Wrestling: KMS Fighting Saint becomes the first state female entrant from west central Minnesota

Sophomore 152-pounder Adamaris Chable Rodriguez becomes first west central girl to advance to the state tournament in St. Paul

KMS Saints wrestling Adamaris Chable Rodriguez .01
KMS sophomore Adamaris Chable Rodriguez, right, stares down her sister, Tianna, during practice on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023 at Kerkhoven. Adamaris is the first area girl to qualify for the state wrestling tournament after finishing as the runner-up at 152 pounds at the Section 5-8 tournament on Feb. 11 in Sartell.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

KERKHOVEN — Adamaris Chable Rodriguez needed an outlet for her energy. But she had some trouble finding the right outlet.

The Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg sophomore gave softball a try but she didn’t like it. She gave volleyball a go, but it wasn’t for her.

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A year ago, she gave wrestling a chance. And it was a natural fit.

“When I was younger, I would roughhouse a lot with my siblings but I would get in trouble because I would be too rough with them,” Adamaris said. “I always had a lot of built-up energy so I had to always find a sport to put into that, but those sports weren’t enough.

“Once I found wrestling, it was enough. I was able to put a lot of my energy into it.”


Having found her calling on the mat, Adamaris made history on Saturday. She is the first area female to qualify for the state wrestling tournament after finishing second at 152 pounds in the Section 5-8 tournament at Sartell.

“I’m just in shock still,” Adamaris said. “It’s a lot to leave something behind and to be able to leave something in history. It’s nerve wracking. It’s like now I have to put something up there; I have to represent.”

The state girls wrestling tournament takes place over one day on Saturday, March 4 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Adamaris will have familial footsteps to follow to the Xcel Energy Center. Her uncles — Lamberto (2012) and Israel (2016) — were state wrestlers for KMS.

Her parents have been very encouraging through her wrestling journey. And in the practice room, Adamaris can roll around with her younger sister, Tianna. Tianna is a seventh grader who went 0-2 in the 107 bracket at the section tournament.

That support was important when Adamaris lost her second match at sections to Badger/Greenbush-Middle River’s Sarah Pulk. Pulk is ranked third in state and was the eventual section champion.

“I have very good, encouraging parents, especially my mom (Rosalba),” said Adamaris, who has a 5-9 record, including 5-3 against other girls. “She’s always been my No. 1 cheerleader.

“She’s always told me that once you fall down, you get right back up. That’s exactly what I did; I got back up and climbed my way back up there.”


KMS Saints wrestling Adamaris Chable Rodriguez 021523.02
KMS sophomore Adamaris Chable Rodriguez went 4-1 at the Section 5-8 tournament on Feb. 11 in Sartell, winning all her matches by fall.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Going through the wrestlebacks, Adamaris wasted little time with falls over Bloomington Kennedy’s Melissa Sanchez Delgado in 1 minute, 42 seconds, and against Bemidji’s Leah Willard in 3:23.

All five of Adamaris’ matches on Saturday ended in fall.

“It’s how Adamaris wrestles: pin or be pinned,” said KMS assistant coach Jessie Engler, who was in Adamaris’ corner at the section tournament. “I don’t think she went to the third period in that whole tournament. … Her attitude is you have to go out there and pin ‘em right away and I love that attitude. The biggest thing is that’s what helps her out the most so she doesn’t have to keep wrestling and get caught in something.”

The most waiting she did was finding out she’d have a chance at true second against St. Michael-Albertville’s Sadie Strait. That 45 minutes waiting for her match “felt like forever.”

At 2:29, Adamaris was able to lock in Strait with a pin, beating the seventh-ranked wrestler in the state and cementing her place in history.

“I was excited. I was so happy,” Adamaris said. “I was really just satisfied that I could finish that and I finally made it. I have something to leave behind and to leave in that room for the younger girls in elementary to see and look up to.”

Saints No. 1 in 5A

KMS is hoping to send the entire team along with Adamaris to the state wrestling tournament.

In the hyper-competitive Section 5A, the Fighting Saints got the No. 1 seed after going 12-3 in duals this season.


The Section 5A tournament begins Thursday with pigtail matches and the quarterfinals at the high seeds. The semifinals and finals begin at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Benson.

KMS opens with No. 8 Minnewaska at 7 p.m. in Kerkhoven. The Lakers advanced after No. 9 seed Ortonville forfeited its scheduled pigtail match.

Paynesville was the only section team to beat KMS, 36-28 on Dec. 8. Since then, the Fighting Saints have section wins over BOLD (69-6), Canby (35-31), Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (44-25), Benson (57-21) and Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (47-21).

KMS freshman Colton Noble, right, squares off with HLWW's Ryker Clobes during their 106-pound match Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023 at New London.
KMS freshman Colton Noble, right, squares off with HLWW's Ryker Clobes during their 106-pound match Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023 at New London.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

KMS has a pair of ranked wrestlers, led by defending state champion Trey Gunderson. Undefeated at 41-0, the Saints freshman is ranked first at 120. Ranked 10th at 106 is freshman Colton Noble (32-13).

Canby (14-4) is the two seed while BBE (17-5) is the three seed. The Lancers won the regular-season matchup against the Jaguars, 37-27 on Jan. 27. BBE has won 11 straight duals to close out the regular season.

Minneota (20-5) and Paynesville (15-6) will battle it out in the 4-5 matchup. The Bulldogs beat the Vikings 31-30 in the regular season. Minneota is on a hot streak, winning its last six duals.

The Class A state rankings further exemplify the parity in 5A. BBE is the highest ranked at fifth, with Canby at eighth and Minneota 12th. KMS and Paynesville are outside the top 12 in the lean and mean rankings.


Section tournaments


7 p.m. Wednesday

8-Sartell at 1-Bemidji

5-Brainerd at 4-Moorhead

7-Buffalo at 2-Willmar

6-St. Cloud Crush at 3-Little Falls

Friday at Brainerd

Semifinals: 5 p.m.; championship afterward




North Sub-Section

5-Quad County vs. 4-MAHACA, 6 p.m.; winner vs. 1-United, 7 p.m. at Dawson

3-New London-Spicer at 2-Hutchinson, 7 p.m.

South Sub-Section

5-Worthington vs. 4-Windom/Mountain Lake, 6 p.m.; winner vs. 1-Marshall, 7 p.m. at Marshall

6-Redwood Valley vs. 3-New Ulm, 6 p.m.; winner vs. 2-Fairmont/MCW, 7 p.m. at Sherburn

Saturday at Worthington

Semifinals: 12:30 p.m.; championship afterward




9-Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield vs. 8-Monticello, 6 p.m.; winner vs. 1-Becker, 7:30 p.m. at Becker

12-Sauk Rapids vs. 5-Foley, 6 p.m.; winner vs. 4-Princeton, 7:30 p.m. at Princeton

10-Spectrum vs. 7-Rocori, 6 p.m.; winner vs. 2-Annandale/Maple Lake, 7:30 p.m. at Annandale

11-Zimmerman vs. 6-Big Lake, 4 p.m.; winner vs. 3-St. Francis, 5:30 p.m.

Friday at Cold Spring

Semifinals: 6 p.m.; championship afterward



8-Minnewaska at 1-KMS, 7 p.m.

5-Paynesville at 4-Minneota, 7 p.m.

10-BOLD vs. 7-Benson, 6 p.m.; winner vs. 2-Canby, 7 p.m. at Canby

6-ACGC at 3-BBE, 7 p.m.

Saturday at Benson

Semifinals: 12:30 p.m.; championship afterward

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