After winning the team section tournament last week, Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield qualified nine individuals for the state tournament.

DCL had three section champions in Eddie Simes (126), Jude Link (152), and Will O’Brien (182). Noah Halonen (160) and Beau Nelson (195) finished as runners-up in their respective weight classes.

Meanwhile, Andrew Joedeman (106), Victor Franco (113), Jerry Simes (132), and Brendan Rakala (285) all won true-second matches to qualify for state.

It has been one of the best seasons for Dassel-Cokato and Litchfield wrestling. The whole team will be going to the Xcel Energy Center on Thursday, with nine of the 14 weight classes getting to stay for Friday and potentially Saturday. Having a deep team has helped elevate some of the wrestlers to heights they might not have believed possible.

“It feels really good,” Link said of sending nine to state. “Especially since we made it as a team. We put a lot of work in. It’s just great to see that pay off.”

It may have come as a surprise for some. O’Brien said that he didn’t expect to get first, but after seeing the bracket, knew that there was a chance.

“When we got ahold of the brackets, I was like ‘I’m going to win this thing,’” O’Brien said. “”I’m going to do it, I don’t care. What gets in my way, I’m going to do it.”

That’s the feeling that a many on the team had heading into the section individual tournament. They saw the bracket and thought there was a good chance to advance to state.

Rakala was hurt for a lot of the season. During the rehab process, he came in early and worked on his conditioning. He entered the section tournament with just a 6-4 record, but proved that hard work and dedication can make anything possible.

“It feels pretty good,” Rakala said of his hard work paying off. “There aren’t that many words for it, just happy,”

The wrestlers are still hungry. They want to be more than section champs. They want to have state champion next to their name by the end.

“It’s satisfying,” head coach Bryan Clemen said of the team’s work paying off. “Every one of these guys puts in the time, whether it be in the weight room, whether it be freestyle in the offseason, whether it be a spring sport... But if their first true love is wrestling, then train and train hard for it. The one beautiful thing about wrestling is you’re going to see that work in your results or you won’t, it’s simple.”

DCL will take on Detroit Lakes in the first round of the Class AA team tournament at 11 a.m. Thursday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Section 6AA Individual Wrestling Tournament (Feb. 22)

106: Andrew Joedeman (L) 6-1 dec over Jack Major (Ro)... 8-2 dec over Quinn McCalla (Mo)... lost 9-0 maj dec to Nolan Reiter (BL)... fall over Mitchell Koss (AML) 5:56... 2nd place...

113: Victor Franco (L) fall over Ethan Duncombe (Be) 3:16... med for over Gavin Gould (Sp)... lost by fall to Christian Noble (BL) 1:15... fall over Zayne Brown (AML) 5:55... 2nd place...

120: Devin Steinhaus (L) 4-3 dec over Zach Pribyl (AML)... lost 20-7 maj dec to Joe Montplaisir (Z)... fall over Edwin Markey (A) 1:13... 7-3 dec over Dustin Schmitt (A)... lost 8-3 dec to Jayden Mclearen (BL)... 3rd place...

126: Eddie Simes (L) fall over Sam Miller (Z) 2:32... 9-6 dec over Nelson Anderson (Mo)... fall over Ethan Anderosn (Be) 5:50... 1st place...

132: Jerry Simes (L): 11-3 maj dec over Petyon Krumrei (A)... lost 3-2 UTB to Jake Nelson (Be)... 3-2 UTB over Luke Schumacher (BL)... 2nd place...

138: Shelby Fischer (L) 7-1 dec over Shay McClory (AML)... lost 7-0 dec to William Mergen (A)... 11-5 dec over Logan Schumacher (Sp)... 14-8 dec over Jacob Cole (Mo)... 3rd place...

145: Sam Marx (L) injured 4:25... 8th place...

152: Jude Link (L) 14-6 maj dec over Tyson Ricker (Be)... 17-8 maj dec over Austin Moscho (Ro)... 1st place...

160: Noah Halonen (L) fall over Ryan Rose (Ro) 1:30... won 5-4 dec over Kylen Rish (Be)... lost by fall to Jack Klug (AML) 1:36... 2nd place...

170: Hayden Hoernemann (L) fall over Ryan Bouley (Z) 3:18... lost by fall to Caden DeWall (Be) 0:43... fall over Brett Bordwell (BL) 5:50... lost 9-2 dec to Peyton Linn (A)... 3rd place...

182: Will O’Brien (L) 7-0 dec over Rieley Mullen (BL)... fall over Ben Hansen (Ro) 5:06... 6-5 dec over Riley Rakotz (A)... 1st place...

195: Beau Nelson (L) fall over Jacob Andrew (Rock) 0:31... fall over Thomas Blattner (A) 1:26... lost by fall to Jesse Midas (Mo) 0:56... 2nd place...

220: Jackson Martin (L) fall over Jacob Adrian (A) 1:27... lost by fall to Brayden Weber (Be) 0:29... fall over Kane Lapointe (BL) 0:43... lost 3-0 dec to Josh Lanctot (AML)... 3rd place...

285: Brendan Rakala (L) 6-0 dec over Dylan Kolby (Be)... lost by fall to Kessler Kenning (AML) 1:17... fall over Andrew DeBoer (Sp) 2:50... 3-2 dec over Kolby... fall over Jeremy Phyle (BL) 4:37... 2nd place

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