Lynx give No. 6 Union a scrap in regional duals loss
Collicott returns from long absence, cuts hair and picks up key pin in final prep match
LAPORTE CITY — A few locks of hair was a small price to pay for the chance to put on a Webster City wrestling singlet one more time.
Which is why Hunter Collicott found himself in the locker room 45 minutes before the start of Wednesday’s Class 2A regional duals giving assistant coach Joel Kennedy the go ahead to take an inch off the back to meet the state’s regulations.
Collicott was even happier about the decision following the final 1 minute, 42 seconds of his career.
Out of the lineup since Dec. 8 because of persistent shoulder injuries, Collicott stepped in at heavyweight and provided a spark against sixth-ranked Union with a pin over Matt Millard.
“It felt good to win that match and give my team six points,” Collicott said. “That’s the only reason I went out was because I wanted my team to be successful and I wanted to go back to state duals.”
WCHS almost pulled it off.
Despite being a decided underdog, the Lynx pushed Union throughout the dual before eventually falling 38-34 in the semifinal round. WCHS (14-11) was denied a second consecutive trip to the state duals, but head coach Chad Hisler said his team emptied the tank on the mat.
“That’s the best we’ve wrestled all year,” Hisler said. “We gave our team, our community and our school a chance to go to state, and I’m just really proud of the kids’ efforts. There’s not enough I can say about them.”
Collicott, who has underdone one shoulder surgery, was right at the top of Hisler’s list.
“He came to me and said ‘do you need me for the team?’ I told him I thought he could win at heavyweight and he said OK,” Hisler said. “He practiced for two days, got the win and gave us a chance. He’s been a part of our program for four years and it was just nice to see a senior get the chance to wrestle one final time.”
Just how close was the dual? WCHS and Union (19-7) split the 14 matches, 7-7. Union owned a one-point advantage in match points, 62-61, but the Lynx gained a 15-11 upper-hand in takedowns.
The Knights accrued 17 bonus points behind five pins and a tech fall, compared to 13 on four pins and a major for the Lynx. And that was the ballgame.
“It’s great we went out and fought because a lot of people didn’t expect it to be close, but it’s hard to go out on a loss knowing that one match could swing things,” WCHS fifth-ranked 195-pounder Caleb Olson, a 12-0 major decision winner over Union’s Rashawn Williams in the final bout of the dual, said. “But this is what gets us going. Anybody can be beat on any night and that’s why you wrestle.”
WCHS built a 15-11 lead after five matches following Collicott’s pin and victories by seventh-ranked Camron Phetxoumphone (106) and top-ranked Drake Doolittle (120).
Phetxoumphone fended off two early shots against Union’s 10th-ranked Kolten Crawford and then went to work en route to a 7-0 decision. The Lynx freshman scored a takedown near the end of the first period, added an escape and second takedown in the second, and then took Mehlert to the mat again in the third.
Doolittle manhandled Hunter Worthen for more than five minutes before ending the match with 45 seconds remaining. Doolittle piled up five takedowns before he finished off the 169th victory of his career.
But Union answered with three consecutive wins to take the lead for good.
The swing came at 126 where Lake LeBahn held off WCHS sophomore Chase Rattenborg, 13-11. The grapplers went to their backs multiple times; locked in a cradle, Rattenborg reversed LeBahn to his back in the waning moments of the match, but failed to get a near-fall count that could have forced sudden victory or given him the win.
“I would have to go back and watch the video again, but watching it live I thought we should have gotten a count,” Hisler said. “Before that I thought (LeBahn) was flat on his back and it could have been a defensive pin.”
With WCHS trailing 26-15, Parker Rossing (145) jumped into the lineup for the first time since Dec. 1 and got a fall.
Union answered again with two more falls to push its margin to 38-21 with three matches remaining.
Sean Godfredsen (170) ended the drought for the Lynx with an 8-3 win over Hunter Klima, but the Knights were able to clinch the win with two bouts to go.
Michael Gilbert (182) followed with a 49-second fall over Dacoda Marvets courtesy of a headlock throw, and Olson put Williams on his back twice en route to the lopsided win.
“We kept fighting and that’s what our program is about,” Hisler said. “That’s what it’s been about since I was coached by Coach (Dick) Kennedy and Coach (Ted) Larson. We preach it’s a team thing. There are a lot of schools that don’t send their full team (to regional duals), but we’re never going to do that.”
Tenth-ranked Crestwood blanked Centerville, 83-0, in the other semifinal. Crestwood went on to earn the state duals berth with a 36-29 win over Union in the regional final.
Class 2A Regional Duals
Wednesday at LaPorte City
Union 38, Webster City 34
220 — Lane Albertsen (U) pinned Gage Rossing, 0:31 (6-0). 285 — Hunter Collicott (WC) pinned Matt Millard, 1:42 (6-6). 106 — Camron Phetxoumphone (WC) dec. Lincoln Mehlert, 7-0 (6-9). 113 — Kolten Crawford (U) tech fall Gabriel Killian, 15-0, 5:34 (11-9). 120 — Drake Doolittle (WC) pinned Hunter Worthen, 5:15 (11-15). 126 – Lake LeBahn (U) dec. Chase Rattenborg, 13-11 (14-15). 132 — Stone Schmitz (U) pinned Brady Auderer, 1:4 (20-15). 138 — Jack Thomsen (U) pinned Nick Gasca, 3:08 (26-15). 145 — Parker Rossing (WC) pinned Lane Hennings, 1:33 (26-21). 152 — Adam Ahrendsen (U) pinned Daltyn Peck, 1:49 (32-21). 160 — Kaleb Roach (U) pinned Cole Bingham, 3:16 (38-21). 170 — Sean Godfredsen (WC) dec. Hunter Klima, 8-3 (38-24). 182 — Michael Gilbert (WC) pinned Dacoda Marvets, 0:49 (38-30). 195 — Caleb Olson (WC) major dec. Rashawn Williams, 12-0 (38-34).