Fletcher, Egan advance to state wrestling tournament

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MFL MarMac senior Hunter Fletcher advanced to the state wrestling tournament after placing second at the district tournament in the 160-pound weight class on Feb. 13. (North Iowa Times file photo)

Michael Egan is the first Bulldog freshman to make it to state in 10 years, after he placed second in the 126-pound weight class at districts Feb. 13. (North Iowa Times file photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

MFL MarMac’s Hunter Fletcher (160) and Michael Egan (126) are headed to the state wrestling tournament after both finished second in their respective weight classes at districts on Feb. 13.

Head coach Chet Bachman said Fletcher, a senior, has a feel-good story, and is the product of hard work and a lot of time put in during the offseason.

“Hunter would go to extra practice any time needed in order to get better,” he said, adding that Fletcher also participated in many extra tournaments and camps along his wrestling journey. “I would say Hunter started at the bottom and worked his way to the top—a story that brings tears to your eyes.”

Egan is also a special story in that he’s the first MFL MarMac freshman to qualify for state since Taylor Reicks did so in 2006, when he placed sixth. Bachman said Egan has been a strong wrestler for many years.

“Michael has been wrestling since his early years in the youth program, back in kindergarten, and has qualified for many AAU state tournament series, and now the high school tournament,” he said. “Michael is the kind of kid that never quits and just keeps coming. He’s a good, hard worker that we enjoy in the room and he helps make others better.”

The state wrestling tournament begins on Thursday, Feb. 18, at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Three other MFL MarMac wrestlers advanced to Saturday’s district tournament in Jesup. Freshman Korby Keehner (285) placed third, just shy of making it to state. 

“Keehner has had a fantastic freshman year and we are very proud of him. He really had some tough competition,” Bachman said, noting that finishing third will push him to work harder to achieve his goals next season.

Junior Riley Doeppke (138) placed fourth at districts. Although Doeppke didn’t win a match, Bachman said he gained some good experience.

“Doeppke showed some guts and has really improved throughout the year,” Bachman said. “It was fun to see him mature and get better.”

Freshman Jamarr Tanniehill (113) qualified for districts, but was unable to wrestle due to a skin infection, Bachman said. 

Earlier in the week, on Feb. 9, the Bulldogs competed in regional duals at Lisbon, hoping to advance to the state tournament. 

MFL MarMac started the night off strong, winning the first dual, against Wilton, 47-26. Fletcher, Kordell DuCharme (120), Bobby Lang (170) and Brayde Miller (195) all picked up falls, while Egan had a 16-0 technical fall, David Bradford (220) won a 7-5 decision and Zach Trudo (106) won an 8-4 decision. Doeppke and Korby Keehner won via forfeit. Tanniehill, Bryce Burke (145) and Garret Keehner (182) were pinned by their opponents. Dylan Corlett (132) lost a 14-1 major decision and Nathan Johanningmeier (152) lost a 13-2 major decision.

The Bulldogs were not so lucky in the second dual, falling 66-12 to wrestling powerhouse Lisbon. Korby Keehner and Miller were the only point-scorers for MFL MarMac, with each getting falls.

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