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Gael Duckett earns gold in Emmetsburg

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Ryan Duckett of St. Edmond grabs Akron-Westfield Jader Briggs on Thursday. For more photos, please visit CU.messengernews.net

EMMETSBURG — Ryan Duckett knows what it means to win a tournament title in Emmetsburg.

The St. Edmond junior was on the cusp last season and fell short. But that defeat drove him this time around and he brought home the 113-pound crown at the Emmetsburg Invitational.

Duckett (7-0) who just returned to the mat on Thursday after recovering from an injury, picked up three victories on Saturday, two over ranked opponents.

“Last year I made it to the finals and came up short,” Duckett said. “It made me hungry for the win this year.

“This is a very tough tournament considering I had three ranked kids in my bracket.”

In the quarters, Duckett earned a fall in 1:13 over Jacob Pytieski. In semifinal action he beat Eagle Grove’s ninth-ranked Gabe Rolon, 13-11.

“To come out on top felt great,” Duckett said. “I wrestled really tough and I’m happy with the result.

“It feels great to get back into the swing of things with a hard fought tournament win.”

Duckett was pitted against third-ranked (106 pounds) Donovan Hanson of West Bend-Mallard in the finals. Duckett picked up an 11-8 overtime victory, handing Hanson his only loss of the season.

“Wrestling against Hanson was big for Ryan. Last year at Carroll, he took it to us,” said St. Edmond head coach Eugene Carlson. “It was a great match and a match that Ryan had been waiting for. Ryan got a cradle in overtime and took him to his back to get the win. Ryan has his eyes set pretty high this season.”

St. Edmond freshman Ronnie Orres (10-4) placed sixth. Orres won his first match 12-11 over Nic Lowe of Emmetsburg and then fell in the semifinals to Jacob Zabka of Algona. He then lost to Lowe in the fifth place match.

Noah Carlson (5-8) picked up two victories on the day and placed seventh. Carlson beat West Bend-Mallard’s Mike Auten 9-8 in the consolation third round, and then topped Clayton Faulkner of Okoboji 8-2 in the seventh place match.

“Ronnie got a big win in that first match and got the rematch against Zabka who beat him in his first match of his career,” Carlson said. “We know we could have done better, but we just weren’t able to do what we wanted to do. He was wrestling against some bigger more experienced kids.

“Noah got seventh after facing the top-seed in the quarterfinals. But he kept going and won twice. He needed the confidence boost for his mindset. He wrestled hard when he could have easily given up.”

Elly Berry (126), Johnny Dickerson (145), Tyler Rossmanith (160) and Grant Webster (170) also competed for the Gaels on the day.

Central Lyon/George-Little Rock (228) won the team title, while host Emmetsburg (189) finished second. Algona (169) was fourth, Eagle Grove (114.5) was eighth, West Bend-Mallard (96) was 10th, Pocahontas Area (69) was 12th and the Gaels (43) were 14th.

Pocahontas Area freshman Tyce Ruffridge claimed the 106 pound championship. Ruffridge, the younger brother of state champion Shea Ruffridge, beat Zabka 4-2 in the finals. He also earned a fall and a decision.

The E-Hawks claimed a championship and had one runner up showing. Sean Brennan improved to 13-1 on the season, winning the 132 pound title. He beat Birgham Vermeys of Estherville-Lincoln Central in the finals.

Brad Wirtz (13-2) was second at 152 pounds, with three wins on the day. Finishing third for the E-Hawks was Ryan Brennan (138), Bret Hoyman (160) and Jordan Anderson (220).

Andrew Hamilton (12-1) won the 220 pound championship for Algona, and the Bulldogs had three runner up showings. Hamilton had three victories on the day and defeated Eagle Grove’s top-ranked Joel Mendoza 3-2 to win the 220 pound crown.

Zabka (106), Hayden Thompson (120) and Gavin Meints (285) were runners up, while Collin Murphy (170) was third.

Eagle Grove’s sixth-ranked Mark Dawson (145) lost 8-4 to sixth-ranked Jake Nieman of OA-BCIG in the championship round. He had two falls and a major decision on the day.

Mendoza finished second, but had two wins on the day. Kaden Pritchard (106) was third for the Eagles.

Joining Hanson in the runner up circle for West Bend-Mallard was Creytan Grimm (170). Grimm lost to Storm Lake’s Kole Wiegert in the finals. He had three falls to lead up to the finals.

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