WEBSTER CITY - It was just business, nothing personal.
Well, maybe it was a tiny bit personal. And that made the celebration last just a little bit longer.
Backed by stellar performances up and down the lineup, the 13th-ranked Webster City wrestling team used a sledgehammer approach to dismantle a pair of teams at a Class 2A regional dual tournament last night inside Jefferson Gymnasium.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
Webster City head coach Ted Larson (left) gets a ride on the shoulders of some of his wrestlers as the Lynx hold up their state qualifier banner last night inside Jeff Gym. Webster City beat Dallas Center-Grimes and Algona to claim the Class 2A regional dual tournament and advance to the state duals for the second year in a row.
The Lynx (19-4) dissected Dallas Center-Grimes, 49-18, in the semifinal round and with a berth in the state dual tournament on the line, head coach Ted Larson watched his pupils pick apart North Central Conference rival Algona, 41-20.
It was a reprieve for Webster City, which dropped its only conference dual to the Bulldogs, 36-21, in mid-December. And don't think that wasn't on the mind of every grappler in a singlet as they stepped on the mat last night.
"It was definitely personal because they got us the first time," WCHS senior No. 9-ranked 145-pounder Royce Nessa said after he notched a pair of wins. "We wanted (Algona) again and, who knows, if they wouldn't have beat us the first time we may have had our heads a little too high (last night). But the way it ended this time was good."
Webster City 48, DC-Grimes 18
145 - Royce Nessa (WC) dec. Matt Taylor, 15-8; 152 - Joey Powers (WC) dec. Blake Wolinski, 7-3; 160 - Connor Larson (WC) pinned Cole Baker, 0:54; 170 - Luke Shannon (WC) pinned Levi Smith, 1:35; 182 - Aaron McMurphy (DC-G) forfeit; 195 - Dylan Fielder (WC) pinned Jason Whited, 2:45; 220 - Devin Ginn (DC-G) pinned Gus Gasca, 2:59; 285 - Landon Johnson (WC) pinned Bryce Shutt, 0:57; 106 - Freddie Seeley (WC) pinned Carter Robbins, 4:47; 113 - Trevor Murano (DC-G) dec. BJ Bremer, 6-0; 120 - Avery Jackson (WC) pinned Dalton Kardell, 2:46; 126 - Andy Raudabaugh (DC-G) dec. Dalton Ryder, 7-2; 132 - Tanner Hild (WC) major dec. Tyler Oviatt, 9-0; 138 - Aaron Hoffman (WC) dec. Aaron Anderson, 6-2.
Webster City 41, Algona 20
152 - Joey Powers (WC) dec. Weston Shaw, 3-1 (SV); 160 - Connor Larson (WC) dec. Tyler Frideres, 6-2; 170 - Luke Shannon (WC) pinned Joe Teague, 3:19; 182 - Dylan Fielder (WC) major dec. Jeff Buchanon, 11-2; 195 - Garrett Johnson (A) dec. Gus Gasca, 7-4; 220 - Michael Mather (A) dec. Chris Goodrich, 6-2; 285 - Nick Buchanon (A) dec. Landon Johnson, 4-0; 106 - Freddie Seeley (WC) dec. Dalton Potts, 7-4; 113 - BJ Bremer (WC) pinned Matt Hutchinson, 4:58; 120 - Avery Jackson (WC) pinned Joel Lanus, 1:25; 126 - Jacob Adams (A) tech fall Dalton Ryder, 4:22; 132 - Tanner Hild (WC) pinned Austin Long, 4:34; 138 - Korey Kuecker (A) pinned Aaron Hoffman, 2:32; 145 - Royce Nessa (WC) major dec. Brad Bjustrom, 14-3.
The Lynx (19-4) tied the school record for dual wins en route to their second straight trip to the state duals - a first in the program's history. And they did it in the final varsity dual ever in Jeff Gym.
A good night indeed.
"It's a big night for all of our guys and it's a big night for Webster City wrestling," Larson said after receiving plenty of congratulatory handshakes and hugs. "I'm just so proud of how the kids came out and wrestled. They kept everything in perspective and they really rose to this.
"Before we came out here for that last dual with Algona, every one of those kids had a look in their eye of let's right the wrong of earlier. We had a chip on our shoulder."
Algona reached the regional final by beating Perry, 42-29, in the semifinal round.
WCHS never trailed in either dual. Wins in the first four matches pushed the Lynx to an early 18-0 lead on Dallas Center-Grimes, and they opened the same way against Algona with four consecutive victories to build a 16-0 cushion.
Senior 152-pounder Joey Powers got the final dual off to a rousing start with a last-second victory over Weston Shaw, 3-1 in sudden victory. It was a reversal of Saturday's sectional final when Shaw scored a takedown in the final 5 seconds of regulation to nudge Powers by two points.
WCHS rode its big guns - tenth-ranked Connor Larson (160), fifth-ranked Luke Shannon (170) and seventh-ranked Dylan Fielder (182) - to three more victories. Shannon stuck Bulldogs' freshman Joe Teague for the second time in four days.
Algona climbed to within 16-9 before the Lynx lightweights took over. Freshman Freddie Seeley (106) started a run of three straight wins with a 7-4 decision over Dalton Potts that elevated the lead to 31-9.
Seeley showed no signs of rookie nerves all night. Against DC-G he put aside a 6-1 third-period deficit by using a headlock throw to earn the fall against Carter Robbins.
"Freddie had an awesome night, and he's come a long way since even Christmas," Larson said. "Back then he would have given up in a lot of those positions that he was in (last night), but right now he's got that fire in his belly."
BJ Bremer (113) and Avery Jackson (120) recorded back-to-back pins for the Lynx against Algona, and two matches later Tanner Hild (132) iced the victory with just his second fall of the season. Hild decked Austin Long in 4:34.
WCHS drew top-ranked Davenport Assumption (28-1) in the first round of the state duals, which will take place next Wednesday inside Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. But don't expect the Lynx to just accept defeat.
"It's huge to get back to state duals, and I think we can do well," Shannon said. "Ted does a really good job of getting us to peak at the right moments, and we think the best is yet to come."
But first WCHS will send eight wrestlers to this Saturday's 2A district tournament in Forest City where spots in the traditional state tournament will be on the line. Wrestling will get underway at noon.