Night Hawks Regional champs

A slow start Saturday didn’t deter the Hettinger wrestling squad from accomplishing team goal No. 1, according to head coach Randy Burwick.

The Night Hawks wrestling team headed for state tournament in Fargo Wednesday morning with an escort and supporters.
The Night Hawks wrestling team headed for state tournament in Fargo Wednesday morning with an escort and supporters.

Posted Feb. 14, 2013

By EDDIE HIBBS III

Pioneer Publisher & Editor

 

A slow start Saturday didn’t deter the Hettinger wrestling squad from accomplishing team goal No. 1, according to head coach Randy Burwick.

“Our first goal all year has been to win the regional championship,” Burwick said.

The Night Hawks did that and in convincing manner, finishing with 218.5 points at the Class B Region IV Tournament at Bowman. Host Bowman County tallied 173 points to finish second in the team standings.

In the process, Hettinger collected four individual regional titles and advanced 12 to the Class B State Tournament this week in Fargo.

Overall, the Night Hawks had six grapplers reach the championship round at regionals.

Sophomore Chauncey Hughes was the first Night Hawk to compete in the championship round at the 120-pound division. Hughes was the top seed in his weight class, but fell in the finals to second-seed Joshua Snyder, a freshman from Beulah-Hazen, by a pin at 3:47. Hughes defeated Jace Horner of Killdeer, 16-14, in the semifinals.

Hettinger also had a grappler in the finals of the next weight class (126) with senior Codi Tomac.

Tomac, who had already qualified for his sixth state appearance with a pin of Jore Coleton of Watford City in the semifinals, scored a 9-4 decision over Cullen Seeger of New Salem-Almont.

Junior Christian Hughes and senior Randy VanHoff shortly followed with regional crowns of their own. Hughes won the 145-pound division with a pin of Bowman County’s Troy Steele in the championship match. VanHoff defeated Sonny Herczeg of Beulah-Hazen for the 152-pound championship.

The Night Hawks would not have another wrestler in the championship match until the final two matches – 220 and 285. At 220, Sandgren, a sophomore, fell against Jacob Hildebrant of Bowman County, losing by a pin at 1:44. Junior Brandon Ehlers made certain the Night Hawks ended the note on a positive note by pinning Macormick Stuber of Bowman County in the final match.

Burwick acknowledged his squad could have done better, but wasn’t complaining afterwards.

“I was pleased,” Burwick said. “We did a lot better job once we settled down. We were a little too nervous and simply trying too hard. Once we relaxed and just wrestled, we were fine. We lost some matches we should have won, but we did get on a roll after the first round and things went our way.”

Burwick understood where the early pressure was placed.

“I think when we came into the tournament, we were so caught up in the team title that we didn’t wrestle as well as we could [have],” the coach said.

Four of the Night Hawks placed third in their respective weight classes. They were seventh-grader Alex Andress at 106, freshman Lucas Omiston at 113, freshman Braxon Yates at 132, junior Trevor Abrahamson at 138, and freshman Colbey Steeke at 182.

Also qualifying was junior Denby Lueck, who placed fourth at 195.

The top four placers in each weight class advance to State.

Freshman Dalton Schaffer placed fifth at 170.