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Published February 19 2010

ND Class A wrestling: Vetter picks up big win at heavyweight for Packers

Don’t be fooled by the heavyweight label West Fargo’s Zach T. Vetter has been saddled with this season.

He’s nowhere near a heavyweight at 190 pounds.

But he certainly wrestles like one.

The unseeded Packers junior pulled one of the biggest upsets of the first round of individuals at the North Dakota Class A wrestling tournament on Thursday with a 9-6 victory against No. 3 Kyle Iverson of Wahpeton. Vetter was pinned by senior Gabe Gourneau of Grand Forks Central in 5 minutes, 4 seconds in the quarterfinals.

“Thinking I beat (Iverson) in the first place is kind of really hard to believe,” said Vetter, who entered the tournament with a 12-17 record. “After winning in the first round, it made me happy I could get more points for the team.”

Vetter’s first-round win could play a major role in helping West Fargo capture the individual team title.

He earned two points for the victory and could add to that total with wins in wrestlebacks.

As an unseeded wrestler, those points are invaluable. Especially when facing the Bismarck juggernaut.

The Demons lead the team race with 87 points. West Fargo is second with 78½ .

Bismarck has eight and the Packers have six remaining in the championship bracket.

The Demons have won the last two individual team titles and seven individual crowns since 2000.

“I like to keep positive about it,” said Vetter, who is forced to wrestle at 285 because nationally ranked Scott Schiller is at 215 for the Packers. “My teammates are there for me. They know what I’m going through. Just getting through the first round was tough on me as a person and tough on me as a wrestler. I just work my way through it.”

Forde makes quick work of his opponents

Fargo South junior Eric Forde barely broke a sweat en route to the 119-pound semifinals.

He pinned Robert Poitra of Turtle Mountain in 33 seconds in the first round and pinned Wahpeton’s Tyler Mauch in 1:22 in the quarterfinals.

“Not much of a workout,” Forde said. “… But it was a good day, pretty much what I expected to happen. I want to keep it going for the rest of the tournament.”

Forde hasn’t lost in North competition the last two seasons.

So far, he’s breezed through the tournament schedule with ease.

Forde has logged a total of 201 seconds on the mat in five victories in the East Region and state tournaments.

Forde was the champion at 112 last season.

“Being dominant is a good goal,” Forde said. “Just wrestling to my ability is what I want to do.”

Takedowns

Grand Forks Central sophomore 112-pounder Katie Gavere became the first female to compete at the state tournament on Thursday. She was pinned in 1:20 in the first round by No. 3 seed Timmy West of Bismarck Century. … All nine of the returning Class A champions advanced to the semifinals: Fargo North’s Anjelo Sheperd (112), Fargo South’s Eric Forde (119), Wahpeton’s Pat Rollins (125), Bismarck’s Dustin Brendel (130), Drew Spaulding (152), Joe Schumacher (140) and Joe Latham (160), Scott Schiller (215), Payton DeCoteau (215). Latham and DeCoteau are the only members of the group attempting to defend last year’s weight class. … Bismarck’s Kip Jangula, the No. 3 seed, defeated teammate Joe Jahner, the No. 6 seed, to reach the 171-pound semifinal. It was the only matchup of teammates in the second round. … All No. 1 seeds advanceds.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562