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State Tournament Day 1

February 14, 2013 - Troy Banning
7:39 a.m. -- And away we go!

Good morning from Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. We’re about 80 minutes away from the start of the Class 1A opening round and the crowd is already filling in nicely.

The 1A sessions are always more raucous than the other sessions simply because there are more schools represented. I expect this morning to be loud.

Had a chat with Dan Rader -- the father of South Hamilton sophomore 120-pounder JD Rader – near one of the mats minutes before the crowd streamed into the arena. He seemed calm and said JD was, well, JD. Not doing a lot of talking, but not appearing to be nervous either.

Dan told me JD was actually underweight this morning, so there weren’t any early sprints around the halls.

JD will be the first of the area wrestlers to hit the mats. He’ll be up against Jared Coyle of Maquoketa Valley at approximately 9:20 a.m.

Webster City’s five 3A qualifiers – Jake Powers (145), Connor Larson (160), Dylan Fielder (182), Gavin Dinsdale (220) and Landon Johnson (285) – will step into center stage this afternoon at 2 p.m.

More to come later. Check back …

9:31 a.m. – South Hamilton sophomore 120-pounder JD Rader dropped his opening round bout to Jared Coyle, of Maquoketa Valley, 5-3.

Coyle (42-6), ranked 10th, pushed the pace early and scored a takedown on a single-leg in the opening period. He added a second takedown in the second period on a bad shot by Rader.

Rader (33-6), ranked sixth, scored all three of his points on escapes. He never really mounted a serious threat to score offensive points against Coyle.

Rader will face Harley Janssen (35-10) of Manson-Northwest Webster in the consolation first round later this morning. Both wrestlers will be fighting for their state tournament lives.

Janssen dropped a 12-0 major decision to Jake Huerdosse of Southeast Warren in the opening round.

11:15 a.m. – JD Rader looked angry – in a good way – on the mat in his 120-pound consolation first round match against Manson-Northwest Webster’s Harley Janssen.

Rader tossed Janssen to his back in the first period and again in the second period on his way to a 17-2 technical fall victory in 4:28.

This is the Rader that Hawks’ head coach Dan Brodie wanted to see this morning.

Just talked to Rader and Brodie ... both said that, yeah, there is disappointment, but staying alive to fight tomorrow is better than nothing.

Rader (34-6) will wait until tomorrow to find out who his next opponent is; it will be the loser of the quarterfinal match between No. 4-ranked Gable Verschoor (44-4) of Woodbury Central or No. 3 Brady Ruden (38-6) of Wilton.

Rader needs a win in his first match tomorrow to place.

1:30 p.m. – Just watched the Webster City wrestlers warm up and talked to head coach Ted Larson for a few minutes.

Larson told me no one had a problem making weight ... kids were even able to eat before they weighed in, which is a good sign.

As far as nerves go, Larson said junior 145-pounder Jake Powers and freshman 220-pounder Gavin Dinsdale were both feeling the butterflies. He’s hoping those nerves evaporate during this warm-up session, and he’s got them live drilling on the mats.

Should be a good round; the Lynx are probably favored in three of the five matches, but records and rankings mean nothing down here. More times than not, it’s the wrestler that can handle the pressure and nerves that comes out on top.

Round starts at 2 p.m. I’ll update when I can.

4 p.m. – Class 3A first round could have been better, could have been worse for Webster City.

No. 3-ranked Dylan Fielder (182) looked solid ... noting fancy, just workmanlike. He hit his textbook double-leg four times and was only in trouble for a second or two when he got hit with a throw midway through match.

Fielder has a big one tomorrow against No. 4 Luke Sergeant of Southeast Polk in quarterfinals. Winner will have the inside track on the finals Saturday night.

I love me some Landon Johnson. The big heavyweight was as pumped as I’ve ever seen a kid after he whipped Waukee’s Ryan Glenn, 5-2. Johnson cranked on the arm of Glenn with a power-half throughout the third period and eventually turned him for three near-fall points in the last 30 seconds.

Johnson just broke him in that third period. That’s really all it came down to.

Johnson will try to climb the mountain tomorrow against top-ranked Pedro Gomez of Marshalltown in the quarters.

Connor Larson (160) had one of the tougher beats you’ll ever see. He controlled Clinton’s Dillion Chase for 5 minutes, 48 seconds and rode the heck out of him for the majority of the time.

But leading 4-2, Larson gave up a reversal with 12 seconds to go and Chase got a two-count for a near fall as the clock hit zero to stun Larson, 6-4.

I was facing the clock ... my opinion is this: Chase didn’t get the two count before the clock hit zero, but he did before the referee was told time was out. That’s really all that matters.

Jake Powers (145) and Gavin Dinsdale (220) were just over-matched in their openers. No shame in that.

Powers, Larson and Dinsdale coming back up in consolation round shortly.


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