A controversial call was crucial to Kasson-Mantorville’s Class 2A quarterfinals victory over Totino-Grace on Thursday.
Totino-Grace led 29-20 going into the 220-pound match between Kez Flomo and Kasson-Mantorville’s Bryce Seljan. Flomo led 7-5 in the third period and a victory that would clinch the match for the Eagles seemed imminent.
But Seljan, wrapping his left arm around Flomo, suddenly yanked it back, claiming he was bitten. Referees checked Seljan’s hand, saw bite marks and disqualified Flomo, giving Kasson six crucial points. KoMets senior Sam Stoll, the No. 3-ranked heavyweight in the nation, registered his typical pin to give defending champion Kasson-Mantorville a 32-25 victory.
“He said I bit him,” a dejected Flomo said. “I didn’t. He put his hand in my mouth.”
Totino-Grace coach Doug Svihel said: “Why would our guy bite someone when all he has to do is not get pinned and we win? They took a chance at a state title away from our team.”
Said tournament manager Byron Olson: “A bite is an automatic flagrant foul, whether it’s intentional or not. When the referee saw the bite marks, he didn’t have any choice.”
After 35 years, more than 700 victories and 21 state tournament appearances, Foley coach Lyle Freudenberg made final trip to the tournament as a head coach.
“It has been a great run, said the coach who began the tournament with 725 victories, fourth-most in state history. “I’ve had a lot of great kids, coaches and we have a great community that supports wrestling.”
Chatfield won a state championship in football last fall, which meant part of the wrestling team’s starting lineup wasn’t in wrestling shape.
“We had a little bit of a later start,” coach Joel Viss said. “We had five wrestlers who were … on the football team.”
The coaching staff let the football players come back when they were ready. When the lineup was at full strength they never looked back. They lost just one regular season dual and avenged that loss in the section finals.
A high achiever
When Prior Lake wrestler Gunner Charbonneau suffered an early season injury, coach Joe Block turned to the junior high and found Zach Smith.
“We had to have a replacement at 113. We didn’t have anyone in the varsity room so we looked to the middle school and Zach was the obvious choice,” Block said.
Smith compiled a 25-11 record as an eighth-grader at both 106 and 113. “When Gunner came back, we moved Smith to 106,” Block said. “He has been on fire ever since.”
Staff writer Jim Paulsen and correspondent Brian Jerzak contributed to this report.