USC’s duo continues to defy odds

Published 2:40 am Friday, March 6, 2009

United South Central wrestlers A.J. Dreyer and Preston Stolach turned in solid days to remain in the Class 1A individual state tournament.

Dreyer faced a difficult day in his quarterfinal match at 215 Thursday and was pinned by No. 1-ranked Brad Kneisl in 1 minute, 32 seconds.

Dreyer wasn’t finished though. He came back in the wrestlebacks for a 10-5 decision against Long Praire-Grey Eagle’s Brian Reece to pull through to the next round.

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Preston Stolach had an exciting day at 145 with the first piece of excitement coming when he found himself back in the tournament.

Stolach’s first round opponent, No. 1-ranked Jordan Bendson, of Staples-Motley, needed a 3-2 overtime victory against third-ranked Sam Lindgren to get another match.

Stolach took advantage of his renewed tournament run. He faced Lindgren and pulled through with a 5-3 overtime victory to advance to see another day at the state tournament.

“We’re really happy with his performance,” said Rebels head coach Steven Wood. “He was pretty tired at the end of the third period, he had to get that one point to put it into overtime, but he did it. I said to him, ‘It’s yours. I know you want it.’ He got it right away to start the overtime.”

It’s been a pleasant run for the pair of juniors who were seeded third at the section tournament and not expected to even make the state tournament.

“I think they can both place for sure,” Wood said. “Nobody expected them to get this far.”