Lynx win 2 of 3 duals, but fall out of NCC lead
Luke Rohmiller shows he’s back and maybe better than ever
WEBSTER CITY — It was only a few months ago that Luke Rohmiller didn’t know if he’d ever have the chance to step on a wrestling mat and shake hands with an opponent again.
Cue up the tape from last night right around the 8 o’clock hour; there the Webster City junior was, turning to the crowd and flexing as he celebrated a victory by pin over 10th-ranked Joey Busse of Humboldt. It’s safe to say that, yeah, he’s back.
“It feels great to be back out there. I really missed it,” Rohmiller said. “I’m just happy to be out there on the mat and show what I can do.”
Rohmiller missed most of last season because of injury and then was forced to sit out the entire football season because of a back ailment. He didn’t even receive medical clearance to begin practicing on the wrestling mat until the week of Thanksgiving.
If he’s rusty, he sure has a good way of hiding it.
Rohmiller, the Lynx 145-pounder, went 3-0 with a pair of pins and a win by decision in a quadrangular with North Central Conference rivals Clarion-Goldfield-Dows and Humboldt, as well as non-conference foe Pocahontas Area.
He started his night by avenging a loss to the Indians’ Clayton Reis on Saturday by picking him off, 1-0, on the strength of a third-period escape.
Next up was Busse, a 2016 state qualifier who bumped up a weight to tackle Rohmiller. A second-period reversal put Rohmiller in front, 2-0, and a third-period whip put Busse on his back for good.
“That kind of makes me mad,” Rohmiller said when asked about Busse bumping up a weight. “But it gets me motivated, too. I just wanted to put forth my best effort.”
Rohmiller capped his night by decking CGD’s Kamren Jergenson in 2:36.
“Luke has had to face a lot of good kids,” WCHS head coach Chad Hisler said. “But he had a great night. He really showed people what we knew he could do all along.”
WCHS had a good night, but great would have been winning all three duals. Instead, the Lynx were forced to walk away 2-1 and they know they no longer control their own destiny in pursuit of the NCC dual title.
WCHS (7-3, 3-1 NCC) blasted Pocahontas Area (6-8), 67-12, and then rolled by Humboldt (9-2, 2-2 NCC), 42-25. But CGD (7-0, 6-0 NCC) was able to win the final two matches to sneak by the Lynx, 37-32, to take over sole possession of the conference lead.
It was the Cowboys’ fourth straight victory over WCHS and they did it with bonus points. The two teams split the 14 weights right down the middle, but CGD owned a 17-12 edge in bonus points courtesy of four pins, a tech fall and a forfeit.
“Once again it came down to bonus points like it always does,” Hisler said. “But I liked our fight all night … we had a lot of kids that stuck their necks out there for the team and they wrestled well. There were just a few matches here and there that were the difference.”
Both WCHS and CGD had one team point deducted for various infractions, but in the end they didn’t play a factor. Cowboys’ 195-pounder Ben Powers sealed the victory as he hung on late to nip Rocco Miller, 5-3.
Six WCHS wrestlers — Trey Nelson (106/113), third-ranked Drake Doolittle (120), Carson Hartnett (132), Rohmiller, Zane Williams (170) and Caleb Olson (220) — went 3-0. Top-ranked heavyweight Cooper Lawson won his two bouts and James Cherry filled in for him against the Cowboys and came up with a win.
Hobbled by ankle and shoulder injuries, Hisler elected to sit Lawson in the final dual just as a precaution.
“He’s been bogged down with injuries, but luckily we’ve got a guy like Cherry that can come in and wrestle well,” Hisler said. ‘He’s been great all year.”
Hartnett, a junior, was the lone WCHS grappler to rack up three falls, and none of his three opponents made it out of the second period.
Doolittle put it on cruise control and dominated a pair of foes to go along with one forfeit.
Humboldt opted to shuffle a lot of its lineup in the hopes of picking off WCHS, but Rohmiller’s mild upset of Busse turned the tide in the Lynx favor for good.
The Wildcats closed to within five points, 30-25, with two weights to go, but Williams and Brandon Peck (182) slammed the door shut. Williams clinched the dual when he tossed Logan Moser to his back for the fall in 24 seconds. Peck was actually on his back and in serious trouble in the opening moments of the final match, but he quickly got the reversal and turned Joel Osborn for the pin in 1:41.
Peck was the only Lynx grappler to go 2-1. He had a pair of pins.
WCHS led the Cowboys for the majority of the dual, but the visitors caught up and knotted it at 30 following back-to-back pins by Dakota Hennigar (152) and Sam Wigans (160) with just three bouts remaining.
Williams briefly shoved the Lynx back in front with a 5-1 decision over Reymundo Vasquez, but that was the last bit of momentum WCHS owned.
Still, Hisler didn’t walk away discouraged. He just knows his team needs to continue to improve in the weeks leading up to the NCC tournament in mid-January.
“We wrestled really well against Poky and Humboldt, and I thought we did a lot of good things against Clarion,” he said. “Our young kids are getting there, but there are still some things we’ve got to keep working on.”
WCHS will have its hands full on Saturday when it takes part in the Don Miller Invite, hosted by Fort Dodge Senior. Wrestling will get underway at 11 a.m.
Following that tournament, the Lynx will close out the pre-holiday portion of their schedule with a non-conference road dual at Forest City on Tuesday. Junior varsity action will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Webster City 67, Pocahontas Area 12
182 — Brandon Peck (WC) pinned Drake Jones, 0:23 (6-0). 195 — Rocco Miller (WC) forfeit (12-0). 220 — Caleb Olson (WC) pinned Keegan Jepsen, 1:02 (18-0). 285 — Cooper Lawson (WC) maj. dec. Tim Elliott, 15-5 (22-0). 106 — Trey Nelson (WC) forfeit (28-0). 113 — Shea Ruffridge (PAC) forfeit (28-6). 120 — Drake Doolittle (WC) pinned Tyler Vick, 1:34 (34-6). 126 — Brady Auderer (WC) pinned Thomas Melohn, 3:07 (40-6). 132 — Carson Hartnett (WC) pinned Chandler Witzke, 3:15 (46-6). 138 — Sean Godfredsen (WC) forfeit (52-6). 145 — Luke Rohmiller (WC) dec. Clayton Reis, 1-0 (55-6). 152 — Tyler Reis (PAC) pinned Harrison Hayes, 2:31 (55-12). 160 — Hunter Hayes (WC) pinned Braxton Long, 2:28 (61-12). 170 — Zane Williams (WC) forfeit (67-12).
Webster City 42, Humboldt 25
195 — Brandon Johnson (H) dec. Miller, 3-2 (3-0). 220 — Olson (WC) dec. Cole Anderson, 4-2 (3-3). 285 — Lawson (WC) dec. Justin Jones, 3-2 (6-3). 106 — T. Nelson (WC) pinned Cole Nelson, 0:37 (12-3). 113 — Tanner Myer (H) forfeit (12-9). 120 — Doolittle (WC) forfeit (18-9). 126 — Cresten Craven (H) pinned Auderer, 5:04 (18-15). 132 — Hartnett (WC) pinned Corey Kasperbauer, 1:45 (24-15). 138 — Elijah Torres (H) dec. Godfredsen, 5-0 (24-18). 145 — Rohmiller (WC) pinned Joey Busse, 5:29 (30-18). 152 — Jaden Kampen (H) dec. Ha. Hayes, 7-1 (30-21). 160 — Gus Arnold (H) major dec. Hu. Hayes, 8-0 (30-25). 170 — Williams (WC) pinned Logan Moser, 0:25 (36-25). 182 — Peck (WC) pinned Joel Osborn, 1:43 (42-25).
CGD 37, Webster City 32
220 — Olson (WC) dec. Salvador Fregoso, 4-2 (3-0). 285 — James Cherry (WC) dec. Trent McAtee, 10-4 (6-0). 106 — Chance Konopasek (CGD) forfeit (6-6). 113 — T. Nelson (WC) pinned Ben Oehlert, 0:41 (12-6). 120 — Doolittle (WC) pinned Dylan Pate, 1:36 (18-6). 126 — Connor Johnson (CGD) pinned Auderer, 2:58 (18-12). 132 — Hartnett (WC) pinned Chase Murga, 2:41 (24-12). 138 — Tanner Abbas (CGD) pinned Godfredsen, 0:34 (24-18). 145 — Rohmiller (WC) pinned Kamren Jergenson, 2:36 (30-18). 152 — Dakota Hennigar (CGD) pinned Ha. Hayes, 1:36 (30-24). 160 — Sam Wigans (CGD) pinned Hu. Hayes, 1:52 (30-30). (WC lost team point, 30-29). 170 — Williams (WC) dec. Reymundo Vasquez, 5-1 (32-30). 182 — Mason Carpenter (CGD) tech fall Peck, 17-2, 5:08 (35-32). 195 — Ben Powers (CGD) dec. Miller, 5-3 (38-32). (CGD loses team point, 37-32.)