State Class AA Individuals
It was a tough go-round for the youngest wrestler in the Class AA 138 pound division. Yellow Medicine East freshman Kirby Winson, Quad County’s lone state representative, returned from the State Individual Wrestling Tournament at the Excel Energy Center after being eliminated following two straight losses.
“This was a good learning experience for Kirby,” said Quad County head wrestling coach David Wingert. “Kirby was able to wrestle with two of the best wrestlers in the state at his weight.”
Winson and his supporters knew coming into the tournament that it’d be tough sledding especially after he drew Scott West’s Luke Zilverberg the No. 2 ranked wrestler in the state. Winson was able to keep the match close early; scoring a reversal and escape, but Zilverberg began to score takedowns and accumulate back points to run away with a 15-3 major decision.
Winson’s second match would be much closer after being religated to the loser’s bracket. In his second match, Winson squared off with Monticello’s Zach Beaumaster, who would be the eventual fifth place finisher in the weight class. But to get there, Beaumaster would first have to get by Winson and he’d accomplish that with defense and positioning.
“His opponent was able to maintain excellent positioning for the entire match and shut down Kirby’s offense. Kirby also maintained good positioning and defense, but did give up three points,” said Wingert.
That 3-0 loss by decision meant Winson would be eliminated from the tournament, but gaining experience, rather than state glory was always the primary goal for the only freshman in his weight class at state.
Said Wingert, “I think the whole experience of qualifying for state and wrestling up there should give Kirby confidence as he moves forward with his wrestling career. He was the youngest wrestler in his bracket and wrestled very well against the wrestler who took fifth in state.”
Sure there’s talent in Winson’s 138 pound frame, but his coach thinks it’s something else that’s allowed Winson to advance to the level he has so quickly. “Kirby is a very good kid who is willing to put in the work to be a great wrestler. He has already put in a lot of hours training and wrestling and it has paid off.”
As for summarizing Winson’s freshman campaign, he wrestled in two state tournaments this year (the first the ninth-grade and under state tournament where he placed sixth) qualified for state in AA and wrestled in the Section 3AA team final four.
Page 2 of 2 - So, what about next season?
“I think the sky is the limit for Kirby next season,” said Wingert. “He is a very talented wrestler with a great work ethic—”
Which sounds like a winning combination for anyone.
Quad County results
138: KIRBY WINSON — lost 15-3 major decision to Luke Zilverberg, Scott West … lost 3-0 decision to Zach Beaumaster, Monticello … eliminated.