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Sturgis Brown celebrates a big weekend at state wrestling

Tim Tushla
South Dakota Public Broadcasting

Sturgis Brown High School finished their wrestling season atop the Class A standings for the first time in nearly a decade and a half. The Scoopers finished with 197.5 points, ahead of second place Pierre T.F. Riggs, who placed second with 176 points.

Coach Mike Abell said he expected his team to do well.

“We saw this class coming a long time ago and we knew they’d be hopefully special, and they were,” Abell said.

The team won the team duals championship two weeks ago as well. Abell said it took refocusing to win the team portion of the individual state tournament.

“You want to celebrate something that happens and not two weeks later, it was kind of nerve-wracking trying to refocus the kids those last two weeks,” he said.

The team competed in only two local tournaments this season, a feat Abell says didn’t affect them.

“Travel is almost better for us, I’d rather us be in hotels and together to keep an eye on weight and just to be with the team,” he said.

Abell attributed his team’s wrestlebacks to their win.

“That’s where this thing was won, those wrestlebacks are crucial,” Abell said.

Twelve Sturgis wrestlers placed at this year’s event.

Zak Juelfs won the individual title for Sturgis in the 215 lb. weight class. Teryn Zebroski (113) and Joseph Nadig (150) finished runner-up in their championship matches.

In other placements, Tyler Baldwin (106) and Aiden Werlinger (190) secured third place spots, while Benjamin Nadig (120) and Kelson Dirk (175) finished fourth in their weight classes. Tegan Zebroski (126), Kalvin Ketelsen (144), and Zhoel Irion (157) placed fifth, and then Beau Peters (138) and Preston Ray (175) snagged points in the sixth place spots.

Sturgis Brown will graduate ten seniors this spring off of this year’s wrestling squad. This is the school’s first title since 2010. It’s the tenth overall state team wrestling title for the Scoopers program.

Marissa Brunkhorst is a junior at the University of South Dakota. She is from Hutchinson, Minnesota and is based out of the Vermillion studio.