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Trio of titlists leads K-M to first Christmas Tournament title

By Jason Feldman - PB, 12/19/16, 10:00AM CST

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2016 Minnesota Christmas Tournament

Kasson-Mantorville had three wrestlers win championships at the 30th annual Minnesota Christmas Tournament on Saturday.

But the most emotion shown by a K-M wrestler came at the end of the 138-pound fifth-place match.

That's when KoMet senior Keaten Schorr hopped up from the mat and let out a scream while pumping both fists toward his coaches. Schorr had trailed Mitchell Wilson of St. Francis 10-2 in the waning seconds of their match, but he managed to put Wilson on his back and get a pin with just 1 second left in the match.

 

That victory summed up the KoMets' day: They had to fight for every point, but in the end they came out on top.

For the first time, K-M is the team champion of the Minnesota Christmas Tournament. The KoMets finished with 225 points, 9.5 more than runner-up Shakopee.

"It's a goal the seniors set at the beginning of the season," K-M coach Jamie Heidt said. "We've never placed higher than third here. We felt we had the guys who could do it this year. We had some rough rounds (Saturday), but this is good for our program and our community.

"It's good for southeastern Minnesota wrestling and now we need to get back to work because we had some areas exposed that we need to work on."

The KoMets had 10 total placewinners, including champions Brady Berge (160 pounds), Patrick Kennedy (170) and Noah Ryan (220). Schorr earned some critical points for the KoMets, as did 145-pounder Isaac Haman. He was unseeded in the tournament, but won five wrestleback matches to finish sixth in a loaded weight class.

"As seniors, we really wanted to bring home this championship, it means a lot to us," said Ryan, who defeated Evan Foster of St. Michael-Albertville 9-4 in the 220-pound title match. "We know if we can win this, it means a state title could come, too. This means a lot to us; it's a big part of our senior year."

Kennedy, just a freshman, said the KoMets' underclassmen understood what winning the tournament means to the team's seniors.

"It means we all came here and fought hard," Kennedy said. "If we didn't come here and fight, we wouldn't be up at the top for the whole tournament. We can always build and get better, though. We can build toward the state tournament and try to win another title."

RYAN, KENNEDY ARE CHAMPS

Somewhat lost in the drama of Brady Berge's victory at 160 pounds and the KoMets capturing the team title, was the fact that K-M had three total champions.

Senior Noah Ryan scored a convincing 9-4 victory against at 220 pounds, while Patrick Kennedy won 3-2 against Kenny O'Neil of Prior Lake at 170 pounds. The title match was the closest match Ryan had in the tournament. He won three times by pin and another time by major decision.

"Noah is rock-solid, a tough guy to beat," Heidt said. "He moves so well and scrambles well for a 220-pounder. Winning this championship is something he really wanted.

"He took third here last year, was runner-up at The Cheesehead, so he's been on the big stage in some of these bigger tournaments and it's great for him to win one."

Kennedy was equally dominant throughout the weekend. He won twice by pin and twice by technical fall prior to the championship match.

"Patrick, he's a hammer right now in our program," Heidt said. "There's only one thing on that kid's mind on the mat now, scoring points and moving forward, and I love that. I love watching him wrestle. The way he works, he's a great kid to be around and it's great to see him have this kind of success."