CANTON, S.D. (KELO) — Team Duals are set to make their return to the South Dakota high school wrestling tournament. The duals are making their first appearance since 2004, and are an opportunity for two-time defending class “B” champion Canton to add to its historic streak.
It’s been 16 years since the state wrestling tournament featured duals, and for Canton, their return couldn’t have come at a better time.
“When we were on the rise, and finally starting to kind of get to where we want to be to qualify for a state dual team was right when they stopped it,” Co-Head Coach Jeremy Ask said.
Heading into this year’s state tournament, there’s no team better at duals than the C-Hawks, who enter with a state-record 107 dual win streak.
“Wrestling when you’re sick, wrestling when you’re hurt. You know our kids have been tough over the years to be able withstand all those different obstacles. I think it’s a testament to all the kids hard work,” Co-Head Coach Jeremy Swenson said.
It’s been a complete buy-in amongst the players, coaches, and community that’s led to their success.
“Look at two of our coaches like Tanner and Parker Swanson. They both came through the program and then came back to it. There’s a community in Canton that I don’t know there’s quite anywhere else,” Senior Cullen Rutten said.
“Even if you’re a third stringer, or a middle school wrestler, you’re still, your presence in the room and your work ethic, and your energy is making the team better,” Ask said.
Canton hasn’t dropped a dual since its seniors were 8th graders, and for them, duals returning is another chance to showcase their program.
“I was pretty excited because I know we have such a solid lineup. I was excited to show how dominant we can be in this state, and just show how powerful we are,” Senior Shaeden Scheidt said.
And after winning three of the last four Class B team titles, the C-Hawks want to add another championship at this year’s meet.
“I just thought that’s another title to put to the thing. I want to get three this year, so it’s whatever I can do,” Rutten said.
The state wrestling tournament starts on Thursday at the PREMIER Center with duals slated for the evening session. The dual championship matches are set for 8:00 Friday night.