Curtis leads Milaca wrestlers at state tourney

Senior Joey Curtis posted a 2-2 record at the Class AA State Individual Wrestling Tournament Friday and Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Curtis, who was making his fourth appearance at the Class AA Individual Tournament, set the pace for the Wolves’ four state entrants.

“Joey did a good job and it was a nice way for him to end his career at Milaca,” said Milaca Co-Head Coach Mitch Vedders. “He was a hard worker for us all season and represented us well.

“Our other entrants worked hard and all three will be back next season. This year’s experience at state will be a boost for them.”

Curtis won a 10-3 decision over junior Austin Hjelle of Thief River Falls in his first-round match Friday, then lost to senior Jake Weierke of Scott West 10-8 in three overtimes in the quarterfinals.

He came back and won a 9-4 decision over senior Riley Roth of Marshall in the wrestlebacks before losing a 23-9 major decision to eighth-grade standout Brady Berge of Kasson-Mantorville.

Curtis finished the season with a 31-7 record.

•Junior Ray Hoffman went 0-2 at 113 pounds. He dropped his opening match against sophomore David Flynn of Scott West 2-0, then lost an 8-1 decision to junior Jakob Stageberg of New-London Spicer.

Hoffman finished the season with a 29-8 record.

•Sophomore Austin Weidner took a quick lead in his opening match against junior Bobby Lee of Becker but Lee came back and scored a pin in 3:41. Weidner lost a 6-1 decision to senior Miles Hammerlund of Delano in his second match.

Weidner finished the season with a 30-8 record.

•Junior Brandon Merten faced unbeaten and eventual 285-pound champion senior Sam Stoll of Kasson-Mantorville in the first round and was pinned in the first period. Stoll went on to finish his season 46-0.

Merten won a 5-3 decision over senior Zach Mahan of Orono in the wrestlebacks, then lost to senior Davion Franklin of Watertown-Mayer by a fall in 1:33.

Merten finished the season 26-13.

Note: The annual Milaca Youth Tournament is Friday, starting at 6 p.m.

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