Seventh-grader nervous but eager to make mark at state

When the wrestling season started, Hunter Kluver just wanted to make the team at Killdeer High School.

The 120-pound seventh-grader did more than that.


He’s going to the 2017 North Dakota High School Wrestling Championships at the Fargodome in Fargo this weekend.

“I’m really excited, but really nervous,” Kluver said. “I’m going to give it my best shot and try to place.”

His record isn’t sterling – at just 6-13. He comes in as the 11th seed in the tournament and is facing sixth-seeded Austin Burgard of Oakes, a junior with a 28-12 record.

But when you step on the mat at the state tournament, anything can happen.

“He was a surprise,” said Killdeer co-head coach Daniel Kerr. “He’s been performing for us for a couple of weeks.”

In the Region 4 tournament, he made his mark with a pin over senior Nikki Scheer of Beulah-Hazen in the first round.

But his confidence got a boost the week before when he stunned Alex Madrigal of Bowman County, the third seed at state.

“After I started doing more stuff, I got more confieent,” the 13-year-old Kluver said.

He was leading going into the second period, but didn’t want to leave anything to chance. Kluver kept working on his opponent, and got her on her back. Seconds later, the referee slapped the mat and Kluver was going to state.

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