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Tom Mix, Published February 15 2014

Shearer joins elite group with fifth ND Class A wrestling title

BISMARCK – When West Fargo junior Jordan Shearer stepped off the mat following his Class A 132-pound championship match, he experienced a feeling only three other North Dakota prep wrestlers have known.

Shearer was a state champion for the fifth time in his career.

“I am very proud,” said Shearer, who finishes the year 50-3. “All of the hard work pays off, and this goes to show that. I have the confidence because I know I put in the work. I knew I was going to go out there and do it. I just had to wrestle hard.”

Shearer scored a 13-2 major decision over Bismarck’s Lane Kaseman on Saturday during the Class A state wrestling tournament at the Bismarck Civic Center. He joins Dave Hillard (Lakota), Levi Haugen (Minot Ryan) and Scott Glasser (Bismarck) as the only wrestlers in state history to win five individual state championships.

“My strategy was to score bonus points,” Shearer said. “That is what I was looking for. I scored bonus points in every match at this tournament. My goal was to go out there and dominate and score some bonus points for the team.”

No wrestler in state history has won six titles – a feat Shearer could accomplish next season.

“(Jordan) has been a tough competitor all season for us,” West Fargo head coach Kayle Dangerud said. “He is one of our leaders, and he sets a good example for the rest of the wrestlers on the team.

West Fargo had eight wrestlers reach the finals, but only Shearer secured a state title.

Bismarck snapped the Packers’ recent streak of team individual state championships posting 254 points for its first team title since 2011. West Fargo finished a close second with 252 points. Fargo Davies posted 110.5 points for fourth place.

“We lost a few close matches in the finals,” Dangerud said. “Bismarck wrestled well and you have to give them credit, but I thought our guys gave a great effort like they have all season.”

North’s Hanson repeats at 220 pounds

Fargo North senior Olaf Hanson’s road to a repeat was somewhat rocky, but Saturday the Spartans standout stood alone at 220 pounds.

Hanson (37-9) collected a 9-6 decision over Turtle Mountain-Belcourt’s Waylon DeCoteau for his second straight title.

“After winning last year, I knew I would have a big target on my back,” Hanson said. “The climb to the top this season was a lot more difficult, but that makes this win all that much better.”

Hanson built an early lead, but DeCoteau scored a takedown in the final period to make it a wild final minute. Hanson responded with two takedowns.

“It was a tough match that went back and forth,” Hanson said. “I had to keep the score in my head and stay mentally focused at the end.”

Davies has two wrestlers win state titles

Entering Saturday, Davies only had one wrestler – Cole Mehring – in its record books as winning two individual state titles.

Seniors Cole Alexander and Hunter Swensen doubled that number, winning at 170 and 285 pounds, respectively.

“It doesn’t seem real,” Alexander said of his championship earned by scoring a 5-3 decision over West Fargo’s Kollin Kragnes. “It feels like I still have more matches to win, but it also feels incredible.”

Swensen pinned West Fargo’s Brandon Metz in 52 seconds, giving him a 2-1 edge in the series this season against West Fargo’s standout heavyweight. Metz won the first meeting this season when the Eagles and Packers met in a dual, which lit a charge in Swensen.

“That loss humbled me a little,” Swensen said. “I underestimated him, and I learned then to never do that again. He gave me the motivation I needed to get to the finish line, and I feel that if I hadn’t lost that match earlier in the year, I wouldn’t have won the state championship.”

Takedowns

Bismarck senior Ryan Blees (48-0) won the 160-pound state title – his fourth career individual state championship. … Blees, who is ranked No. 1 nationally at 160, was named Class A wrestler of the year. … Derrick Dixon of Turtle Mountain-Belcourt won Class A coach of the year honors. … Valley City senior Zach Doty (36-6) won the 182-pound championship. … “It feels good to finish out on top,” Doty said. “It feels like a big boulder has been taken off my shoulders and there is no more pressure.” … Jamestown senior Eathan Gumke scored a 3-0 decision to win the 195-pound championship.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562