The team portion of the Minnesota State High school league wrestling tournament went down Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. And at the end of the day, both Pierz and Foley were able to hoist some hardware.

Pierz Pioneers -- 3rd place

In the first round of the Class A bracket, the 4th seeded Pioneers did battle with 5th seeded Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg. Senior Teddy Dehler and junior Brandon Ortman both scored big first period pins to help Pierz secure a 44 to 22 victory.

After that, the Pioneers would have to step on the mat with #1 seed Kenyon-Wanamingo. This match would see 182 pound Junior Matt Kummet jump up to the 195 pound class and score a huge 1-0 victory over KW’s Riley Donkers, but it was enough, as Pierz fell to the eventual state champions, 34-21.

In the final round, Pierz took on top contender Minneota for third place. Going into the 152 pound weight class, the Pioneers found themselves down by 10 points. Senior Kolton Eichens would light a spark after his huge 42-second pin, and Pierz started to roll. They would win the next 6 matches, and capture 3rd place in the state, with their 39-to-16 victory.

Foley Falcons -- State Runner-Up

The first round of the Class AA team tournament saw the 3rd seeded Falcons take on the Yellow Jackets of Perham. Foley would jump out to an early lead before a mix up at the head table forced them to forfeit a match. However, the Falcons responded by winning 6 of the final 8 matches, and beat Perham handily by a score of 33-to-18.

The semi finals had Foley and defending champion, Simley, squaring off with the winner advancing to the state finals. After having to forfeit a weight class again, and seeing senior state entrant Driston Schyma leave due to an injury, almost everything was going against the Falcons. But then, with just 9 second left in his match, 195-pound sophomore Saylor Schmit pulled out a huge pin to help give Foley a chance going into the final two weight classes. With Foley down by 3, sophomore heavyweight, Mitchell Trigg, came to the mat with an opportunity to send his team to the state finals. It took him just 37 seconds to do so. Trigg pinned Simley’s Luke Zaiser in the first period, and Foley had officially pulled the upset. They were on to the state finals.

The Falcons put up a great fight in the finals, but their magic ran out as they fell to top-seeded Kasson-Mantorville 37-to-21.

Congrats to both Foley and Pierz on a great state tournament! Today and tomorrow we will see many area kids take the mat in the individual portion of the state tournament.