Rebels compete at state wrestling tournament

Published 12:48 pm Friday, February 27, 2015

ST. PAUL — The United South Central wrestling team picked up one win Friday at the Class A state tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Rebels junior Derek Herman, ranked No. 4, won his first-round bout at 152 pounds with a 6-4 decision over No. 7 Jacob Mages of Paynesville Area.

Herman trailed 2-0 before he went on a 4-2 run in the third period.

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“I just made sure I stayed focused and didn’t give up too many points to keep it close enough for me to fire back in the third period to get the win,” Herman said.

This was the first season Herman didn’t compete with his older brother, Dylan, who graduated last season and competes for the Minnesota State University, Mankato, wrestling team.

Although his brother was unable to attend, Herman said he sent updates.

“I was texting him before the match to keep in touch,” Herman said.

In the quarterfinals, Herman ran into No. 1 Kolton Eischens and had an early 2-1 lead but lost 14-3. In the first round of the consolation bracket, Herman lost 5-2 against No. 8 Conner Meyer of Barnesville.

Herman finished the season with a 33-6 record.

USC’s Adam Knutson competed at 145 pounds. He lost a 3-1 decision against Damon Schmalzriedt of Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial in the first round.

“We thought Adam wrestled really well in his first match,” said USC coach Marcus Eytcheson. “He went after it and took some shots. He wasn’t able to finish, but he did was he was supposed to do and stuck with the gameplan. That kid (Schmalzriedt) was tough.”

Schmalzriedt went on to win a 5-4 decision in the quarterfinals over No. 6 Austin Skillings of Frazee, which kept Knutson from being eliminated.

However, Knutson’s tournament ended with a 5-2 loss in the first round of wrestlebacks against Skillings.

Knutson finished the season with a 31-11 record.