ST. PAUL — No. 5 Detroit Lakes began the wrestling season in uncertainty with the loss of two-time state champion Isaiah Thompson to injury while trying to make the program’s first state appearance since 2005.

Thursday night, Feb. 27, at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, the Lakers completed a come-from-behind victory down to the final match at heavyweight and pulled off a 26-25 victory over No. 3 Foley to complete an incredible season and claim third place at state in Class AA.

The 2019-20 Detroit Lakes wrestling team poses with the Minnesota Class AA third place trophy after defeating Foley 26-25 Thursday night at Xcel Energy Center. Robert Williams / Tribune
The 2019-20 Detroit Lakes wrestling team poses with the Minnesota Class AA third place trophy after defeating Foley 26-25 Thursday night at Xcel Energy Center. Robert Williams / Tribune

Detroit Lakes had never finished better than sixth in two prior appearances and had only one state win. The Lakers left with two victories out of three Thursday, the only loss to state champion Simley.

“Beginning of the year we were wondering how we were going to make this work, but again, I just really credit our guys for rolling up their sleeves and working hard,” head coach Rob Ullyott said. “We do not have any hammers on our team. We have a bunch of working class, hard-nosed kids.”

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If there are two hammers in the DL lineup they are at the end in senior Jordan Skadsem and junior Andreas Barnett. Those two have been excellent all season solidifying the work of the wrestlers in front of them and assuring the Lakers of victories. DL finished the season 25-7.

Win number 25 was in question as DL trailed 25-16 with only Skadsem and Barnett left to wrestle.

Trailing by five points and needing a pin to win, Andreas Barnett gets it on this move to stick Foley heavyweight Elijah Novak and lift Detroit Lakes to victory Thursday night in St. Paul Robert Williams / Tribune
Trailing by five points and needing a pin to win, Andreas Barnett gets it on this move to stick Foley heavyweight Elijah Novak and lift Detroit Lakes to victory Thursday night in St. Paul Robert Williams / Tribune

Skadsem built his own momentum leading Greg Miller 2-1 after the first period, 5-1 after two and getting bonus points with a 11-2 major decision to give Barnett a shot at the win down 25-20.

“I credit these guys so much with the battle they went through this year; they worked hard and how much of a team they really are,” Ullyott said. “They really care about each other. I’m very proud of them. To be in that third place match, we’ve never done that before.”

Barnett and Elijah Novak went toe-to-toe in the heavyweight decider with both wrestlers going for pins. Barnett caught Novak in a headlock and dropped him to the mat polishing off the rally at 1:03 for a thrilling victory. Barnett was mobbed by his teammates coming off the mat.

The team split the opening matches with Bryant Hazelton starting DL off with a 9-2 victory at 106 pounds. Hazelton was impressive all day on high school wrestling’s biggest stage. He made a big jump in the postseason.

Laker 106-pounder Bryant Hazelton came into the state tournament with seven regular season wins but none of those will compare to getting his team off to a strong start in the biggest match of the year Thursday night in the Class AA third place match. Robert Williams / Tribune
Laker 106-pounder Bryant Hazelton came into the state tournament with seven regular season wins but none of those will compare to getting his team off to a strong start in the biggest match of the year Thursday night in the Class AA third place match. Robert Williams / Tribune

Cade Okeson won in overtime and Carsen Wold picked up a major to put DL up 10-3 after four matches.

Foley controlled four straight matches in middleweights to retake the lead 16-10, only getting bonus points in one win at the midway point of the dual.

Garett Nelson waited all season recovering from an injury and had huge wins from the section tournament to state finishing his comeback with an 8-2 decision to stop the Foley run and cut the deficit to three points.

Garett Nelson scores on a reversal out of the down position during his 160-pound victory in the Class AA third place match against Foley at Xcel Energy Center Thursday night. Robert Williams / Tribune
Garett Nelson scores on a reversal out of the down position during his 160-pound victory in the Class AA third place match against Foley at Xcel Energy Center Thursday night. Robert Williams / Tribune

Foley got a pin at 170 and a decision at 195. In between, DL’s Blaine Henderson defeated Andy Knutson 11-4 to set up the dramatics of the last two matches.

“You have to take your hat off to these guys and Isaiah,” said Ullyott. “He’s behind the scenes pumping these guys up. He’s such a silent leader and he’s still a part of this. He’s helped build our teams the past couple years that helped these guys get to where they are at right now.”

State wrestling continues Friday with the opening individual rounds. DL has six wrestlers competing: Section champions Cade Okeson (120), Brody Ullyott (138) and Skadsem (220), along with 8AA runners-up Cade Jackson (126), Henderson (170) and Barnett (285).

Minnesota Class AA Third Place Match

Detroit Lakes 26, Foley 25

106 Bryant Hazelton (Detroit Lakes) over Cyler Ruhoff (Foley) Dec 9-2

113 Levi Jacobson (Foley) over Tyson Ullyott (Detroit Lakes) Dec 8-2

120 Cade Okeson (Detroit Lakes) over Ethan Oswald (Foley) SV-1 6-4

126 Carsen Wold (Detroit Lakes) over Alex Jennissen (Foley) Maj 12-1

132 Caden Ruhoff (Foley) over Cade Jackson (Detroit Lakes) Dec 11-6

138 Micheal Rothfork (Foley) over Blake Weber (Detroit Lakes) Maj 13-5

145 Logan Thorsten (Foley) over Brody Ullyott (Detroit Lakes) Dec 5-1

152 Isaiah Fitch (Foley) over Thad Schlauderaff (Detroit Lakes) Dec 9-3

160 Garett Nelson (Detroit Lakes) over Michael Moulzolf (Foley) Dec 8-2

170 Connor Thorsten (Foley) over Nolan Mann (Detroit Lakes) Fall 2:58

182 Blaine Henderson (Detroit Lakes) over Andy Knutson (Foley) Dec 11-4

195 Hunter Gorecki (Foley) over Andrew Annette (Detroit Lakes) Dec 7-3

220 Jordan Skadsem (Detroit Lakes) over Greg Miller (Foley) Maj 11-2

285 Andreas Barnett (Detroit Lakes) over Elijah Novak (Foley) Fall 1:03