43; 195: Jared Bertsch, RR, pinned Dustin Lindgren, 1:06; 220: Ryan Oster, RR, pinned Addison Lerud :53; HWT: Bryan Bjerk, RR, def. Steven Horner 7-0.
By Scott Schlaufman
As one of two seniors competing Tuesday night for the Valley City High School wrestling team, Shane Undem had a bit of extra emotion on his mind.
He knew that it was the last time that both he and heavyweight Steven Horner would get a chance to wrestle in front of a home crowd at the Hi-Liner Activity Center. The rest of the season, the Hi-Liners will be on the road.
"(VCHS coach) Aaron (Larson) was talking to me before, saying 'last one, don't worry about it. It's kind of a long shot on winning the dual anyways, so just go out there and have fun with it," Undem said. "I kind of wanted to make it last a little bit, so I had a couple more takedowns than usual."
The Hi-Liners lost the dual 46-21, but both Undem and Horner were pleased with their matches. Undem got a pin at 4:35 and Horner held his own in a 7-0 decision to Bryan Bjerk, the top-ranked heavyweight in Class A.
In Undem's match, the emotion didn't bother him for long.
"Once I stepped on the mat, it was any other match for me," he said. "You just go out and take care of business."
He controlled the match nearly from the start, getting early near-fall and takedown points over Red River's Ben Tramme. He had a 12-4 point lead by the end of the first period, extended it to 20-6 by the end of the second.
When he finally got in position for the pin 25 seconds into the third, he had the match in hand. A near-fall would have given him the points necessary to win by technical fall had the pin not held.
"I told Shane that that's a great way to go out in your last match at your home gym," Larson said. "He teched him and pinned him at the same time."
Horner's final match at home featured him, the No. 5 ranked heavyweight in the state, against top-ranked Brian Bjerk.
"I expected it to be hard it there, but it's always a winnable match," Horner said.
Though Bjerk seemed to control the pace of the match, Horner wrestled strong defensively, limiting Bjerk to two points on a takedown in each of the three periods, and an escape in the second period.
Larson was happy with the match.
"I think that match will give Steven confidence as we move into regionals,"
Horner said the night was a mix of emotions as he stepped on his home mat for the last time.
"It was sad at some points, but I'm happy to complete my four years of wrestling," he said. "It's exciting to do this as a sport."
The Hi-Liners, who were wrestling a young lineup, won five matches in the dual.
VCHS started the night with a 7-0 win from Cole McGough at 106 and had a 15-10 decision win by Jakob Ashline at 120 pounds.
Mark Miller fell behind early in the 138-pound match with Malek Larimer, but had four points in the third period to win a 5-2 decision. Larson said it made up for a loss earlier in the year to Larimer.
Jordan Magnuson got the team's final win of the night, a pin in 43 seconds at 182 pounds.
Though some of the less experienced wrestlers struggled, with both Dustin Lindgren and Jonathon Langer matched up against top-five opponents in the state at their weight class, Larson was happy with how they wrestled. He named Mason Bjornson, Lindgren and Addison Lerud among those he saw progress from.
"They're all brand new wrestlers, wrestling varsity, and they're starting to look like wrestlers," he said.