E’Hawks Advance Six To District
The Emmetsburg/Armstrong-Ringsted E’Hawks will send a half-dozen wrestlers to the Class 2A District Wrestling Tournament this Saturday at Cherokee following action at Saturday’s Sectional meet in Emmetsburg. the E’Hawks had three champions and got a pair of wrestle-back wins for second place finishes, but missed out on a Regional Duals berth by a half-point in the final team race on Saturday.
Algona earned the Sectional Team title with 202 points, while Spirit Lake Park edged Emmetsburg/AR by a 171.5 to 171 point total. Rockwell City-Lytton/Southern Calhoun was fourth with 139 points, while Humboldt finished fifth with 117.5 points. Estherville Lincoln Central was sixth with 75 points to round out the team scoring.
The E’Hawks got their championships with a huge win at 119 pounds for Jordan Cody, as well as a victory at 152 pounds for Joey Naig and at 171 pounds for Jake Morris. Matt Stillman earned second at 145 pounds, but it took wrestlebacks for Joey Brandenburg at 140 pounds and Adam Leuer at 215 pounds to round out the E’Hawks’ district qualifiers roster.
The E’Hawks had just three first-round matches on Saturday due to byes and seeding for the tournament. At 112 pounds, Nick Larsen got a quick win with a :37 win by fall over Zach Vreeland of RCL/SC. Joey Brandenburg picked up a win by fall at 140, as he pinned Brandon Griffin of Spirit Lake Park in 2:26. Rounding out the first round matches for the E’Hawks was Tyler Schmeling, who earned an 8-1 decision victory over Brett Goldtrapp of Spirit Lake Park.
The intensity picked up noticeably in the second round, and rightfully so. At 112, Nick Larsen was pinned in :34 by Alex Dittrich of Algona.
In the 119 pound match, Jordan Cody met Nathan West of RCL/SC and earned a 2:43 win by fall to advance to the finals match. Jake Stubbs, wrestling at 125 pounds, was pinned in 1:18 by Jake Ingalls of Algona, and at 140, Joey Brandenburg ran afoul of Kanne Kraft of RCL/SC and was pinned in 3:38 to move to the consolation bracket.
The E’Hawks’ Matt Stillman needed just :11 to pin Aaron Bernhard of Algona in the 145 pound semi-final, setting up a re-match with Tanner Kampen of Humboldt in the finals. At 152, Joey Naig racked up an 11-1 major decision win over Weston Marchant of Humboldt to earn his shot at a title.
Tyler Schmeling stumbled in his 160 pound match with Nate Howard of Estherville Lincoln Central and lost a 10-2 major decision to move to the consolation rounds.
At 171, Jake Morris came out of the chute ready to wrestle and earned a :55 win by fall over Humboldt’s Nate Moser to advance to the finals. But at 189, Ridge Christiansen lost a 12-1 major decision to Brad Engel of Spirit Lake Park to slip into the consolation round.
Adam Leuer met Estherville Lincoln Central’s Spenser Schichtl in the semi final at 215 pounds and collected a 5:16 win by fall over the ELC wrestler to advance to the finals.
Rounding out the semi-finals was Taylor Morris, who met heavyweight Axl Bronzynski of RCL/SC. Morris had pinned the RCL/SC wrestler in a dual earlier this year, and battled to a 5-5 tie after one period, but was caught in the second period and was pinned in 3:47 to drop into the consolation matches.
Under the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s tournament format, the first and second place finishers advance to District tournaments, and the top two finishers at those tournaments earn the right to wrestle in the State Tournament next week in Des Moines.
With entire seasons on the line, the finals matches were guaranteed to be filled with action.
Championship matches for the E’Hawks started with Jordan Cody meeting long-time nemesis Matt Boyington of Humboldt. Cody trailed through two periods of the match, but in the final quarter, earned an escape and a stalling point before taking Boyington down to tie the match at 4-4 at the end of regulation.
Going into the sudden victory period, the E’Hawk fans were on their feet as Cody and Boyington circled on the mat before Cody dived in for a shot and earned the takedown to claim the victory and his first-ever win over the Humboldt wrestler.
At 145 pounds, Matt Stillman had his opportunity to avenge his only loss of the season at the hands of Tanner Kampen of Humboldt. The two had met in early January at the Mason City Duals, where Kampen earned a 3-1 decision over Stillman.
Kampen jumped out to a 7-1 lead early in the match, but the scoring slowed in the second period. Stillman trailed 9-2 to start the final period in the down position. A penalty point got Stillman rolling and an escape made the score 9-4. Kampen earned a takedown, but Stillman reversed the Wildcat wrestler for an 11-6 score. Stillman allowed Kampen to escape and took him down again for a 12-8 score, but ran out of time to finish second at 145 by the 12-8 decision loss.
Joey Naig won the title at 152 pounds as he had little trouble in disposing of Algona’s Cooper Heath, earing a 3:38 win by fall to advance to the District meet on Saturday.
The E’Hawks survived a scare at 171 pounds where Jake Morris met Nick Larsen of Algona. Morris trailed 4-2 at the end of the second period, but got an escape in the final period before taking Larsen down and scoring three near-fall points to win the title by a 9-4 decision.
Emmetsburg/AR’s final title opportunity came at 215 pounds where Adam Leuer faced Alex Will of Spirit Lake Park. Will was able to dash Leuer’s hopes of a title by pinning the E’Hawk in 2:57 of their match.
However, to preserve his second place finish, Leuer had to wrestle Algona’s Logan Johnson in a wrestleback. Leuer controlled the entire match, leading 4-1 after one period and 6-3 after two periods before earning the 10-5 decision victory and second place finish for the E’Hawks.
At 140 pounds, Joey Brandenburg wrestled Luke Ingalls of Algona for third place and scored an 8-4 decision win, but earned the wrestleback opportunity for a chance at second against Luke Kollmorgen of Humboldt. Brandenburg quickly took Kollmorgen down and earned a pin in 1:00 flat to win second place.
Jake Stubbs drew a bye in the consolation finals to place third, but ended up in a wrestle-back match against Spirit Lake Park’s Derrick Miner. Miner took the win with a :58 win by fall over Stubbs to give the E’Hawk third place honors at 125 pounds.
At 160, Tyler Schmeling met Trevor Erickson of Humboldt in the consolation final and pinned the Wildcat wrestler in 1:03 to place third, but he did not have a wrestleback opportunity.
Ridge Christiansen met Derrek Olson of Algona in the consolation finals match at 189 pounds and earned a 9-4 decision victory over the Bulldog wrestler to finish third, but also had no wrestleback opportunity.
At heavyweight, Taylor Morris was matched up with Wade Franek of Spirit Lake Park, and quickly gave the Indian a view of the lights with a :57 win by fall, but he would end up with a third place as there was no wrestleback.
The 2A District meet will start at 12 noon on Saturday, Feb. 9, at Washington High School in Cherokee. First and second place winners will advance to the 2008 State Championships at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Feb. 13.