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Mixed emotions

Webster City wins FDSH Invite, but wrestler seriously injured

December 22, 2013
By DANA BECKER - Messenger Sports Writer ( , Messenger News

It was a subdued celebration on Saturday for the Webster City wrestling team.

The Lynx captured team gold at the 40th annual Don Miller Invitational inside the Dodger gym, outdistancing itself from host Fort Dodge.

However, everyone was thinking about fallen 152-pound wrestler Brandon Jessen afterward. Jessen suffered a fractured vertebrae injury during his semifinal round match.

Article Photos

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla

Connor Larson of Webster City competes on Saturday during the Don Miller Invitational inside the Dodger gym. For more photos from the meet, please visit CU at

According to Webster City head coach Ted Larson, Jessen had movement in his extremities, but was flown to Des Moines Methodist to see a neurosurgeon for possible surgery.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Brandon and his family," Larson said. "It was a scary scene, especially here with Tim Ascherl (former Dodger state champion, who suffered a neck injury in college while competing for Drake University) in attendance.

"We are all thinking about Brandon."

Fact Box


Team Standings

(Number of champions)

1. Webster City, 213.5 (3); 2. Fort Dodge, 158 (4); 3. Lewis Central, 154 (1); 4. Blue Springs South (Mo.), 144.5 (1); 5. Clarinda, 141 (1); 6. Sioux City East, 125 (2); 7. St. Edmond, 111.5 (1); 8. (tie) Ames, 109; 8. (tie) Ankeny Centennial, 109; 10. Bondurant-Farrar, 74.5 (1); 11. Newton, 73; 12. Nevada, 55.5; 13. Thunder Ridge (Colo.), 51.5; 14. Storm Lake, 50.5; 15. LeMars, 29; 16. Emmetsburg, 28.

106 pounds

Championship: Triston Lara, FD pinned Koby Hull, N; 2:38; Third-place: Christian Findley, BSS pinned Tanner Lundgren, E, 5:03.

113 pounds

Championship: Erik Birnbaum, FD major dec. Ryan Szalat, SE, 10-2; Third-place: David Opheim, TR pinned Trey Rouse, AC, 1:18.

120 pounds

Championship: Blake Luna, C pinned Dalton Kenig, BSS, 4:44; Third-place: Kaden McClintock, SE tech. fall Justice Hitchcock, BF, 16-0, 2:24.

126 pounds

Championship: Caleb Coleman, BF dec. Jordan Bailey, LC, 6-4 (OT); Third-place: Cole Detmering, FD pinned Donte Peterson, C, 5:47.

132 pounds

Championship: Sam Hampton, BSS pinned Aaron Noce, AC, 1:56; Third-place: Mac Southard, LC dec. Casey Coon, SCE, 6-4 (OT).

138 pounds

Championship: Johnny Stephens, SCE pinned Mason Heredia-Pugh, LC, 1:30; Third-place: Ryan Ferrari, WC dec. Juan Rio, SL, 6-4.

145 pounds

Championship: Jacob Powers, WC major dec. Marcus Coleman, A, 17-6; Third-place: Nick Ruis, LC pinned Traye Pelzer, N, 5:06.

152 pounds

Championship: Jonah Egli, FD won by medical forfeit over Brandon Jessen, WC; Third-place: Luke Strong, C pinned Josh Schambach, SCE, 1:06.

160 pounds

Championship: Ethan Ruby, LC dec. Alex Oswald, WC, 9-5; Third-place: J.J. Clark, C pinned Cole Bailey, BF, 1:54.

170 pounds

Championship: Mitchell Otto, SCE dec. Hank Swalla, A, 8-7; Third-place: Connor Larson, WC pinned Hayden Waldstein, LC, :57.

182 pounds

Championship: Sam Cook, FD dec. Brandon Patton, WC, 6-3; Third-place: Wyatt Parker, BSS dec. Calvin Buchanan, SCE, 9-4.

195 pounds

Championship: Dylan Fielder, WC dec. Ray Schroeder, N, 5-1; Third-place: John Ware, AC major dec. Riley Prescott, FD, 14-2.

220 pounds

Championship: Vinnie Harvey, SE dec. Christian Boyles, BSS, 7-2; Third-place: Gustavo Gasca, WC dec. Harrison Townsend, A, 7-3.

285 pounds

Championship: Gavin Dinsdale, WC dec. Collin Olson, AC, 3-1 (OT); Third-place: Cole West, BSS pinned Dakota Calfee, C, :44.

The Lynx crowned three champions in scoring 213.5 points. The Dodgers were second, followed by Lewis Central, Blue Springs South (Mo.) and Clarinda.

"Outside of Brandon's injury, we had a really great day," Larson said. "The kids came out and wrestled hard. We had six in the finals and won three, so it was a strong way to finish the first half of the season.

"We've got some big tournaments and meets right out of the gates (in January), so we'll have to get right back at it.

Jacob Powers, No. 5 (Class 2A) Dylan Fielder and Gavin Dinsdale all claimed titles for the Lynx, while Jessen, Alex Oswald and Brandon Patton were silver medalists.

Earning bronze were Ryan Ferrari, fifth-ranked Connor Larson and Gustavo Gasca.

"We like coming to these kind of tournaments (with bigger schools) because it helps us build for the postseason," Larson said. "There's no point in going to tournaments and just running through teams and not seeing any competition.

"This makes us better."

Larson's focus after the tournament shifted quickly to Jessen, who was stepping in for the squad's regular 152-pounder, Tanner Hild. Larson commended the medical staff for "being right on top of things.

"They had Brandon stable and out of here in 10 minutes, which is incredibly quick. Hopefully, we'll get some good news on him soon."

Blue Springs South is coached by ex-Dodger Doug Black, who was a back-to-back state runner-up in 1987 and '88. The Jaguars had one champion in 132-pounder Sam Hampton.

Another former Fort Dodge standout now coaching, Clarinda's Josh Porter, crowned one champion as well at 120 pounds when Blake Luna earned a fall.

In the consolation final at 113 pounds, Thunder Ridge's (Colo.) David Opheim earned a pin over Trey Rouse of Ankeny Centennial. Opheim's father, Matt, is a graduate of FDSH.

Emmetsburg's top finisher was Tanner Lundgren, who took fourth at 106 pounds.



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