STURGIS | High school wrestlers all had the same goal when the season began in November--qualify for the state tournaments.
Sturgis Brown High School coach Mike Abell set a goal to have all 14 of his Scooper wrestlers earn berths in the State Class A tournament, set for Friday and Saturday in Sioux Falls.
The Scoopers overcame season-long adversity at the right time to achieve that objective, qualifying for state in all weight classes during last Saturday's Region 4A meet in Rapid City.
"It's been an interesting season, dealing with injuries," said Abell. "Saturday was the first time this season our full team was on the mat together."
Sturgis Brown had five weight class champions, two runners-up, three third-place performers and four fourth- place finishers at Region.
Jacob Wood and Bailey Brengle were both state champions a year ago.
"Jacob has weighed in only four times this season," said Abell. "He was out the last three weeks due to an ankle injury. Jacob looked fine at Region."
Wood a junior (12-0), is the top seed at 106 pounds. He'll face freshman Tucker Bahm (26-16) of Yankton in the first round Friday.
Brengle, last year's 145-pound champion, lost to top seed TahJae Jenkins Harris of Huron twice at the Rapid City Quadrangular and Rapid City Invitational in December.
Brengle, a senior (37-3), faces junior Morgan Warmbein (8-15) of Sioux Falls Washington in the first round.
Joel Carpenter to move up one spot from last year's runner-up finish at 220 pounds. "Joel had a phenomenal season," said Abell. He has only one loss. I am excited to see Joel finish strong."
Carpenter (36-1) a senior, is the top seed and will tangle with Brookings sophomore Gus Miller (15-11), in the first round.
Tristman Permann claimed the 113-pound honors at Region. The senior was fifth at state at 113 pounds in 2017.
"Tristman missed the first part of the season and wrestled only 15 matches," said Abell. He wrestled well at Region."
Permann (11-4) meets Aberdeen Central sophomore Ethan Allen (15-21) in the first round.
Senior Shae Owens was a state qualifier last year and won the 120-pound title at region last weekend.
"He avenged a couple of losses," Abell said. "We're excited to see what Shae's going to do at State."
Owens (29-10) meets junior Sherman Taber (25-10) of Dell Rapids.
Sophomore Justin Burnham was runner-up at 132 pounds at Region, after missing the first half of the season recovering from a football injury.
"He qualified for his first ever state tournament and is wrestling well right now," Abell said.
Burnham (16-6), meets junior Daynon Huber (26-15) of Huron in the first round.
Jaren Puhlman collected a second-place finish at 160 pounds at Region to secure a berth at state.
Puhlman (18-10), a senior, faces junior Logan Bowes (23-22) of Brookings in their opening round match.
Senior Austin Permann took third place at 138 pounds and earned his first trip to State. "Austin is wrestling really well right now," said Abell.
Permann (13-10), meets Brandon Sharkey (39-11) of Regional champion Rapid City Stevens.
Wren Jacobs took third place at 145 pounds at Region, battling back from a second-round loss.
"This is Wren's first State tournament appearance," said Abell. "He is coming on strong."
Jacobs, a freshman (30-12), collides with senior Austin Cihak (28-17) of Aberdeen Central in the first round.
Jake Sailer also battled back from a second-round loss, qualifying for state with a third-place at 170.
Sailer (32-12), a senior who finished eighth at state, faces 8th-grader Owen Warren (21-16) of Yankton on Friday.
Perry Ketelsen, also an 8th grader, qualified for his first appearance at State, with a fourth at 126 pounds at Region.
Ketelsen, (11-7) meets Robert Coyle III, (30-10) a senior of Watertown.
"Perry won a big first round match at Region," said Abell. He had a good Region tournament."
Kody Cox took fourth place at 182 pounds at Region to earn his first state tournament appearance.
Cox (15-24), meets senior Tyler Zebell (41-11), of Lennox.
"He had a good year," Abell said. "I am excited to see what we can get out of him."
Tice McVay captured fourth place at 195 pounds Saturday.
McVay a junior, (12-22), will face junior Gabriel Reiger (21-12), of Huron in the first round.
"Tice was a state qualifier last year," said Abell. "He had a couple of close losses."
Clayton Smith placed fourth at 285 pounds at Region.
"He qualified for State at 195 pounds last year. Clayton is a competitor," said Abell.
Smith, a sophomore, (16-21), faces senior Pryce Dyk (32-10) of Pierre.
Now that the Scoopers have achieved one goal, that of making the trip to Sioux Falls ably represented in all 14 weight classes, Abell has set another bar for the team.
He hopes to see the Scoopers finish among the top six in the team standings for the trophy presentation.
"I look forward to the challenge," he said.