WEBSTER CITY - Ted Larson waxed poetically about life lessons and mental toughness to his Webster City wrestling team during its final gathering after a lengthy day of mat wars on Saturday.
What the Lynx head coach was trying to tell his team in a roundabout way is simple - it's gut check time.
The Dick Kennedy Memorial Duals - in honor of the late, great Webster City wrestling leader - didn't go as planned for the Lynx inside its new home, and Larson was left trying to pick up the pieces.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
Webster City junior Brandon Patten (front) goes for a ride during a 170-pound match against Waukee’s Zach Lohner on Saturday at the Dick Kennedy Memorial Duals inside the WCHS gymnasium. Patten won the match, 13-3, and he went 3-2 on the day. The Lynx dropped three of five duals and tied for third in the field of six.
"We didn't wrestle to our full potential and we didn't wrestle with the intensity that we needed for the full 6 minutes, it's as simple as that," Larson said after his team went 2-3 and shared third place in the six-team field inside the WCHS gymnasium. "Some of the things that happened are unacceptable, but we can't pout about it and we can't react to it. We've got to respond to it."
WCHS (5-3 overall) opened the day with a 46-27 win over Waukee, but the day turned south in the next round when North Central Conference rival Clear Lake used a 16-6 advantage in bonus points to nip the Lynx, 34-30.
The Lynx pummeled short-handed Belmond-Klemme, 68-12, but then dropped their final two duals to tournament champion Ankeny, 34-25, and runner-up Dallas Center-Grimes, 37-30.
1. Ankeny 5-0; 2. Dallas Center-Grimes 4-1; 3. (tie) Clear Lake, Webster City, Waukee 2-3; 6. Belmond-Klemme 0-5.
WEBSTER CITY 46, WAUKEE 27
160 - Brandon Jessen (WC) dec. Shane Spyksma, 10-3; 170 - Brandon Patten (WC) major dec. Zach Lohner, 13-3; 182 - Connor Larson (WC) pinned Steven Jacobson, 1:49; 195 - Dylan Fielder (WC) pinned Nathan Jacobsen, 4:31; 220 - Gus Gasca (WC) pinned Tyler Pfaltzgraffs, 3:07; 285 - Landon Johnson (WC) pinned Nick Tweeten, 1:48; 106 - Jakob Allison (W) tech. fall Cole Nokes, 6:00; 113 - Storm Eastvold (W) pinned Andrew Straw, 3:24; 120 - Christian Hofbauer (W) major dec. Freddie Seeley, 10-1; 126 - Grant Brown (W) pinned Collin Oswald, 1:53; 132 - Chris Grow (W) pinned Tanner Hoveland, 1:37; 138 - Tanner Hild (WC) dec. Troy Gatzionis, 6-2; 145 - Jake Powers (WC) pinned Ryan Sullivan, 1:24; 152 - Alex Oswald (WC) pinned Jessen Hansen, 1:51.
CLEAR LAKE 34, WEBSTER CITY 30
170 - Brice Wilcke (CL) pinned Larson, 1:57; 182 - Fielder (WC) forfeit; 195 - Gasca (WC) dec. Conner Nosbisch, 6-3; 220 - Jared Thome (WC) dec. Noah Holt, 9-6; 285 - Johnson (WC) major dec. Mitchell Jordan, 11-1; 106 - Ryan Schmalen (CL) pinned Nokes, 2:54; 113 - Brennen Doebel (CL) major dec. Seeley, 17-6; 120 - Ryan Faught (CL) pinned Straw, 2:40; 126 - Spencer Orr (CL) pinned C. Oswald, 1:18; 132 - Sam Lakose (CL) pinned Hoveland, 2:19; 138 -Hild (WC) dec. Carson Farmer, 2-0; 145 - Powers (WC) dec. Blake Kelso, 4-1; 152 - A. Oswald (WC) major dec. Aaron Boeshart, 11-2; 160 - Patten (WC) major dec. Logan Wilcke, 11-1.
WEBSTER CITY 68, BELMOND-KLEMME 12
182 - Fielder (WC) forfeit; 195 - Gasca (WC) forfeit; 220 - Chris Goodrich (WC) forfeit; 285 - Johnson (WC) pinned Luke Worden, 3:56; 106 - Mike Anderson (B-K) pinned Nokes, 3:30; 113 - Zach Andrews (B-K) pinned Seeley, 0:34; 120 - Straw (WC) pinned Juan Guido, 0:39; 126 - C. Oswald (WC) pinned Kevin Brown, 0:38; 132 - Hoveland (WC) pinned Chris Avarado, 0:39; 138 - Hild (WC) dec. Reed Lette, 8-2; 145 - Powers (WC) tech. fall Tanner Heaberlin, 6:00; 152 - A. Oswald (WC) forfeit; 160 - Patten (WC) pinned Oscar Calles, 3:09; 170 - Larson (WC) pinned Face Toftey, 0:49.
ANKENY 34, WEBSTER CITY 25
195 - Fielder (WC) major dec. John Ware, 14-2; 220 - Gasca (WC) major dec. Garrett Aukes, 13-3; 285 - Xavier Quigley (A) dec. Johnson, 5-3; 106 - Alec Helmkamp (A) dec. Nokes, 9-4; 113 - Aaron Noce (A) major dec. Seeley, 15-3; 120 - Austin Anderson (A) pinned Straw, 1:23; 126 - Joe Schmidt (A) pinned C. Oswald, 3:06; 132 - Grant Knowler (A) pinned Hoveland, 5:33; 138 - Hild (WC) major dec. Tyler Pagliai, 10-0; 145 - Patrick Steffan (A) dec. Powers, 8-7; 152 - A. Oswald (WC) dec. Lucas Lockhart, 8-6 (OT); 160 - Jessen (WC) pinned Josh Johnson, 0:58; 170 - Sam Pickard (A) dec. Patten, 6-4; 182 - Larson (WC) major dec. Isaac Dahlman, 11-2.
DC-GRIMES 37, WEBSTER CITY 30
220 - Gasca (WC) dec. Devin Ginn, 7-0; 285 - Johnson (WC) pinned Bryce Shutt, 1:10; 106 - Nokes (WC) forfeit; 113 - Trevor Murano (DC-G) pinned Straw, 0:43; 120 - Dalton Kardell (DC-G) pinned Seeley, 1:18; 126 - Zach Ross (DC-G) pinned C. Oswald, 4:24; 132 - Andy Raudabaugh (DC-G) pinned Hoveland, 2:44; 138 - Hild (WC) dec. Nick Brushaber, 10-4; 145 - Powers (WC) dec. Jesse Anderson, 8-5; 152 - Blake Wolinski (DC-G) pinned A. Oswald, 3:39; 160 - Dakota Clausen (DC-G) major dec. Patten, 12-0; 170 - Cole Baker (DC-G) dec. Larson, 6-4; 182 - Nelson Ball (WC) dec. Jack Kelly, 9-2; 195 - Fielder (WC) pinned Jason Whited, 1:52.
"There were a number of matches that we lost with 10 seconds left in the match, or got pinned with short seconds left in the match," Larson said. "Those are things we just can't do. We've got to fix that."
The WCHS lineup combined to put together a 42-28 record, and the Lynx actually broke even (21-21) in their three losses. But a 20-point disadvantage in bonus points in those duals (42-22) decided the outcomes.
Clear Lake won only six of the 14 weights, but five of its wins came by fall. Conversely, none of the Lynx mat victories ended early. They did receive one forfeit.
"We should have won the dual (against Clear Lake), but we didn't and I hope our guys keep that taste in their mouths," Larson said. "We've got to win those tight matches and we can't get caught."
Three WCHS grapplers - Tanner Hild (138 pounds), second-ranked (Class 3A) Dylan Fielder (182/195) and Gus Gasca (195/220) - put together blemish-free 5-0 marks. Three others - Jake Powers (145), Alex Oswald (152) and Landon Johnson (285) - went 4-1.
Fielder, who now stands as the Lynx last unbeaten wrestler, continued to live up to his lofty ranking with two pins and a major decision; he was awarded two forfeits as well. His only match to go the distance was never close, as he bashed ninth-ranked (3A) John Ware of Ankeny, 14-2, when both were up a weight class at 195.
"Dylan is really hitting on all cylinders right now and that's awesome," Larson said. "He's wrestling with intensity, keeping good position and staying physical, and that's what you've got to do."
Gasca notched one pin and Hild went the entire 6 minutes in his five victories; his closest test was a 2-0 blanking of Clear Lake's Carson Farmer.
"Gus really stepped up and he's better than he gives himself credit for a lot of the time," Larson said. "And Tanner just stays in position and he doesn't quit. He just keeps coming."
Ankeny's Xavier Quigley dished out the first loss of the season to Johnson, 5-3. But the Lynx heavyweight was dominant in his other four bouts, piling up three pins and an 11-1 major decision.
Powers and Oswald both played a part in the Lynx 15 falls and 73 total bonus points on the day.
Brandon Jessen (160) worked his way into the Lynx lineup twice and had his hand raised on both occasions, and Nelson Ball (182) and Jared Thome (220) were victorious in their only walks to the center of the circle.
Brandon Patten (160/170) and eighth-ranked Connor Larson (170/182) went 3-2. Ted Larson admitted it was a tough day for his son, who was upset twice, including in the opening match of the dual against Clear Lake.
"Connor's pretty down on himself right now, so something we've got to work on is getting him built back up," Ted Larson said. "He's got some work to do and he will."
The coach was quick to point out that it's not all doom and gloom for his team. The truth is, the season has only just begun and Larson says there's plenty of time to fix the correctable mistakes.
"We're close to turning that corner, we really are," he said. "We've just got to keep working, keep our heads up and stay positive. We can't get so down on ourselves."
The Lynx will be tested again on Thursday when they host conference foe Algona and Fort Dodge in a double dual beginning at 6 p.m.