MAXWELL EARNS DELLS' FIRST WRESTLING TITLE
March 04. 2014 2:54PM
Leon Maxwell is a South Dakota Class A Wrestling State Champion.
The top-ranked 220-pound senior capped a record-setting season with four wins at the Class A State Wrestling Tournament Friday and Saturday in Rapid City.
“All the pressures off and this is really big,” Maxwell said Sunday after arriving back in Dell Rapids.
Maxwell started the tournament Friday by pinning Pine Ridge’s Max Broken Nose in the first period.
In the quarter finals, Mitchell’s Chase Klingaman lasted 42 seconds against the Quarrier wrestler.
Saturday, Maxwell became the first Dell Rapids wrestler to ever win a state title with two more wins, but they didn’t come easy.
In the semi-final, Maxwell’s third pin of the tournament came in the third period against Washington’s Trey Crisp-Peterson.
“He came out really ready to wrestle,” Maxwell said of the Warrior’s 220-pounder. “That was probably the best match I wrestled all year.”
The championship match went the distance against Aberdeen Central’s Dalton Cox. When the final whistle blew, Maxwell had a 9-2 advantage, and the state championship.
Dell Rapids head wrestling coach for the past 25-years, Craig Jorgensen was elated to finally bring home a state champion.
“It’s incredible. We’ve gotten really, really close a few times, and at times it seemed unreachable,” he said. “We finally got it done.”
Maxwell’s state championship is the first in the 42-year history of sanctioned wrestling at Dell Rapids High School.
“Leon’s got a heart of gold and he really has a great knack for wrestling,” Jorgensen said. “He’s improved every year since he started wrestling with us and this is the end result.”
Maxwell finished the season 47-1 with 36 pins. He was also ranked number one the entire year, which only added pressure for the St. Mary standout on the co-opted wrestling squad.
“I feel like I had a lot of pressure being number one all year and it was expected of me,” he said. “I’m glad I could deliver with it.”
The Quarriers sent four other wrestlers to the tournament.
Wrestling at 160 pounds, Austin Eulberg was pinned in the first round by Kasey Klapprodt of Rapid City Stevens in one minute and 58 seconds.
Eulberg bounced back in the first-round wrestleback match by pinning Brandon Hertz of Vermillion in three minutes and 37 seconds.
Tate McVay of Sturgis defeated Eulberg 12-1 in the second-round wrestlback.
Wrestling at 170 pounds, Dell Rapids’ Brock Reinhiller opened the meet with a loss to Aberdeen Central’s John Frisco. Frisco pinned the Quarrier in five minutes and 17 seconds.
Rebounding in the first-round wrestleback, Reinhiller defeated Lane Warzecha of Harrisburg 4-2. In the second-round wrestleback, the senior lost 8-3 to Shane O’Connell of Rapid City Central.
Dell Rapids senior Jacob Habeger, wrestling at 285 pounds, lost in the first round when he was pinned by Pierre’s Dylan Bennett in two minutes and 59 seconds.
Habeger pinned Lennox’s Nate DeWitt in two minutes and 23 seconds to get out of the first-round wrestleback. But his season was ended when Sturgis’ John Wilson pinned him in four minutes and 37 seconds.
Dell Rapids’ 113-pounder, Scott Warwick fell by pin in the first round to Tyler Waterson of Spearfish in a minute and 23 seconds.
Warwick fell 9-3 to Kyle Seibel of Vermillion in the first-round wrestleback.
|Jay Pickthorn / Dell Rapids Tribune
Dell Rapids' Leon Maxwell rolls with Aberdeen Central's Dalton Cox in the 220-pound weight class during the South Dakota Class A State Wrestling Tournament Friday at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.