FAIRBANK — Eight championship matches.
Multiple finals losses, including four head-to-head matchups, saw tournament host Wapsie Valley fall behind eventual Chris Davis Invitational team title winner Nashua-Plainfield on Saturday. The Huskies scored 232 points, topping the host by 3.5 points (232-228.5).
A handful of Warriors were not necessarily pleased, and head coach Brian Krall acknowledged the losses. He also noted N-P is a top-2 state-ranked team in Class 1A, and it was the first week of the season for everyone.
“The boys are anxious. They’re looking for points and looking for big points,” he said. “They’re fighting for each other, and it’s a vibe they can feel.
“We’ll settle some things down, tighten up our technique, position-wise, to score points first. After that, we’ll look for the big points.”
Wapsie collected two titles in the form of 152-pound sophomore Garret Miller (5-0) and 220-pound senior Keegon Brown (4-0). Miller claimed a second-round pin in the quarterfinal, then eked out a pair of 2-1 victories.
He beat Anamosa’s Miken Wheeler with a third-period reversal at the 1 minute, 22 second mark for the victory, then claimed a third-period takedown of South Winneshiek’s Kyle Kuboushek with fewer than five seconds on the clock for the victory.
“It’s my first first-place win as a high school wrestler. It’s pretty good for me. I was the third seed … I came in today wanting to beat my seed, and I got first. That’s pretty good.”
Brown had a little less trouble during his two-match day, earning a first-period pin in the semifinal and a second-period fall in the championship.
“It went well,” he said. “Seeded first, so I only had to wrestle twice. I didn’t want to let anybody down, so I went out and got first.”
In Husky-Warrior championship matches, Wapsie 106-pounder Kaiden Belinsky fell by major decision to Nic Brase; Brody Kleitsch (120) fell, 3-2, to Hayden Munn; Dawson Schmit (126) fell to Garret Rinken, 11-7; and Easton Krall (132) was pinned by Kendrick Huck.
Krall led 3-0 in the third period before missing on a move and getting taken down and pinned. Schmit trailed 5-0 in the battle of in-state college-bound wrestlers, but closed within 7-5 early in the third and 8-7 late before having to allow Rinken up and missing at the tying shot attempt.
Schmit signed with Upper Iowa while Rinken is Northern Iowa-bound.
“(Dawson) was half a move away from tying the match and putting it in overtime, and the momentum was in our direction,” coach Krall said. “We’re going to study it, learn it and get better from it.”
Wapsie was 1-5 against Nashua in either championship or third-place matches.
“We’ve got to work on the little things and keep our minds right in those tough situations,” Miller said. “We just have to go out and wrestle. Wrestle as hard as you can from start to finish. That’s all you can do.”
Kanen Decker (132) was pinned with one second left on the clock by South Winneshiek’s Collin Holm in the championship. A round-robin style bracket saw Drew Lansing (170) fall to North Linn’s Jarin Peyton, 4-3. An early third-period escape gave Peyton the point he needed to go ahead.
Dallas Tisue (145) earned third place with a takedown in the sudden-victory session for a 14-12 victory against N-P’s Aiden Gelner. Cannon Joerger (182) pinned Waukon’s Cullen Dickson for a bronze medal while Andrew Matthias (285) placed third in a round-robin bracket.
I’ll tell you what, it’s tough to be surprised by this group of young men,” Krall said. “Not only were the kids loud, but the crowd was loud. The kids felt that. They’re excited to compete, and I’m excited to coach. It was the first week and we started strong. We’re still looking to do good things and have a great season.”
Huskies place seventh behind Berinobis, Barat-Klimesh
Kale Berinobis claimed a first-period pin and 6-3 decision on his way to the 113-pound title match, but fell by pin to Jayden Rinken and placed second to highlight Oelwein’s points-gathering day.
The Huskies were seventh with 64 points.
Konnor Barat-Klimesh (126) earned third with a pin of West Fork’s Rafe Arbegast, his third fall of the day. Barat-Klimesh lost by technical fall to Garret Rinken in the semifinals.
Talyn Yearous (120) rebounded from a semifinal loss, but fell, 9-4, to earn fourth. The bronze-medal match was even at 2-all halfway through the second before South Winneshiek’s Bo Wangsness scored seven of the next nine points.
Robert Duffy (285) also placed fourth, with a 1-3 round-robin showing. He pinned North Linn’s Nathan Nissen in under a minute.