Wrestlers preparing for post season
By Jarann Johnson
The Beulah-Hazen (B-H) wrestling team will be heading to Hettinger Saturday for a tournament that kicks off the wrestling post season. The B-H wrestling team will be competing in the Region 4 dual tournament.
The top two teams at the tournament will each earn a berth in the Class B dual state tournament. B-H Head Coach James Porter and his coaching staff feel great about their odds of being one of the teams to advance to the state tournament, even though B-H suffered region dual losses to Bowman, Watford City and Killdeer this season.
“We’re feeling strong still, going into it. We had some injuries that caused us to split with Bowman and gave us the loss against Watford City. Right now, if things go right, we should be at full strength come Saturday and I think, us at full strength, we can compete with anyone at full strength,” Porter said.
One of the things that Porter and his coaching staff will be worrying about entering the tournament is injuries. The team avoided some injury scares with senior captains Justice Roundy (182) and Isaac Ripplinger (220) earlier this season, but weren’t as lucky with others.
Roundy injured his elbow and Ripplinger injured his ankle, but both are back and healthy now. The squad is also hoping to have Josh Snyder (145) back for the dual tournament.
Snyder injured his wrist and required surgery, but the injury is healing and looks like it might be ready for the dual tournament. Porter discussed his plans for Snyder.
“Sounds like surgery was good – he’s out of the hard cast, now he’s in a soft cast and back in the room training. We are hoping to get full clearance from the doctor. We’ll work with Steve Ziegler, the physical trainer in Hazen, to get a pad for his hand and hopefully have him back in the lineup come Saturday,” Porter said.
One injury that B-H won’t be able to overcome by Saturday is Tyrel Mellmer’s concussion. Mellmer’s concussion has forced the coaching staff to shift their lineup around a little bit for the duals.
The plan is to keep Tyler Erickson at 145 and wrestle Damian Eslinger at 152 and Thomas Leintz at 160. The B-H coaching staff is selecting to go open at 170.
Aside from overcoming an open weight, Porter feels like focusing on the little things will determine if his team can make it to the state duals.
“We need to make sure that we are working on our little things in the room to get better so that, when it comes time for us to step on the mat, those little things aren’t the things that come back and bite us,” Porter said.