After three straight near misses, Lynx finally make return to state duals

WCHS dominates CL/G-LR, Heelan; six seniors go a combined 11-1

Members of the Webster City wrestling team celebrate as they’re handed the state qualifier banner after they punched the Lynx ticket to the state duals Tuesday night in Sergeant Bluff. WCHS won the regional by disposing of Central Lyon/George-Little Rock, 51-27, and Sioux City Heelan, 51-21. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

SERGEANT BLUFF — If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Or in Webster City’s case, try, try, try again.

The wait is finally over. The Lynx are headed back to the Class 2A state duals.

Three straight trips to the regional finals, only to see the journey end one step short, provided plenty of motivation for WCHS Tuesday night, particularly for a senior class of six that has had a berth in the state field as a goal since they first stepped into the practice room in 2014.

There was no stopping them this time.

The 10th-ranked Lynx (20-8) busted up Central Lyon/George-Little Rock in the regional semifinals, 51-27, and then steamrolled 13th-ranked Sioux City Heelan in the finals, 51-21, to advance. They’ll face top-ranked New Hampton/Turkey Valley (31-3) in a state quarterfinal next Wednesday morning at 11 a.m. inside Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

WCHS senior Luke Rohmiller (right) turns Central Lyon/George-Little Rock’s Braeden Schulte during Tuesday’s Class 2A regional duals in Sergeant Bluff. Rohmiller won the match by fall. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

It will be the fifth state duals appearance for WCHS and first since 2014.

“It’s awesome,” WCHS top-ranked heavyweight Cooper Lawson said after the celebration had died down inside the Sergeant Bluff-Luton gymnasium. “It’s a goal every year and I’m just happy we could do it with this group of guys.”

Lawson and the team’s other five seniors — seventh-ranked Carson Hartnett (132 pounds), 10th-ranked Luke Rohmiller (152), Harrison Hayes (160), eighth-ranked Zane Williams (170) and seventh-ranked James Cherry (220) — combined to go 11-1 with 10 wins that had bonus points attached at the regional. A pin by Williams against Central Lyon/George-Little Rock’s Bryce Vande Weerd also broke the program’s single-season record for falls.

“We’d come up short the last three years, so it was awesome to overcome that,” Williams said.

But this was a team effort up and down the lineup.

WCHS 195-pounder Caleb Olson (top) rolls through for a reversal during the second period against Sioux City Heelan’s Shyler Langley at Tuesday’s Class 2A regional duals in Sergeant Bluff. Langley, who entered the bout at 43-1 record, never got off his back, as Olson won by fall in 3:04. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

WCHS won nine of the 14 weights against CL/G-LR and 10 of the 14 against Heelan. The Lynx accrued 25 more bonus points than their counterparts and held a 43-16 edge in takedowns, including 26-7 against Heelan.

“We knew on paper going in that all of the teams were solid, but we really thought we could match up with them,” WCHS head coach Chad Hisler said. “We knew that if we wrestled well that we’d have a good shot to get through and the kids believed. We’re here because of a lot of hard work by a lot of people, from the kids to the coaches and parents.”

Heelan gambled early on by bumping kids up and it partially paid off. But Williams made the Crusaders pay when he used his size advantage to get in on the legs of 46-win Luke Martin for a 7-5 victory.

Heelan led 18-9 after five weights and owned the momentum. And then WCHS junior 195-pounder Caleb Olson sucked all of the air out of the Crusaders’ crowd.

Facing Shyler Langley, who stepped onto the mat with a 43-1 record, Olson hit a roll for a reversal to tie the bout at 6 in the second period, and then put Langley on his back for the fall in 3:04. It was the start of six straight wins for the Lynx and they closed out the dual by taking eight of the final nine weights.

Webster City 138-pounder Brady Auderer (back) locks up a cradle against Central Lyon/George-Little Rock’s Nile Christensen during Tuesday night’s Class 2A regional duals in Sergeant Bluff. Auderer won the match by decision, 7-6. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

“I didn’t know that kid was 43-1, but Hisler told me and I was like ‘holy smokes,'” Olson said. “It was a big win.”

Cherry followed by tossing Diego Samaniego around the mat for six minutes for a 17-6 major decision to give WCHS its first lead at 19-18, and Lawson decked ninth-ranked Kobe Clayborne in 3:52.

A decision win for Reece Sadler (106) and fall by Chase Rattenborg (113) put second-ranked Drake Doolittle (120) in position to clinch the dual and he responded. Doolittle hit three quick takedowns before flattening Nick McGowan in 1:19.

“This is all for the seniors,” Doolittle said “I was more happy for them than I was for myself. I was just glad we were able to push through this year.”

Sadler, Doolittle, Hartnett, Brady Auderer (138), Rohmiller, Williams, Cherry and Lawson all went 2-0 on the night.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Auderer got WCHS off to a good start against CL/G-LR with a 7-6 win over Nile Christensen in the opening match. A second-period cradle that resulted in three near-fall points put him in command.

Consecutive pins by Hayes, Rohmiller and Williams put the Lynx in front for good.

WCHS will send 10 grapplers — Sadler, Rattenborg, Doolittle, Hartnett, Rohmiller, Williams, Hunter Collicott (182), Olson, Cherry and Lawson — to Saturday’s district tournament that the Lynx will host at noon. They’ll all be in search of spots in the traditional state tournament, but Olson says pushing through to the state duals holds special meaning.

“Yeah, I’ll be trying my hardest to make it (on Saturday), but the team is more important to me than individual,” he said.

Class 2A Regional Duals

Tuesday at Sergeant Bluff

Semifinal Round

Webster City 51, C. Lyon/G-LR 27

138 — Brady Auderer (WC) dec. Nile Christensen, 7-6 (3-0). 145 — Kalen Meyer (CL) pinned Daltyn Peck, 1:17 (6-3). 152 — Harrison Hayes (WC) pinned Tyler VanDenOever, 1:28 (9-6). 160 — Luke Rohmiller (WC) pinned Braeden Schulte, 3:31 (15-6). 170 — Zane Williams (WC) pinned Bryce Vande Weerd, 2:30 (21-6). 182 — Kolten Bus (CL) pinned Hunter Collicott, 0:54 (21-12). 195 — Austin Winkel (CL) pinned Caleb Olson, 3:51 (21-18). 220 — James Cherry (WC) forfeit (27-18). 285 — Cooper Lawson won by DQ over Jarrett Fastert, 4:23 (33-18). 106 — Reece Sadler (WC) pinned Jacob Pytleski, 3:01 (39-18). 113 — Dax De Groot (CL) dec. Chase Rattenborg, 11-8 (39-21). 120 — Drake Doolittle (WC) pinned Daniel Schriever, 1:53 (45-21). 126 — Seth Deatsch (CL) pinned Nick Gasca, 5:28 (45-27). 132 — Carson Hartnett (WC) forfeit (51-27).

•Weights: 9-5 Webster City.

•Bonus Points: 25-12 Webster City.

•Takedowns: 17-9 Webster City.

•Match Points: 68-53 Webster City.

Final Round

Webster City 51, SC Heelan 21

145 — Brennan Todd (SCH) pinned Peck, 0:52 (6-0). 152 — Rohmiller (WC) forfeit (6-6). 160 — Frank Vondrak (SCH) pinned Hayes, 3:21 (12-6). 170 — Williams (WC) dec. Luke Martin, 7-5 (12-9). 182 — Caleb Engel (SCH) pinned Collicott, 1:46 (18-9). 195 — Olson (WC) pinned Shyler Langley, 3:04 (18-15). 220 — Cherry (WC) major dec. Diego Samaniego, 17-6 (19-18). 285 — Lawson (WC) pinned Kobe Clayborne, 3:52 (25-18). 106 — Sadler (WC) dec. Bryce Harpenau, 5-1 (28-18). 113 — Rattenborg (WC) pinned Ethan Gilmore, 1:54 (34-18). 120 — Doolittle (WC) pinned Nick McGowan, 1:19 (40-18). 126 — Mitchell Joines (SCH) dec. Gasca, 17-10 (40-21). 132 — Hartnett (WC) tech fall Ethan Emmick, 20-5, 4:51 (45-21). 138 — Auderer (WC) forfeit (51-21).

•Weights: 10-4 Webster City.

•Bonus Points: 21-9 Webster City.

•Takedowns: 26-7 Webster City.

•Match Points: 91-60 Webster City.