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Kevin Schnepf, Published February 19 2010

ND Class B wrestling: Seeger, Coleman stay undefeated

Despite having their wrestling seasons shortened because of injuries, New Salem’s Nate Seeger and Oakes’ Brady Coleman remained undefeated Thursday at the North Dakota Class B state tournament being held at the Fargodome.

Seeger, wearing a padded back brace to protect an injured back that dates back to his seventh grade days, will take a 24-0 record into today’s 160-pound semifinals against Carrington’s Dylan Carr. Even though he didn’t start wrestling his senior season until January, Seeger cruised to another impressive win Thursday.

“My closest match has been 10 points,” Seeger said, after his technical fall quarterfinal win over Ellendale-Edgeley’s Raymond Orwig.

That’s impressive, considering doctors told him in December that he would have to sit out another six weeks because of his injured back. As a seventh grader, Seeger crushed the vertebrae in his lower back.

“It didn’t bother me again until this year,” Seeger said. “Evidently the vertebrae didn’t heal correctly and eventually, the other side of the vertebrae cracked. I just decided to try it again and see what would happen.”

He took first place in his first competition in January’s Hettinger Classic. He’s been dominating ever since – avoiding certain drills during practice, wearing his back brace and avoiding activities like snowboarding, dirtbiking and tubing.

The back gets sore, but Seeger is focused on improving last year’s second place finish in the 152-pound weight class.

“When I start wrestling and the adrenalin gets going, I don’t feel it,” said Seeger, who figures he will probably need back surgery next year. “I’ve just been praying that the back won’t get hurt again.”

Oakes’ Coleman was wrestling his 119-pound quarterfinal match with a taped finger that was once broken and a deep cut in his lip. The junior remained unbeaten with a hard-fought 5-0 quarterfinal win over Quinten Kobel.

“He’s a tough kid,” said Coleman, who will take a 19-0 record into today’s semifinal match against Linton’s Paul Rohrich.

Coleman missed three weeks of the season. About a month ago, he fractured the knuckle on his right index finger during a dual against Napoleon. While wearing a cast, he missed two weeks because of sickness.

“I was a little out of shape when I came back,” said Coleman, who cut his lip while working out with a teammate Thursday morning. “Then it broke open again during this match. But I worked through it and got it done.”

Oakes builds a lead

With seven wrestlers reaching today’s semifinals, Oakes took a big step closer to defending its Class B individual team title.

Oakes sits in first place of the team standings with 73 points. Carrington, which sits in second place with 64½ points, put six wrestlers in the semifinals. New Salem, which sits in third place with 45 points, put four wrestlers in the semifinals.

The wrestlers who advanced were: No. 2 seed Cody Voegeli in the 112-pound class, No. 1 seed Brady Coleman at 119, No. 3 seed Deven Loepp at 125, No. 2 seed Lance Ehrlin at 135, No. 3 seed Taylor Ptacek at 160, No. 1 seed Ethan Plemel at 189 and No. 1 seed Cody Kasprick at 285.

Takedowns

Out of the 112 first-round matches, 84 ended with pins. … The quickest pin in the first round was in 17 seconds, posted by New Salem 112-pounder Cody Neumiller and North Border 285-pounder Bryan Schlittenhard. … There were four what-could-be considered upsets in the first round: North Border’s Albert Hornung pinning No. 5 seed Cody White of Des Lacs-Burlington at 135; Linton’s Clay Jacob winning 10-8 over No. 7 seed Jordan Mann of Beulah at 145; Ellendale-Edgeley’s Raymond Orwig winning 7-5 over No. 8 seed Craig Poitra of Rolla-St. John at 160; and Central Cass’ Brett Levos pinning No. 7 seed Matt Morgan of New Salem at 285.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549