DES MOINES - Joey Powers' career had just ended as he sat and glanced from one teammate to another yesterday evening, and one word kept reverberating over and over again.
"The cool thing about our team is we're all homegrown and we're all best friends with each other," Powers, a senior 152-pounder, said. "We're just a family and when one person gets going everybody gets going."
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
Members of the Webster City wrestling team accept their Class 2A fifth-place trophy yesterday inside Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. After opening the State Duals with a 45-21 loss to top-seed Davenport Assumption, the eighth-seeded Lynx reeled off victories over Charles City, 50-13, and Spirit Lake Park, 45-31, to finish with a 2-1 record on the day and a 21-5 overall record.
Webster City was certainly one big happy family at the conclusion of the State Duals at Wells Fargo Arena, as the Lynx shook off a Class 2A quarterfinal loss to top-seed and eventual champion Davenport Assumption (45-21) by dismantling Charles City (50-13) in a consolation semifinal, and they capped their day by topping Spirit Lake Park (45-31) in the fifth-place dual.
The Lynx (21-5) broke the school record for dual-meet victories in the win over Charles City. It was just the cherry on top of an already delicious sundae of a season that included a North Central Conference tournament title, a share of the league dual championship, and sectional and regional crowns.
WCHS entered the State Duals tied for the most wins in program history with the 1992 squad that finished 19-3-1.
Davenport Assumption 45, Webster City 21
138 - Eric Clark (DA) major dec. Aaron Hoffman, 12-0; 145 - Royce Nessa (WC) dec. Tionte Parks, 13-10; 152 - Nick Georgean (DA) dec. Joey Powers, 1-0; 160 - Connor Larson (WC) dec. Tony Parks, 3-2; 170 - Luke Shannon (WC) dec. Alex Mathys, 3-1; 182 - Dylan Fielder (WC) pinned Luke Powers, 3:00; 195 - Bradley Grothus (DA) pinned Chris Goodrich, 0:47; 220 - Zach Adrian (DA) pinned Gus Gasca, 3:41; 285 - Sean Easler (DA) dec. Landon Johnson, 6-2; 106 - Brendan Gould (DA) pinned Freddie Seeley, 1:40; 113 - BJ Bremer (WC) forfeit; 120 - Tony DeVries (DA) pinned Avery Jackson, 4:00; 126 - Kyle Springer (DA) pinned Dalton Ryder, 3:17; 132 - Topher Carton (DA) tech fall Tanner Hild, 2:29.
Webster City 50, Charles City 13
145 - Royce Nessa (WC) tech. fall Austin Hoeft, 4:09; 152 - Joey Powers (WC) dec. Cole Hoeft, 7-6; 160 - Connor Larson (WC) major dec. Zach Mitchell, 12-2; 170 - Brandon Patten (WC) major dec. Zach Isakson, 16-4; 182 - Luke Shannon (WC) pinned Luke Johnson, 1:58; 195 - Dylan Fielder (WC) pinned Ryan Sharp, 4:28; 220 - Brian Halligan (CC) pinned Gus Gasca, 0:39; 285 - Landon Johnson (WC) pinned Dalton Hamm, 3:09; 106 - Freddie Seeley (WC) pinned Nate Manning, 5:20; 113 - Jake Niichel (CC) dec. BJ Bremer, 12-10; 120 - Avery Jackson (WC) dec. Wyatt Forsyth, 7-2; 126 - Dalton Ryder (WC) dec. Seth Niichel, 3-2; 132 - Tanner Hild (WC) major dec. Jacob Page, 12-4; 138 - Alex Mitchell (CC) major dec. Aaron Hoffman, 8-0.
Webster City 45, Spirit Lake Park 31
152 - Royce Nessa (WC) pinned David Trucksess, 0:56; 160 - Joey Powers (WC) dec. Rick Maris, 7-6; 170 - Connor Larson (WC) pinned Javier Tapia, 0:29; 182 - Luke Shannon (WC) pinned Jacob Jenness, 2:51; 195 - Dylan Fielder (WC) pinned Casey Jones, 3:22; 220 - Nathan Kyle (SLP) dec. Chris Goodrich, 6-2; 285 - Landon Johnson (WC) pinned Cody Norton, 2:35; 106 - Cody Clipperton (SLP) pinned Freddie Seeley, 1:05; 113 - Doug Miner (SLP) pinned BJ Bremer, 0:40; 120 - Zach Skopec (SLP) pinned Andrew Straw, 1:08; 126 - Avery Jackson (WC) pinned Sam Bosma, 2:52; 132 - Kenten Murray (SLP) pinned Tanner Hild, 3:28; 138 - Isaac Lundgren (SLP) major dec. Aaron Hoffman, 16-5; 145 - Jake Powers (WC) forfeit.
"This has been one of the most fun teams that I've ever had the privilege to coach," WCHS head coach Ted Larson said just moments before picking up a shiny silver trophy to take back to school. "It's a team that believes in itself and that's what it takes. These guys believe they can compete with anybody and that's what we've built this thing on. I couldn't be more proud of them."
Four WCHS grapplers went perfect in front of a boisterous crowd. Traditional state tournament qualifiers Royce Nessa (145/152), Luke Shannon (170/182) and Dylan Fielder (182/195) appeared to be in top form; they bounced around the lineup and combined to roll up nine victories, which included six falls and a technical fall.
Sophomore Connor Larson equaled his teammates' feats. He fired out of the gate with an upset 3-2 victory over eighth-ranked Tony Parks of Davenport Assumption, and followed it up with a major decision and pin against Charles City and Spirit Lake Park.
Larson notched the winning takedown against Parks just a blink before time ran out.
"I was upset about not making it to state, so I just wanted to come out here and beat somebody that was good," Connor Larson said. "It was a good day."
Avery Jackson (120/126), Powers (152/160) and Landon Johnson (285) were all 2-1 for the Lynx. Powers' lone loss was a 1-0 decision to top-ranked 152-pounder Nick Georgean of Assumption.
WCHS led Assumption briefly, 15-7, following a three-match run of victories from Larson, Shannon and Fielder. But the Knights responded with four consecutive victories, including three by fall, and they won at seven of the final eight weights.
"We hung with Assumption like crazy and I thought we were going to win it for a while," Powers said. "But even after we lost, I knew we were going to have a pretty good day down here."
Charles City opted to sit several of its state qualifiers, but it might not have mattered. The Lynx rattled off six consecutive victories to rush out to a 28-0 lead in the early stages of the battle. They took 11 of the 14 weights and piled up 17 bonus points to the Comets' four.
"We preached to the kids all year that we're not going to hold back on anything and we didn't (yesterday)," Ted Larson said. "Yeah, Charles City kept some kids out, but it wouldn't have mattered. They wouldn't have made up 40 points with those guys in there, they just wouldn't have."
WCHS jumped on Spirit Lake Park in a similar fashion with five straight wins at the onset of the dual. Nessa and Larson needed less than a minute to deck their opponents at 152 and 170, respectively, and Shannon and Fielder showed their foes the lights too at 182 and 195 to give the Lynx a 27-0 cushion.
Spirit Lake Park made it interesting late with four pins in a five-match stretch to climb to within 39-27, but senior Aaron Hoffman (138) picked up the best major decision loss of his career against sixth-ranked Issac Lundgren, who needed a pin to keep his team in contention.
"You never want to tell a kid to not get pinned, but Aaron's a senior and he knew the score there," Ted Larson said. "He did what he needed to do for the team, and that's another example of why we've been so successful this season."
A total of 13 WCHS wrestlers picked up at least one win. Sophomore Brandon Patten entered the lineup at 170 against Charles City and scored an early 16-4 major decision romp over Zach Isakson.