Wrestling: As expected, KoMets breeze through 1AA field

02-16 gabe shea paul fitterer 106 sj.jpg
Kasson Mantorville's Gabe Shea trades holds with Cannon Falls Paul Fitterer during their 106 pound match as part of the section 1AA championship Saturday at the Mayo Civic Center Taylor Arena.

As expected, there was little drama during Saturday's Section One, Class AA team tournament at Mayo Civic Center.

Kasson-Mantorville entered as the clear-cut favorite to win its third consecutive 1AA title, and some have argued this year's K-M club is the best team ever from southeastern Minnesota. The national accolades, plus three wrestlers who already have committed to wrestle for Division I college teams, and a No. 1 ranking in the state make that argument possible.

The KoMets took care of business Saturday, beating No. 5 Caledonia 65-3 in the semifinals then downing a plucky Cannon Falls team 50-12 in the finals.

The KoMets left nothing to chance Saturday. "We placed a big emphasis on bringing the same level of effort, toughness and intensity to every match, regardless of who we're wrestling," K-M co-head coach Jamie Heidt said.

K-M looked as sharp as it ever has, but Heidt said the KoMets aren't peaking yet.


"We lay out a pretty specific blue print for our peaking, and we're not there yet," Heidt said. "We are now going to start putting an emphasis on finishing. We are slowing down and getting the rest we need, pulling back a little and getting that mental focus to where it needs to be. We want everything to be there at state. That's what we've been working for."

Senior captain Broc Berge said coach Heidt fired the team up this week with some encouraging words that he feels accurately sum up the KoMets' 2013 postseason run.

"Coach Heidt said everyone has been waiting for this moment, while we've been working for this moment," Berge said. "Since we were freshman, we have been working for this state title. All the work has been for one thing. We're more focused than ever on getting that done."

While the end result never was in doubt against the Bombers, there certainly were some interesting story lines.

Right out of the gate, two of the state's best squared off as No. 2-ranked Paul Fitterer battled No. 3-ranked Gabe Shea at 106. Fitterer was one of the area's final remaining undefeated wrestlers.

Shea and Fitterer didn't disappoint. After Fitterer took a 4-1 lead, Shea rallied and then rode out Fitterer in the third period to force overtime at 4-all. And in the extra frame, Shea got in on a single-leg takedown and he finished it for a 6-4 victory. Those two likely will meet again at the Section 1AA individual tournament next weekend.

"Gabe did a great job in that match, and he didn't alter his game plan and he stayed focused on what he had to do despite being behind," K-M co-head coach Paul Mann said.

Later in the dual, there was the potential for a rematch between Berge and Clay Broze of Cannon Falls. Broze beat Berge in an earlier meeting. It was a stunning victory, considering Berge is a two-time defending state champion and he has committed to wrestle at the University of Iowa next season.


The match happened for the second time at 220 pounds, and it was incredibly similar.

Just like the first matchup, Berge led 5-3 in the third period. In that first meeting, Broze caught Berge in a headlock and threw him to his back, holding him there until the final whistle for an 8-5 win.

Trailing 5-3, Broze again caught Berge in a headlock and threw him to the mat. This time, it wasn't as deep, though, and Berge avoided surrendering any points by slipping out.

"It was more shallow this time, and Broc got out, but it was eerily similar to the first time," Mann said.

Berge finished a double-leg takedown late, and earned the 7-3 win.

Afterward, Berge said it's a rematch he requested, despite being up a weight class at 220.

"I wanted it bad," he said. "But, I learn more from my losses, and that loss really pushed me. I think I'm wrestling better than I ever have because of it."

Berge feels the Komets are ready for a run at the state title. "This was a good day, and we came out and dominated," he said. "We're ready for this. We're excited."


The KoMets have the Section 1AA individual tournament next weekend, and they wrestle at the state team tournament Thursday, Feb. 28 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

With two more wins, the KoMets likely will face five-time defending state champion Simley in the finals.

"We have really focused on taking one match at a time, taking care of business and only looking at what's right in front of us," Mann said. "Our goals are very clear, though. We have a big weekend next weekend, then we will focus on what we've been working for at state."


Cannon Falls 44, Byron 21

106 — Paul Fitterer (CF) pinned Nathaniel Douglas 3:30. 113 —Ryan Epps (CF) tech. fall Flabio Olmos 16-1. 120 —Tyler Wilson (CF) dec. Isaac Marolt 4-2 OT. 126 —Keston Lopez (CF) tech. fall Nate Peterson 16-0. 132 —Connor Rohr (CF) pinned Alex Bertram 1:06. 138 —Roman Wundrow (CF) dec. Jake Bieber 3-2. 145 —Brett Bradford (B) pinned Bo Schutte 1:18. 152 —Sterling Carlson (CF) dec. Isaac Jestus 4-2. 160 —Derek Johnson (CF) dec. Tanner Long 6-4. 170 —Brian Betram (B) pinned Deven Zier 1:30. 182 —Justin Miest (CF) maj. dec. Nick Douglas 8-0. 195 —Matt Hintz (B) dec. Nathan Melhouse 10-8. 220 —Clay Broze (CF) pinned Eli Johnson :27. 285 —Jacob Rabe (B) pinned Cooper Rohloff 1:31.

Kasson-Man. 65, Caledonia 3

106 — Gabe Shea (KM) tech. fall Jacob Winjum 15-0. 113 —Jesse Johnson (KM) dec. Hunter Hauser-Caldwell 2-1. 120 —Ryan Erdmann (KM) pinned Tylor Nelson 1:14. 126 —Nate Thomas (KM) tech. fall Dylan Lee 21-6. 132 —Brady Berge (KM) pinned Luke Werner 1:17. 138 —Coltan Laganiere (KM) tech. fall Drew Stemper 15-0. 145 —Branden Schorr (KM) dec. Dylan Stemper 9-2. 152 —Jake Swindell (C) dec. Andy Bigelow 1-0. 160 —Aaron Berge (KM) pinned Eli Craig 5:02. 170 —Corben Hansen (KM) tech. fall Mitchel Schmitz 16-1. 182 —Harrison Barnes (KM) pinned David Wagner 3:34. 195 —Brog Berge (KM) pinned Viktor Guth 1:49. 220 —Bryce Seljan (KM) dec. Blake Mauss 3-0. 285 —Sam Stoll (KM) won by forfeit.



Kasson-Man. 50, Cannon Falls 12

106 — Gabe Shea (KM) dec. Paul Fitterer 6-4 OT. 113 —Ryan Epps (CF) dec. Jesse Johnson 3-2. 120 —Ryan Erdmann (KM) maj. dec. Tyler Wilson 10-2. 126 —Nate Thomas (KM) pinned Keston Lopez 2:23. 132 —Brady Berge (KM) maj. dec. Connor Rohr 15-4. 138 —Coltan Laganiere (KM) pinned Roman Wundrow 5:25. 145 —Branden Schorr (KM) pinned Bo Schutte 3:32. 152 —Andy Bigelow (KM) dec. Sterling Carlson 4-1. 160 —Derek Johnson (CF) dec. Aaron Berge 8-4. 170 —Corben Hansen (KM) pinned Devon Zier 1:27. 182 —Justin Miest (CF) pinned Hayden Sheeran 3:19. 195 —Harrison Barnes (KM) dec. Nathan Melhouse 11-5. 220 —Broc Berge (KM) dec. Clay Broze 7-3. 285 —Sam Stoll (KM) pinned Cooper Rohloff :12.

02-16 broc berge clay broze 220 sj.jpg
Kasson Mantorville's Broc Berge with the single leg on Cannon Falls Clay Broze during their 220 pound match as part of the section 1AA championship Saturday at the Mayo Civic Center Taylor Arena.

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