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Published February 21 2010

North Dakota State High School Class A wrestling: Demons earn 3rd individual team title in row

West Fargo couldn’t wrestle this title away from Bismarck.

A day after losing its first dual in almost a decade, the Demons bounced back to earn their third-consecutive individual team title at the North Dakota Class A wrestling tournament Saturday at the Fargodome.

“Most of our guys were on the team last year and most of our guys will be on the team next year,” said Bismarck coach Scott Knowlen, whose team was defeated by West Fargo in the dual finals on Friday night. “For them, it was important. For me, I don’t think the program is ready to fall apart.”

Hardly.

Bismarck had plenty of firepower, winning the title despite not picking up a point during wrestlebacks or the first two rounds of consolation matches Saturday.

West Fargo had a great start thanks to West Fargo seventh-grader Jordan Shearer. Shearer pinned top-seeded Terry LaVallie of Turtle Mountain in the 103-pound match to set the tone.

“I was just hoping for a win,” Shearer said.

Bismarck’s Joe Schumacher pinned his opponent in the 140-pound title match, and Joe Latham defended his 160-pound crown against one of the Packers top guns.

Latham pinned freshman Preston Lehmann, who was the hero in the dual semifinals and finals after a pair of match-clinching pins.

“It was really important,” Latham said. “We had to get our minds back in the right attitude. We just did what we had to do today to pull it off.”


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