Four Trojans earn way to state

Morgan Parriott puts the squeeze on an opponent. He qualified for state at 152 pounds. (Chuck Kajer Photo)

The New Prague Trojan wrestlers, coming off their Section 2AA team championship a week earlier, turned toward individual efforts last weekend, competing in the Section 2AA individual tournament in Waconia.

Four Trojans earned trips to the State Class AAindividual tournament, to be held Friday and Saturday, March 1 and 2, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Ninthgrader Griffin Parriott claimed the championship at 120 pounds, sophomore James Berg took second at 126, senior Morgan Parriott was second at 152 and junior Nathan Preston was second at 220.

Before these wrestlers pursue individual goals, the Trojans will compete one last time this year as a team at the State Class AA team tournament Thursday, Feb. 28. Four quarterfinal matches will begin at 9 a.m., with the No. 4-seeded Trojans (25-3) taking on No. 5 seed Adrian (29- 3). Other quarterfinal matches have No. 1 Kasson-Mantorville (26-4) vs. Perham (22-6), No. 2 Simley (28-6) vs. Chisago Lakes (19-7) and No. 3 Foley (22-4) vs. Totino- Grace (12-1).

Consolation semifinals will be at 11 a.m., championship semifinals at 1 p.m., third place and consolation championships at 5 p.m. and the championship match will begin at 7 p.m.

Individual meet The Trojans’ lone champion was Griffin Parriott. A state runner-up last season, the freshman is ranked No. 1 in the state at 120 pounds and breezed through the bracket, winning four matches.

He opened against Jordan Johnson of Tri-City United and won on a 10-3 decision. He pinned Cole Paskach of Delano in 3 minutes, 54 seconds, then earned a major decision against Shaun Timmerman of St. Peter. He defeated Riley Drew of Hutchinson in the championship match, 4-2.

With a 38-5 record going into the tournament, Parriott will open against No. 4- ranked senior Jayden Bullerman of Adrian on Friday.

Berg won two matches to earn his way to the finals at 126. He opened with a technical fall over Tyler Karl of Hutchinson, then scored a 12-5 decision over Matt Elsenpeter of Watertown- Mayer/Mayer Lutheran. He lost the championship match to Zach Siegle of Scott West on a 3-0 decision and took second place.

Berg, unranked with a 31- 11 record, will face Nate Thomas of Kasson-Mantorville in the first round. Thomas, a senior with a 39-3 record, is ranked No. 1 in the state at 126.

Senior Morgan Parriott added to his school record win total by going 4-1 at the tournament. The No. 1 seed opened with a fall over Nick Jenkins of Glencoe-Silver Lake in 1:07, then pinned Rusty Hewitt of Mankato West in 24 seconds. He scored a technical fall over Cody Lorentz of Mankato East, then lost a 2-0 decision to Josh Selly of Tri-City United. Parriott had to survive a true-second match, defeating Mason Henze of Waconia 5-1.

Morgan Parriott, who was ranked No. 9 in the state at 145 before moving up a weight in the post-season, has a 36-8 record. He will face Reed Gmahl of Mora, a junior with a 21-5 record.

Preston, a junior, lost in the semifinals, then came back through the wrestlebacks to earn his way to state. He opened with a 53-second pin over Anthony Putz of St. Peter, then lost a 6-3 decision to Jake Filk of Hutchinson. He pinned Brandon Greenwald of New Ulm and Jon Ernst of Watertown- Mayer/Mayer Lutheran in the wrestlebacks. He won the true-second match over Riley Trinka of Waconia by fall in 2:13.

Preston, with a 35-6 record, is ranked No. 6 in the state. He will face No. 3 JD Struxness of Dawson- Boyd/Lac Qui Parle Valley, a senior with a 7-0 record.

Six other Trojans placed in the top six. They were:

Third: Nick Knutson (113), Richard Reinartz (145),

Fourth: Joe Heinz (160),

Fifth: Zach Lafavor (285)

Sixth: Sam Reyant (103), Cody Sirek (195).

Those who did not place were: Darick Kvam (132), Brennan Hallet (138), Cameron Schmitz (170) and Mitch Gullickson (182).