Killdeer grapplers gearing up for regionals

Practice time is over for the Killdeer High School wrestling team. The Big Dance is looming on the horizon.


But to make it to the Fargo Dome in mid-February, there work to be done at the Region 4 Dual Tournament in New Salem on Saturday.

The Cowboys will be one of eight teams competing for two spots in the North Dakota High School Dual Team Wrestling Championships in Fargo. The regional action is slated to get started Saturday morning with the championship match going off Saturday night.

In addition to Killdeer, the field includes defending regional champion Hettinger/Scranton, which went on to place third in the state tournament a year ago.

The rest of the field includes: Beulah-Hazen, Bowman County, Beach, New Salem, New Town, Standing Rock and Watford City.

The Cowboys were scheduled to meet up with the defending champions on Thursday in a triangular at Hettinger/Scranton. Bowman County was scheduled to be in the triangular as well.

But Killdeer is battling a little more than the grapplers on the mat. The flu bug has taken down some of the Cowboys, which limited Killdeer’s success at the 26-team East-West Tournament in New Salem over the weekend.

Killdeer struggled in the tournament, placing 14th in the event that featured all of the Region 4 team. The Cowboys, led by Dillan Jepson’s silver medal at 182 pounds, scored 72.5 points.

Lisbon won the tournament with 152.5 points, followed in second place by Hettinger/Scranton. Beulah-Hazen was ninth, New Salem 10th, Bowman County 12, Watford City 13, Standing Rock 22nd and New Town 23rd overall.

The Cowboys had four wrestlers place in the tournament. In addition to Jepson, Rope Smith placed third at 195, Cole Dukart fourth at 152 and Curtis Hall eighth at 285.

Jepson made it to the finals at 182 pounds before he dropped an 8-1 decision to Soren McDaniel of Lisbon.

Smith, meanwhile, pinned Jake Connelly of Hillsboro-Central in 4 minutes, 39 seconds for his bronze medal. Cole Dukart dropped a 6-4 decision to Kaden Jaeger of Rugby in his third-place match, and Bowman County’s Tristen Peterson escaped with a 1-0 decision over Hall.

The Cowboys have proven to be a competitive team this season. They own victories over Standing Rock and Beulah-Hazen and tied New Salem this season. Their triangular with New Town and Watford City was cancelled in December and not rescheduled.

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