The Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus Road Crew senior Drey Loge finished fourth at the Class AA state individual tournament on Friday and Saturday, March 1-2, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Loge, who had a 42-3 record this season and was ranked second in his 145-pound weight class, finishes his high school career with 142 wins and two trips to state as an individual.
Another state qualifier for the Road Crew was Anthony Philipson, who did not place but won two matches at 106 pounds. The junior finishes the season 32-6 overall in his second trip to state.
“When you go to state it’s always your goal to get on the podium, and Drey made it and Anthony was one win away,” said Road Crew coach Travis Hoffarth. “We knew we had a good chance with both of them since it was their second year at state. (Loge and Phillipson) combined to wrestle nine matches at state. You know good things are happening when you wrestle that many matches. I’m proud of both of our guys.”
Loge’s first match was against Byron senior Brett Bradford. Loge won 2-0 behind a first-period takedown. Loge then defeated Eric Madson of Hutchinson. He was leading 1-0 and riding his opponent for the entire second period before getting an escape in the third. Loge advanced to face Mack Short of Smiley in the semifinals on Saturday. Short was the No. 1-rated wrestler after finishing third last year. Short defeated Loge 5-3 and eventually finished second.
“Drey was down 4-2 (against Short) and he rode him the entire third period,” Hoffarth said. “Drey was trying to turn him, and (Short) was called for stalling late in the match. Drey gained one point, but it was too late.”
Meanwhile, Loge faced Detroit Lakes’ Parker Jackson in the wrestleback round. Jackson had defeated Loge in the Section 8AA final, but this time Loge gained redemption by defeating Jackson 4-2. Loge had a takedown and two escapes to Parker’s one takedown. Loge then wrestled for third-place where he lost to Annandale/Maple Lake’s Jordan Hanan 7-2 in overtime. Hanan clinched the win in overtime by getting a shot off the whistle and putting Loge on his back.
Philipson won his opening match at state with a 5-4 win over Jaxon Sommers from Totino Grace. Philipson was taken down in the first period, but put Sommers on his back in the second. Philipson found himself on his back in the third, but got a reversal for the win.
Philipson then lost 14-5 against Jacob Jewett of Glencoe/Lester Prairie. In the wrestlebacks, Philipson defeated Josh Tarum from St. Thomas Academy. He was trailing 4-0, but rallied to win by fall. In his final match, Phillipson was tied 2-2 after two periods against Paul Fitterer of Cannon Falls. He ended up losing 7-2 after finding himself on his back against Fitterer, who had 45 wins this season.
“Anthony was trailing 4-0 (against Tarum) but came back with a big pin to advance to the second day,” Hoffarth said. “Anthony had a good tournament as he finished 2-2 overall. He broke 100 wins this year, and has a good chance of being in the top five all-time for Road Crew wins.”
The Road Crew team received the Silver Academic Award for an overall grade-point average of 3.38, and Loge was one of five wrestlers honored with the Scholarship Award.