Wrestling team finds success at State tournament

Senior wrestler Jarred Oftedahl claimed the State Title in the 113-pound weight class

photo courtesy of BSM wrestling

Senior wrestler Jarred Oftedahl claimed the State Title in the 113-pound weight class

Andrew Birkeland, Staff Writer

When the referee signaled the end of the match, senior wrestler Jarred Oftedahl had captured his first state title. He then proceeded to do celebratory backflips on the floor of the Xcel Energy Center. Oftedahl was making his fourth state appearance in his career, and his victory in the 113 pound class capped off an exceptional year for the wrestling team.

On the year, the Red Knights finished with a team record of 15-3 and, in Class AA, finished third in total points behind annual powerhouses Kasson-Mantorville and Simley. While the team didn’t qualify for state as a whole, the program sent six individual wrestlers to the state tournament. Of them, Oftedahl, is a senior setting the foundation for more state appearances.

However, five years ago, the thought of having one of the top programs in Class AA was farfetched as there was talk of shutting down the program. With the arrival of Mr. Larry Allar, the program received a much-needed revamping of facilities and began to build a program that would compete with hockey and basketball for position in the school’s spotlight.

As the program began to grow, Oftedahl took notice and joined the Wrestling program. His freshman year, Oftedahl finished with a record of 33-10, and in his sophomore year, he took second in state. He suffered a setback his junior year, slipping a bit in success and taking fifth at state. Oftedahl and Allar had a meeting to discuss goals for his senior season as Oftedahl looked to finish his career with a state tournament victory.

Oftedahl entered into his senior year as the third member of the 100 win club, joining former Red Knights Nick Toureville (‘10) and Alex Peck (‘10) on this list. Both went on to compete in college at Boston University and St. John’s University, respectively.

As the year progressed, Oftedahl was near the top of the rankings for his class and continued to build off of his top-ten ranking nationally. At the end of the year he was number one in career pins (124) and second in school history in wins with 155, only eight behind Tourville.

Oftedahl entered the state tournament with only one loss on the season and ranked first in the state at 113 pounds. Oftedahl advanced to the state final where he would face Abbot Aho of Fergus Falls, who was undefeated on the season. Oftedahl and Aho fought for the title and, in the end, it was Oftedahl winning the match with a 8-6 decision to capture the state title.

While Oftedahl was the only memberof the Red Knights to capture a state title, there is plenty of talent in the program ready to step up and capture more state titles. Junior Christian DuLaney, a national triple crown Champion, transferred in from Shakopee and, in his first competitive season in the program, finished second at 182 pounds at the state tournament.

Another wrestler to watch going into next year will be eighth-grader Jake Allar, the coach’s son. Allar has already made two state tournament appearances and has aspirations to become a four-time state champion, a feat only 20 wrestlers in the history of Minnesota have accomplished.

The depth doesn’t stop with DuLaney and Allar as sophomore Logan Kass, a team captain along with junior Carter Burn, took fourth in his weight class at state and Freshmen Jameer Anderson qualified for state at 220 pounds. The Red Knights had two members of the team not qualify for state, but finish third in sections. Allar hopes that the program continues to grow in the future and that the success from wrestlers like Oftedahl, Peck, and Tourville will continue to draw wrestlers to the program and that others will be doing backflips like Jarred when they capture their own state titles.