The Minnewaska Area wrestling team had a great season, finishing 16-9 overall and sending two wrestlers to the state tourney for the second-straight season.

The Lakers, who were also 2-3 in the conference, started out 4-4 and 5-7 before winning 11 of its final 13 matches.  Minnewaska Area tries to stay away from doing too much dropping of weight until after the holidays, but when they got down to their preferred weight classes, the Lakers were very tough to beat.

In fact, only Border West, Frazee and KMS were able to beat the Lakers since the start of 2023.

The Lakers were seeded eighth of 10 teams in their section this year and Minnewaska Area earned a forfeit win over ninth-seeded BOLD before losing to top-seeded KMS in the quarterfinals, 49-18.

KMS went on to beat Minneota in the semifinals before losing to BBE in the Section 5A team finals.  BBE went on to place fourth at state, losing in the third-place match to HLWW, 33-30.

Leading the way for the Lakers this year were seniors Nick Ankeny and Chase Boelke, sophomore Chase Smith, and eighth-grader Miles Wildman.

Wildman had a team-best 41-4 record, while Smith was 38-6, Ankeny was 37-5 and Boelke was 29-13.

Also finishing with at least 18 victories this year were Myles Reichmann (28-14), Noah Jensen (26-15), Jayce Kovarik (23-12), Xander Johnson (22-13), Nathan Dell (21-16) and Mason Schiffler (18-11).

Seniors lost to graduation from this year’s Minnewaska Area wrestling team are Nick Ankeny, Chase Boelke and Xander Johnson.

•  Team United (Montevideo, LQP Valley and Dawson-Boyd) won this year’s WCC title with a 5-0 league mark, followed by WCA-Ashby-B/E (5-1), Benson (4-2), Morris Area (3-3), Minnewaska Area (2-3), Sauk Centre-Melrose (1-5) and BOLD-BLHS (0-6).

United went on to win the Section 3AA title with a 37-22 win over Marshall before going 2-1 at state to place fifth.

WCA meanwhile, won the Section 6A title with a 48-28 victory over Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale-Parkers Prairie before going on to place sixth at state with a 1-2 record after losing to Medford in the fifth-place match, 37-33.

•  The Lakers competed in three invitationals during the regular season, placing sixth of 10 teams at the Big Lake Invitational, third of eight teams at the Minnewaska Area Invitational, and sixth of 11 teams at the WCC-Central Minnesota Invitational.

Nick Ankeny and Miles Wildman were first and Myles Reichmann and Chase Smith placed third at Big Lake, while Wildman, Smith and Xander Johnson were first and Mason Schiffler and Chase Boelke were second at the Minnewaska Invitational, and Smith was second and Wildman and Ankeny both third at the combined WCC-CM Invitational.

•  The highlight of the season was Miles Wildman and Chase Smith earning state berths and going on to place among the top six at state.

Wildman went 3-2 at state to place fifth at 106 pounds, while Smith was 2-3 to earn sixth at 120 pounds.  Smith also qualified to state the previous season with Jacob Blair, going 2-2.

Wildman won the Section 5A title and Smith was runner-up.  The Lakers also had several other wrestlers who were very close to earning state berths.

Overall, the Lakers had 11 wrestlers competing at the section meet and 10 of them place fifth or better among the 10 participating schools.

Just missing out on state berths this winter were Nick Ankeny at 138 pounds, Myles Reichmann at 160 and Chase Boelke at 182.

Ankeny, seeded third, earned a pin in 3:00 during his first match, but then fell 3-2 to the second seeded wrestler from Canby.  Ankeny, who finished the season 36-4, earned two-straight wins on a 3-2 decision and pin in 2:43, but was unable to wrestle for true-second when the person he lost to earlier in the tourney lost in the finals, 4-3.

Reichmann, seeded third, lost his first match, 5-3, but came back to win three-straight to place third.  He was also unable to wrestle for true-second.

Boelke placed third with a 3-1 record at 182 pounds.  He was also seeded third and won his first match on a 37-second pin before losing by pin in the semifinals.  He won two straight matches by pins to earn third, but the person he lost to earlier fell in the finals, 5-1, depriving Boelke of a chance to wrestle for true-second.

Placing fourth for the Lakers at the section tourney were Jayce Kovarik (2-2 at 145 pounds) and Noah Jensen (2-2 at 220).  Jensen lost in the third-place match, 5-4.  Had he won that match, he would have had a chance to wrestle for true-second.

Earning fifth at sections for Minnewaska Area were Isaiah Rosario (3-2 at 126 pounds), Mason Schiffler (2-2 at 132) and Nathan Dell (1-2 at 152), while also competing for the Lakers was Xander Johnson, who was 0-2 at 170 pounds.

Minnewaska wrestling 

records for 2022-23

Weight:  Name Grade W-L

106:  Alex Adams 7 10-3

106:  Miles Wildman 8 41-4

113:  Austyn Schuler 8 1-7

113:  Jude Bailey 7 6-9

120:  Chase Smith 10 38-6

126:  Isaiah Rosario 7 10-7

126:  Landon Schiffler 8 4-2

132:  Garrett Jungclaus 11 2-17

132:  Mason Schiffler 11 18-11

138:  Nick Ankeny 12 37-5

145:  Jayce Kovarik 11 23-12

152:  Braylen Scharmer 9 11-6

152:  Nathan Dell 11 21-16

160:  Myles Reichmann 11 28-14

160:  Cole Kittelson 11 3-9

170:  Xander Johnson 12 22-13

182:  Zayden Johnson 7 4-3

182:  Chase Boelke 12 29-13

195:  Noah Jensen 10 26-15

285:  Eric Bowen 9 4-1

Check out more photos in our photo gallery!