Mound Westonka White Hawks juniors Ethan Devore and Ben Schmalz competed at the MSHSL State Wrestling Tournament March 2 and 3 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Devore lost his first-round match to Jahsa Rankin of Eden Prairie 2-0 in sudden victory overtime, giving up a controversial takedown at the buzzer. The official was unaware that time had run out and awarded the takedown. Rankin lost in the quarterfinal round, and Devore was eliminated from the tournament.
Schmalz won his first-round match with a convincing 14-1 major decision of Isaiah Bettinger of Centennial. He then lost his quarterfinal match by the score of 8-0 to eventual runner-up Austin Brenner of St. Cloud Tech. Schmalz rebounded with a 15-0 technical fall over Evan Osborn of Edina, earning him a chance to place with a win in the next round of consolation.
Schmalz faced a formidable opponent in Devin Roberts of Apple Valley, and they were knotted up 3-3 after regulation. Schmalz continued attacking in the overtime period, but Roberts was able to secure a takedown late in overtime for the win.
“Ben and Ethan were both disappointed to have it end that way, but they put in a great effort and are poised to make the podium as seniors,” said head coach Todd Munsterteiger.
The White Hawks wrestling family will celebrate another successful season with their annual banquet next Tuesday, March 13, at Mound Westonka High School.