The Killdeer Cowboys went to Fargo last weekend for the Class B Individual state tournament. The Cowboys did well, placing two wrestlers in the top three of the tournament.
By Jarann Johnson
For the DC Herald
Derek Tabor, senior 170, was on a mission early on. Tabor won his first match 18-1 over Thomas Gregoire (Larimore). Tabor kept building after the tech fall and earned a pin in the state quarterfinals over Carsen Canfield (Williams County) in 1 minute and 31 seconds.
Tabor, the No. 3-seeded wrestler in his class, faced the No. 2-seeded wrestler at 170, Bridger Anderson (Carrington), in the semifinals. Tabor tried to prove the seeding wrong and earn an upset but fell 14- 10. Andersen went on to grab champion honors at tournament.
Tabor’s day battling top-seeded wrestlers wasn’t over. Tabor’s first consolation match was against Clayton Grueneich (Ellendale/Edgeley/Kulm). Grueneich was the No. 4-seeded wrestler in the 170 class.
The No. 3 vs No. 4 battle was close but Tabor earned the win 4-3, earning a spot in the third place match. Tabor faced Carter Brown (Pembina County North) and didn’t falter in the third place match.
Tabor won the match 8-4, ending his high school wrestling career with a win. Tabor finished the regular season with a 42-5 mark overall.
Dillan Tabor also wrestled well for Killdeer at the tournament and placed third in the 182 class. Jepson started the tournament off well with a 2:46 pin over John Pruneda (Hillsboro/Central Valley).
Jepson, the No.3-seed, faced a tough challenge in the state quarterfinals. Jepson took on Shane Forster (New Salem-Almont).
Forster, a Region 4 rival, and Jepson were entered the match well acquainted with each other. Forster tried to use his knowledge of Jepson to his advantage but Jepson was just a little bit better and won the match 7-6.
Jepson found himself in the same spot as Tabor in the semifinals. Tabor faced Soren McDaniel (Lisbon), the No. 2-seeded wrestler in the tournament.
Jepson tried to get the upset win in the No. 2 vs No. 3 seed battle and prove the seeds were wrong but came up one take down shy. McDaniel won the match 9-7 and finished as runner-up in the tournament.
The tournament champion at 182 was Riley Lura (Carrington). Jepson recovered well pinning Jarod Roth (Oakes) in 2:13. Jepson’s win pushed him into the third-place match against another Region 4 final.
Jepson faced Kobe Murphy (Standing Rock). The last time both wrestlers matched up was in the Region 4 championship but Murphy issued a medical forfeit before the match.
Jepson got the better of his Region 4 rival winning 8-3. The win gave Jepson third place honors and put him in great position to turn next year into a championship chase. Jepson earned the highest place for underclassmen in the 182 class at the tournament.
The Cowboys had three other wrestler compete at the state tournament; Zach Andersen, Liam McFadden and Curtis Hall. Andersen (132) ended the season with a 8-15 overall record. McFadden (220) finished the season 4-20 and Hall (285) finished the season 7-16.