Bismarck 137-pounder Devin Steidler cranks on Mandan's Dylan Fleck in Saturday's semifinal match at the Mandan Lions wrestling tournament. Steidler won the weight class title.

Maybe there's more bite in Bismarck High's graduation-scarred wrestling lineup than most people imagined.

The Demons, devoid of two champions and five other state placers from last year's state championship team, bared their teeth in Mandan.

BHS put six men in the finals and captured three individual titles en route to 287 points and their 26th Mandan Lions championship on Saturday.

Ryan Ripplinger (120 pounds), Devin Steidler (152) and Parker Wahl (160) took individual honors for the Demons, who placed 11 of their 12 entrants among the top five.

Century finished second in the 11-team field with 266 points and Rapid City, S.D., Central was third with 227.5. Tournament host Mandan claimed fourth with 196.5 points. Rapid City Stevens and Sturgis shared fifth place with 195 points.

Bismarck-Mandan teams picked off eight of the 14 individual championships on Saturday. Bismarck's three titles were supplemented by those won by Mandan's Isaac Berger (145) and Dale Spilman (182), Century's Mason Schulz (138), Legacy's Matthew Kaylor (195) and St. Mary's Sam Harris (285).

Rapid City Central's Riley McSherry, who won last fall at 138, was pinned by Mandan's Berger in the 145-pound championship match. 

Spilman, a senior, won the Zachmeier Award, an honor that's based not only on wrestling, but academics and citizenship.

"It's a blessing," said Spilman, last year's state 170-pound champion. "There were a lot of good gentlemen out there (as nominees) and I'm fortunate to win it."

Spilman, who won the pinner award a year ago, marched through the 182-pound weight class with three pins in pool competition, all in 1:10 or less. He finished up with pins in 1:02 in the semifinals and 1:33 in the championship match.

Spilman was especially satisfied with Mandan's first- and third-place showings at 182. Sophomore Jacob Boehm, wrestling unattached, won three times by fall on the way to third place. He was pinned by Spilman in the semifinals.

"(Boehm) is my practice partner. He pushes me in practice and makes both of us better," Spilman said. 

Next action for many of the 11 Mandan Lions entrants is the large multi-state Rapid City Invitational.

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