Warriors win matches, but lose duals at Central tournament

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Nate Shirbroun (170 pounds) took on Isaac Taylor of Waterloo, winning the match via 9-7 decision and earning three of the nine Central points in the dual. (Photos by Bev Hamann)

At 120 pounds, Daniel Royer (top) pinned Sam Cook from East Buchanan in 1:55.

Nick Deitchler took on Reese Talaska of Waterloo in the 126-pound match, losing by a 6-2 decision.

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register

Despite winning a fair amount of wrestling matches, it was forfeits that sent the Warriors to a 1-4 record at the Central Round Robin Dual Tournament this past weekend. 

Although the team showed great progress and competitive resolve, it started out flat footed against Cascade, losing 66-12. It was the only lopsided match-up for the Warriors, as they lost all four wrestling matches via pin, and only secured 12 points from Cascade forfeits.

Daniel Royer (120 pounds) was the most competitive in defeat, lasting over three minutes before succumbing, while fellow teammates Nick Deitchler (126 pounds), Sean Wilwert (160 pounds) and Spencer Heer (182 pounds) were all dispatched in under two minutes. 

“We weren’t ready to go. I told the kids that and they know that they need to always stay prepared for every dual. Myself included, I need to make sure that I am keeping everybody in line. We will discuss this during practice,” coach Joe Koehn said of the outcome. 

It was a different story against Clayton Ridge, where the Warriors won the match-up 42-6, despite losing the only wrestling match that took place, when Maria Medberry (145 pounds) was pinned in 3:26. Otherwise, Central received all their points through forfeit victories across seven weight classes. 

Speaking about the match, Koehn said, “Maria had a good start to the match, but made one little mistake and it was costly. We will see her again and I know Maria will be ready for it.” 

Things started to turn for the better against East Buchanan, as Central won five of the eight wrestling matches that took place, but ultimately lost the dual 42-27, due to forfeits. Royer, Medberry (138 pounds), Heer (195 pounds) and Nate Shirbroun (170 pounds) all won their matches via fall, while Deitchler won a 14-7 decision. 

“The East Buchanan dual was probably our best wrestling of the day. Everybody came out on all cylinders and wrestled some tough match-ups. We attacked and we’re on top of things. And I think we were the most motivated during that dual. Some of our individuals wrestled some of the top kids in the state and that’s what we need to get better,” Koehn said. 

When asked about the fairness of a system that rewards forfeits, rather than actual wrestling, Koehn was evenhanded in his reply. “It’s wrestling, not even wrestling. It’s life. Not everything is fair. We need to learn to deal with that adversity and grow from it,” he said. 

That is a good attitude since a similar thing occurred during the 42-23 loss to Postville, where the Warriors once again won more wrestling matches—four out of seven—but lost the overall dual because of forfeits. Royer won his match via technical fall, while Wilwert, Heer and Brandon Whittle (220 pounds) all won by fall. The three losses they suffered were via pin, due to what Koehn described as “mistakes that can be fixed.” 

In the final dual, Central was soundly defeated by Waterloo 54-9, losing four out of six matches, and enduring six forfeit losses. The two victories for Central came from Whittle via pin and Shirbroun by 9-7 decision. 

Even so, the team wrestled well, as Heer and Deitchler wrestled to decision losses, while Wilwert and Royer were competitive in pin defeats. 

The dual demonstrated one element the Warriors need to continue to work on: movement.

“We need to move in every possible position that we are in. I expressed that very loud and clear to the kids. We need to move on bottom, in the neutral, and can’t be lazy with our feet and hips,” Koehn said. 

Central’s overall wrestling ability is not reflected in the win/loss column, but according to Koehn, this season represents more than that. It represents the progress of the program. 

“The way I see it is from a bigger picture. Three years ago, I was going to duals with one wrestler. And now we’re going to duals with 12 kids. We went 56 duals in a row without a dual win and, this year alone, we have won seven. Our current record is 7-14,” Koehn said. “So, while we might not be having a lot of team success now, we’re growing. The kids know that and are willing to come to practice every day to help grow a program for the future and to get themselves better prepared to peak at the end of the season. Because that’s what all good programs want to do is peak at the right time.” 

The Warriors will wrestle three times in the coming week, first on Jan. 4, at the girls meet at Anamosa, then again on Jan. 7, at the UIC Dual Tournament at Riceville. They finish the week on Jan. 9, with the Central Invitational.

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