Chieftains clinch state dual berth

The wrestling team poses with the first place team trophy at the DC West dual tournament. The Chieftains overcame a close dual with Concordia-DC West to claim the title and clinch a state dual berth. Top row left to right: Brett Martin, Bryce Kolc, Isaac Kult, Derek Wacker, Josh Jessen, Jett Arensberg, Jesse Keiser, Josh Fisher. Bottom row left to right: Nathan Rupp, Tannen Honke, Zach Krajicek, Janson Pilkington, Drew Krajicek, Max Egr, Trevin Arlt. Courtesy Photo

January 29, 2022, was a special day for the Yutan wrestling team. The team beat Concordia-DC West in a dual tournament to qualify for state duals for the first time in program history. 

In order for the wrestling team to qualify for the state duals, they had to wrestle enough class C teams throughout the season to gain power points. These power points then decided if the team qualified for state duals. 

Leading up to their dual with Concordia-DC West, the wrestlers were 7-0 in duals and needed one more win to gain enough power points to qualify for state duals. This made their dual with Concordia-DC West that much more important.

Head coach Jason Arlt said that there were key wrestlers in the win. 

“The Kult boys had big wins down the stretch,” Arlt said. “Drew [Krajicek] and Tannen [Honke] battled upperclassmen for six minutes, saving us crucial team points.”

Even though there were key wrestlers, Arlt stressed that the win depended on every wrestler on the team. 

It took them all to get the win,” Arlt said, “from seniors getting the job done, down to freshmen fighting their tails off to help the team.”

Junior Jett Arensberg looks for an open shot in a dual against Ashland-Greenwood. Arensberg wrestles at 152 pounds. Photo by Heidi Krajicek

The wrestlers were just as excited as the coaches, especially the seniors

“It makes our team look very good,” senior Jesse Keiser said. “It puts us in a category of wrestling teams in the state that are elite.”

The accomplishment was also meaningful because this was the first time Yutan has qualified for state duals in its history.

“There’s only ever going to be one first Yutan team to qualify for state duals,” senior Josh Jessen said, “and that was us.”

It wasn’t luck that brought the team to state duals, however; it took a lot of hard work and sacrifice.

“I think it shows how much work we’ve all been putting in to get there,” senior Isaac Kult said.

The hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed by the coaches. Arlt recognizes what the wrestlers had to do themselves in order to qualify for state duals. 

 “There is a lot of sacrifice and responsibility in wrestling,” Arlt said.  “They [the wrestlers] have worked hard and deserve it.”