The 56th Annual South Dakota State High School Wrestling Championship Tournaments will take place this Friday & Saturday, featuring the Class ‘A’ Tournament in Sioux Falls and the Class ‘B’ event in Rapid City. A total of 16 returning individual state champions will be participating, as well as Defending Team Champions Parkston and Aberdeen Central. Both tournaments can be viewed with live statistics and results at www.sdpb.org/wrestling/
The Class ‘B’ field features eight returning Individual Champions, including one young man who will be gunning for his fourth straight individual title: 138-pound Luke Loudenberg of Howard (34-1, titles at 13-2 pounds in 2014, 120-pounds in 2013, 106-pounds in 2012). In addition, four young men have an opportunity to cap an undefeated season: Sam Ireland of Bennett County (38-0, 160 pounds), Kurt Braun of Burke/Gregory (7-0, 138 pounds), and a pair of Bon Homme/Scotland competitors in Duncan Stoebner (36-0, 120 pounds) and Dan Stibral (28-0, 285 pounds).
On the Class ‘A’ side, ten individual state champions return, highlighted by 160-pound Regan Bye of Vermillion. Bye is a perfect 47-0 on the 2014-15 campaign, and is seeking his third individual state title after reaching the top of the podium in 2013 & 2014 at the 145-pound weight class. Four other individuals will look to cap an undefeated season on the Class A side as well, including Brett Bye of Vermillion (39-0, 170 pounds), John Frisco of Aberdeen Central (38-0, 182 pounds), and a pair of Rapid City Central Cobblers: Hayden Hansen (41-0, 145 pounds) and Martin Mueller (36-0, 195 pounds).
John Krogstrand with the South Dakota High School Activities Association says he is excited about the new venue in Sioux Falls.
“It’s our first SDHSAA event in the new Denny Sanford PREMIER Center,” said Krogstrand. “We’ve very excited to see how the new facility works.”
Along with class A wrestling, the class AA boys basketball state tournament will take place at the new Sioux Falls events center too. That event is scheduled for mid-March.
The chase for the team title in Class ‘B’ is one to knock-off two-time defending champion Parkston. Beresford, Bon Homme/Scotland and Parkston are the lone three schools to qualify ten or more wrestlers for the meet and figure to lead the way to the title chase with Canton’s eight wrestlers also in strong contention.
Aberdeen Central is the lone team in either class to qualify all fourteen wrestlers to the State Finals and figures to lead the Class ‘A’ title chase, followed by Pierre, Huron and SF Roosevelt who each qualified 13 participants.