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Wrestlers continue winning ways

Lead Summary
Canaan Petersen for the Star Herald

The Cardinal wrestling team continued its winning ways on Feb. 8 by defeating Springfield (Minnesota) 42-39 and Viborg-Hurley (South Dakota) 60-18.
The team has posted a 4-1 record the past three weeks heading into the Section 3A team tournament.
The Cardinals travel to Adrian to take on Wabasso in the first round of the section tournament Thursday, Feb. 17.
Luverne 42, Springfield 39
The Cardinals began their night with a Brody Kopp pin over Nicholas Goebner in 1:17.
Rayden Boyenga then pinned Will Schmidt in 23 seconds before Josh Stroh received a forfeit. The team had jumped out to an 18-0 lead.
Springfield rebounded with a pin at the 126-pound weight class and a decision at 132 pounds, bringing the team score closer at 18-9.
Luverne’s next three wrestlers pinned their opponents in less than two minutes combined. 
Noah Mehlhaff pinned Hunter Johnson in 36 seconds at 138 pounds and Zach Bradley bested Paytin Johnson in 18 seconds at 145. At 152, Braydon Ripka completed the trifecta, pinning Joe Jensen in 42 seconds.
The Cardinals held on to a 36-9 lead.
Between the 160 and 285-pound weight classes, Springfield won five of the remaining six individual matches by pin or forfeit, but Luverne’s Jacob Madison won a critical match to finalize the Cardinal victory. 
Wrestling at 170 pounds, he pinned Houston Johnson in 1:21, sealing the 42-39 win.
The season is turning out to be a memorable one for the Luverne wrestlers.
“It felt great getting two individual wins tonight and helping with the two team victories,” Brody Kopp said. “I’m proud of wrestling at 106 for Luverne because I’m a seventh-grader and I accomplished 14 wins this season.”
Luverne 60,
Viborg-Hurley 18
The Cardinals won the first seven individual matches enroute to the 60-18 win.
Beginning at 106 pounds, Brody Kopp bested Cody Kitzing by pinning him in 1:28.
Rayden Boyenga and Josh Stroh at 113 and 120 each received a forfeit.
Leif Ingebretsen secured a pin in 1:24 over Gage Skjonsberg at 126 pounds before Hudson Hough added to the team score with another forfeit at 132.
Luverne’s Noah Mehlhaff again started a trio of pins for the team by pinning Maxx Holm in 29 seconds at 138 pounds.
Zach Bradley pinned Jett Kuchta in 23 seconds at 145 before Braydon Ripka pinned Nolyn Spielman in 1:50 at 152 pounds.
The team score at that point was 48-0 in favor of the Cardinals.
After Luverne suffered their first defeat of the night at 160 pounds, Jacob Madison responded by pinning Jaksen Olson in 4:36 at 170.
After a Luverne forfeit at 182 pounds, Ayden Bonnett secured one last Cardinal pin over Jacob Johnson in 1:43.
Viborg-Hurley’s Simeon Thompson received a forfeit at 285 pounds after a double forfeit at 220. The Cardinals had their second victory of the night, 60-18.
“These guys came out and showed that we are competitive against teams even when we give up so many points to forfeits,” head coach Jordan Kopp said. “I’m proud of them, and we are headed into our postseason with a little more confidence.”

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