HERE’S TO 100
Williams joins exclusive fraternity, Lynx pack on the points in win over Forest City
WEBSTER CITY — It’s been a love-hate relationship, often teetering back-and-forth between the two multiple times within a short period of time. But as Zane Williams walked off the mat to a standing ovation and into the arms of his teammates Tuesday night, the Webster City senior was feeling plenty of love for the sport of wrestling.
Because when you get right down to the nitty-gritty, one thing is obvious: wrestling has been very good to him.
Williams was the star attraction in what turned out to be a romp for Webster City, 51-30, in a non-conference dual meet against Forest City. On Senior Night, with his family in the sea of spectators, the Lynx sixth-ranked (Class 2A) 170-pounder became just the 15th grappler in program history to reach 100 career victories. He joined the fraternity just three days after second-ranked 120-pounder Drake Doolittle gained admittance.
“It’s cool to be there with all those guys that came before me,” Williams said after he dumped the Indians’ Jacob Trunkhill for the fall in 1:11 at 182 pounds. “I like (wrestling) a lot and it’s going good right now. I’m more mature and it’s my last year that I’ll be wrestling, so I might as well give it my all.”
There was a time not too long ago that WCHS head coach Chad Hisler had to talk Williams into continuing his wrestling career. And 100 wins could’ve felt like nothing more than a pipe dream just two months ago when Williams’ all-state football season was halted by a heart ailment that cost him three games.
“Having Zane get his 100th win on Senior Night was cool,” Hisler said. “He’s come a long way and improved every year since his freshman year. When he turns the switch on, he’s really good.”
Williams (15-3) was one of nine WCHS grapplers to come out victorious against Forest City (7-6). The Lynx (6-6) racked up 23 of the dual’s 29 takedowns, owned 27-7 and 24-15 advantages in near-fall points and bonus points, respectively, and thoroughly dominated in match points scored, 72-41.
But it still wasn’t quite what WCHS had in mind. The five matches lost, all by fall, gnawed at everyone afterwards.
“All of our losses were pins and that can’t happen if you want to do big things and everyone knows that,” top-ranked heavyweight Cooper Lawson said after he toyed with the Indians’ Evan Larson before decking him in 1:37. “But we’re working hard and the intensity is there. Now we just have to show it on the mat.”
Lawson (17-0), the lone unbeaten Lynx grappler, has now won 26 consecutive matches. His last loss was in the 2016 state title bout to two-time state champion Carter Isley of Albia, who now wrestles for UNI.
WCHS never trailed in the dual and raced out to a quick 16-0 lead. Doolittle (17-2) bumped up to 126 to get a match and he kicked off the meet by notching four takedowns before disposing of Kaleb Umbaugh by fall in 59 seconds. Brady Auderer (5-12) put together a nine-point second period that included a pair of takedowns and a turn en route to a 13-5 major decision over Brett Walton at 132, and seventh-ranked Carson Hartnett (15-4) won by forfeit at 138.
Harrison Hayes (6-12) collected one of the Lynx five pins when he put Dylan Jenkins on his back in 45 seconds at 152, and two weights later Hunter Collicott (5-9) put Blaze Sankey on his back twice before hearing the slap of the mat in 3:02 at 170.
The Lynx led 34-24 when Lawson essentially ended the dual.
Chase Rattenborg (16-4), the Lynx freshman 113-pounder, rattled off points at a dizzying clip in a 19-0 technical fall win over Wyatt Gelhaus. Rattenborg put Gelhaus on his back five times for 13 near-fall points.
“Chase continues to impress,” Hisler said.
Curtis Heuton stepped into the WCHS lineup at 120 to receive a forfeit to finish it off.
The question is what will the Lynx look like when they return to the mat in 2018? Senior 160-pounder Luke Rohmiller should return to the lineup. No. 6-ranked 220-pound senior James Cherry wasn’t in uniform on Tuesday, but should be good to go following the break. And there is the possibility that junior Caleb Olson could make his season debut in January, potentially at 195. Sidelined with a nagging back injury, Olson won a North Central Conference title a winter ago and finished eighth at 195 at the 2017 state tournament.
Hisler doesn’t want to speculate what the lineup could look like. He just knows his team needs to continue to improve.
“Whether we get guys back or not, we’ve got to get better,” he said. “It’s better than it was two weeks ago, but we’ve still got a ways to go.”
WCHS will return from the break on Thursday, Jan. 4, when it hits the road for a conference dual against Hampton-Dumont.
Webster City 51, Forest City 30
Tuesday at Webster City
126 — Drake Doolittle (WC) pinned Kaleb Umbaugh, 0:59 (6-0). 132 — Brady Auderer (WC) major dec. Brett Walton, 13-5 (10-0). 138 — Carson Hartnett (WC) forfeit (16-0). 145 — Kristian Gunderson (FC) pinned Daltyn Peck, 5:42 (16-6). 152 — Harrison Hayes (WC) pinned Dylan Jenkins, 0:45 (22-6). 160 — Max Soto (FC) pinned Carter Bedford, 4:31 (22-12). 170 — Hunter Collicott (WC) pinned Blaze Sankey, 3:02 (28-12). 182 — Zane Williams (WC) pinned Jacob Trunkhill, 1:11 (34-12). 195 — Gabe Staudt (FC) pinned Michael Gilbert, 2:10 (34-18). 220 — Austin Kelso (FC) pinned Alex Wolfgram, 3:49 (34-24). 285 — Cooper Lawson (WC) pinned Evan Larson, 1:37 (40-24). 106 — Brock Moore (FC) pinned Reece Sadler, 1:35 (40-30). 113 — Chase Rattenborg (WC) tech fall Wyatt Gelhaus, 19-0, 4:41 (45-30). 120 — Curtis Heuton (WC) forfeit (51-30).