DES MOINES - No regrets.
In a nutshell, that's how Webster City senior Royce Nessa felt after he took off his purple and gold singlet and wrestling shoes for the final time Saturday afternoon inside Wells Fargo Arena.
He had a state medal - something that's been at the top of his list of goals for years - and a new single-season school record for victories - an added bonus to what he said was already the memory of a lifetime.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
Webster City senior 145-pounder Royce Nessa (top) cranks on the left arm of Jed Siegwarth of Central-MFL during a consolation-round match at the Iowa High State Wrestling Championships on Friday in Des Moines. Nessa won the bout, 4-1, to set a single-season school record for wins, and he went on to earn a fourth-place medal on Saturday.
"I'm just kind of speechless. I'll remember this for the rest of my life, that's for sure," Nessa, a two-time state qualifier, said only minutes after wrapping up a fourth-place finish at 145 pounds in Class 2A at the Iowa High School State Wrestling Championships. "I'm extremely happy because I didn't expect to do this well and I just can't thank my coaches enough."
Sophomore and seventh-ranked 182-pounder Dylan Fielder gave Webster City two Lynx uniforms on the award's podium during Saturday night's championship round. He was sixth in his second trip to the big
Lynx Tournament Summary
Royce Nessa (4-2)
Lost 14-8 dec. to Dylan Bryce, Spirit Lake Park; Won by fall (3:59) over Jarrett Paulson, Solon; Won 14-1 major dec. over Gabe Saemisch, Perry; Won 4-1 dec. over Jed Siegwarth, Central-MFL; Won by fall (5:55) over Juwan Parrish, Creston/Orient-Macksburg; Lost 7-3 dec. to Jesse Etherington, Charles City.
Dylan Fielder (3-3)
Lost by fall (0:49) to Jacyn Goebel, West Delaware; Won by fall (4:23) over Sam Lodestein, Nevada; Won 13-11 dec. over Dalton Wheeler, Louisa-Muscatine; Won by fall (5:53) over Jared Keenan, Grinnell; Lost 13-2 major dec. to Jacyn Goebel, West Delaware; Lost by fall (3:22) to Ethan Lindquist, Laurens-Marathon.
Luke Shannon (1-2)
Won 3-1 dec. over Richard England, Centerville; Lost 2-1 dec. to Keegan Davis, Perry; Lost 6-3 dec. to Tyler Rawson, Mount Vernon.
Senior 170-pounder Luke Shannon was eliminated from the tournament Friday afternoon after back-to-back losses. Nessa (41-5), ranked No. 7, and Shannon (35-8), ranked No. 5, finished their standout careers with 117 and 112 victories, respectively, and they're two of only eight Lynx wrestlers ever to reach 100 wins.
Nessa's climb up the ranks included consecutive victories over higher ranked opponents in the consolation rounds before a 7-3 setback against No. 1 Jesse Etherington of Charles City in the bronze-medal match. Etherington, a junior, also beat Nessa in the district final earlier this month.
"I respect (Etherington) a lot and he's a great wrestler," Nessa said. "I saw him in the hall after the match and I just told him to win it next year and he said he will."
Nessa picked up his 40th win of the season Friday night with a 4-1 decision over sixth-ranked Jed Siegwarth of Central-MFL, and it assured him of a spot in the top six. A reversal and two-point near-fall on a tilt in the second period was all he needed to slingshot past Tyler Patten, who set the WCHS single-season mark for wins a year ago with 39 on his way to a second straight state silver medal.
"It's always exciting to do something better than Tyler Patten," Nessa said. "He and I are really good friends and I hate taking it from him, but I will."
Nessa followed it up with an even bigger win Saturday morning over fifth-ranked Juwan Parrish of Creston/Orient-Macksburg. Trailing 4-2 entering the third period, Nessa hit a fireman's carry to put Parrish on his back for a five-point move to take the lead, and later he sunk in a half-nelson and decked Parrish with just five seconds remaining in the bout.
The win over Parrish propelled Nessa into the date with Etherington.
"Pinning (Parrish), I didn't think I'd ever do that," Nessa said. "But I worked harder than him and I broke him in that match."
Nessa, who was 4-2 overall in the tournament, also dominated Gabe Saemisch of Perry by major decision, 14-1, in an earlier consolation round on Friday. He turned Saemisch four times and collected nine near-fall points.
Fielder (32-10) reached medal status with a pair of victories on Friday. He built a 12-5 lead after two periods and then hung on to beat Dalton Wheeler of Louisa-Muscatine, 13-11, in an elimination match and later he stuck Jared Keenan of Grinnell in 5:53 to guarantee himself one of the top-six medals.
Fielder and Keenan met in the 2011 regional dual finals - a match Fielder won by fall in just 24 seconds. The second installment was much tougher, however, as Fielder had to rally from a 4-3 deficit after two periods.
"He was a lot stronger and he was a lot bigger than last year," Fielder said of Keenan. "In that third period you're dying and he's dying, so you just have to shut that out and keep going as hard as you can go. The third period is when you're going to break them."
On Saturday, Fielder fell to No. 4-ranked Jacyn Goebel of West Delaware for the second time in the tournament, 13-2. In the fifth-place match, No. 6 Ethan Lindquist of Laurens-Marathon put Fielder on his back in the second period and scored the fall in 3:22.
"There were a lot of tough matches this week, and to be the best you've got to wrestle the best," Fielder, who went 3-3 during the three-day tournament, said. "Getting on the podium was my goal this year, and next year I'm planning to get back down here and get even higher on the podium."
Shannon suffered a 2-1 quarterfinal-round loss to ninth-ranked Keegan Davis of Perry on Friday. Both wrestlers earned an escape point; the difference was a stalling point that was awarded to Davis with 1:08 remaining in the bout.
Shannon's career came to an end with a 6-3 loss to Tyler Rawson of Mount Vernon in the consolations.
"It obviously didn't go as well as I wanted it to, but I wrestled tough and I wrestled tough kids, so I'm good," Shannon said. "I'm happy with what wrestling has done for me."
WCHS head coach Ted Larson said replacing Nessa and Shannon will be about more than the 229 combined wins they piled up.
"Both of those guys have contributed so much to the program, and it's more than wins," he said. "Their leadership this year has been some of the best I've had in all the years I've been here. They'll really be missed."