The Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus Road Crew wrestling team finished second at the Wadena-Deer River tournament on Saturday Dec. 1.
Thief River Falls placed first with 178 points while the Road Crew compiled 166. Perham, always a tough foe for the Road Crew and rated No. 9 in the state, placed fourth with 146 points. W-DC, usually a top scoring team at its own tournament, placed last with 36 points.
Placing first for the Road Crew were Anthony Phillipson and Drey Loge while Triston Rubner, Jace Loge, Nathan Adkins and Justin Mackenthun all placed second.
Phillipson, a junior rated No. 6 in the state at 106 pounds, won his first two matches by fall in 2:25 and 1:34. He then had to wrestle Anthony Kern, who is rated No. 7 in the state, and won with a major decision 10-2.
Road Crew eighth grader Spencer Richards placed third with a pin over Justin Bacon from UNC at 113. Brandon Mager placed sixth at 120.
Nate Adkins advanced with a bye then won 5-1 against Marshall Willis of Bertha Hewitt at 126. Adkins then lost 9-3 in the championship against UNC senior Jake Malone, who was rated No. 5.
The Road Crew’s Triston Rubner, rated No. 10, received a bye then won with a pin at 3:19 at 132. In the final match he lost in overtime 4-2 to Noah Bernier from Thief River Falls. Jace Loge, a junior at 138, won his first contest 4-3 before stopping Brandon Wooge of GBMR 4-0. Loge then lost 3-1 in the finals against Austin Hjelle of TRF.
Drey Loge, a senior at 145 who is rated No. 4 in the state, started off with a pin at 1:09 against Andrew Cihlar from B-H-V. Loge won his second match with another pin at 1:32 against Jacob Jenson from BGB. Loge faced Luke Sailer of Perham in the championship match. Loge dominated the No. 8 rated wrestler and won 5-0.
Trevor Johnson, a junior at 152, placed fourth for the Road Crew. He defeated Wyatt Puttonen of UNC 4-0 in the semifinals. He eventually lost the third-place match 4-3 against senior Brady Sazama of Perham.
The Road Crew’s Ozzie Miller, 160, and Kyle Jordan, 170, both placed sixth.
Justin Mackenthun, a senior wrestling at 182 for the Road Crew, won his first match with a pin at 22 seconds, and then lost in the championship 7-6 against Triston Palmer of UNC.
Cadel Roeder, a junior at 195, placed fourth while senior teammate Kurt Kent lost his first match at 220, but came back with a 7-3 win against Trent Jahuke of Perham. Kent won his third-place match 10-9 against Tanner Bacon of UNC. Kent lost 3-1 against Devin Roering of Long Prairie to place fourth.
Heavyweight Jared Adkins received a bye, and then lost to Jon Erickson of TRF. Adkins won his next match 3-1 against John French from BHV before losing 4-1 against Kody Kunerth of LP-GE. Adkins finished fourth.
“There were good moments and bad moments,” said Road Crew coach Jared Hoffarth. “We still have a lot of work to do, and we have to make some adjustments, but all 14 wrestlers placed.”
“Anthony (Phillipson) is the real deal, and he is going to be so tough this year."
Hoffarth added that the Road Crew's Jace Loge defeated two wrestlers who beat him last year.
"Jace wrestled strong in his last match," said the coach, who added that. "Drey (Loge) dominated, and looked good with two nice takedowns in the last match.”
The tournament marked the season opener for the Road Crew, who finished with a 21-3 overall record last season.