Rattenborg wins a sectional title with his late father, Chad, on his mind

Webster City junior 132-pounder Chase Rattenborg points towards the sky in remembrance of his later father, Chad, following his win in the Class 2A sectional finals on Saturday in Humboldt. Rattenborg improved to 29-9 on the season and increased his career wins total to 97. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

HUMBOLDT — Chase Rattenborg did plenty of celebrating. He screamed, he flexed, he gestured to the crowd, he screamed some more.

But in the blink of an eye, he stopped. He turned away from the crowd and took a deep breath. He raised his chin, he tilted his eyes towards the ceiling, he raised his right arm and with his index finger he pointed towards the heavens.

That one was for you, dad.

With his late father, Chad, in his corner in spirt, the Webster City junior 132-pounder captured a Class 2A sectional crown on Saturday in typical Chase Rattenborg fashion. He took Okoboji’s Blake Abrahamson feet to back for a fall in 4:16 in a gold-medal bout that was full of fireworks and scoring. Rattenborg led 11-5 when he capitalized on the winning move.

And his dad, who passed away from cancer in 2015, was the first person that Rattenborg thought of in the moments following the win.

WCHS top-ranked 106-pounder Cam Phetxoumphone plays to the crowd with a flex and a smile as he accepts a championship-round forfeit at a Class 2A sectional tournament in Humboldt on Saturday. Phetxoumphone is 36-0 on the season. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

“I just try to do it all for him,” Rattenborg, who improved to 29-9 on the season and pushed his career wins total to 97, said. “He’s always up there looking down on me, so I want to do the best for him.”

And how would Chad have reacted to Chase’s dramatic victory? Hey, like father, like son.

“Oh, he’d be ecstatic,” Rattenborg said. “It would be crazy.”

Rattenborg was one of five WCHS grapplers to navigate through the sectional and advance to districts this weekend in Algona. Top-ranked 106-pounder Cam Phetxoumphone was a champion as well, while Nick Gasca (145), Evan Estlund (152) and CJ Hisler (170) all moved on in the runner-up slot at their respective weights.

Jordan Vankham (138) and Trey Shannon (285) were denied entry into the district tournament during the wrestleback round. They had to swallow the bitter third-place pill.

WCHS 152-pound sophomore Evan Estlund (top) puts the squeeze on Okoboji’s Chayton Faulkner during the quarterfinal round at Saturday’s Class 2A sectional in Humboldt. Estlund reached the finals and placed second to advance to districts. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Nine Lynx grapplers placed fourth or better, and 13 of the 14 finished in the top five. WCHS sat comfortably in the third-place slot with 1881⁄2 points, 501⁄2 points in front of fourth-place finisher Okoboji.

WCHS had no chance of catching Emmetsburg (2451⁄2) Humboldt (2311⁄2), however. They advanced to Tuesday’s regional duals, while the Lynx missed out on the team competition for the first time since 2008.

“We would have really had to make some upsets happen to challenge (Emmetsburg and Humboldt),” WCHS head coach Chad Hisler said. “I thought we wrestled really well in spots, even kids that didn’t make it through. We had a lot of young kids wrestle well and this is good experience for the future.”

A 7-2 semifinal round, including wins in six of seven matches against Humboldt, put WCHS in the team conversation. The Lynx were only 11 points out of the top spot heading into the finals, but then went 2-5. Emmetsburg, meanwhile, went 6-2 in gold-medal matches, while Humboldt posted a 4-3 mark.

Phetxoumphone (36-0) had a much easier day than expected. Fourth-ranked Cole Nelson of Humboldt was under the weather and medically forfeited the final to the WCHS sophomore.

WCHS 170-pounder CJ Hisler looks to break down Humboldt’s Braxden Scott during a quarterfinal bout on Saturday in Humboldt. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Phetxoumphone got a brief workout in during the semifinals when he put on a takedown clinic against Okoboji’s Dylan Jones. Phetxoumphone led 13-1 when he put Jones out of his misery with the fall in 1:38.

He had fun with the finals forfeit as well with his own flex and wave to the crowd.

“I was just having some fun,” Phetxoumphone said. “I was ready to wrestle that match. My coaches kept telling me I had a forfeit, but I just kept warming up.”

Gasca, Estlund and Hisler all lost to Emmetsburg opponents in the finals. Only Hisler made it six minutes in a 10-1 loss to seventh-ranked Mason Griffin.

While Gasca and Estlund sidestepped the wrestleback round, Hisler was forced to snap on the headgear one more time. He had no trouble disposing of Southeast Valley’s Zach Miller by fall in 2:39.

Lynx 145-pounder Nick Gasca (right) is congratulated by assistant coach Tyler Patten following a win on Saturday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Estlund pulled off an upset to reach the finals, as he escaped midway through the ultimate tiebreak to knock off second-seeded Fletcher Satern of Humboldt, 3-2.

Vankham took out top-seeded Jordan Jensen of Humboldt by fall in the semifinals. He led second-seeded Ryan Brennan of Emmetsburg entering the third period in the finals, but gave up a reversal and was unable to get off bottom in a 3-2 loss. He then fell to Okoboji’s third-seeded Noah Strantz, 5-3, in the wrestleback.

Reece Sadler (120) also placed third for WCHS, while Cole Bingham (160) took fourth.

Brayden Henely (113) and Codey Berg (126) rebounded from quarterfinal losses to win their fifth-place matches. Truman Klein (182) and Dylan Burnette (195) were also fifth.

“It’s hard when you don’t have guys make it (to districts),” Hisler said. “You don’t want anybody to go home because they’ve all worked so hard and you feel for the. But the future is bright here.”

Class 2A District Tournament

Saturday at Humboldt

Team Standings

1. Emmetsburg 2451⁄2; 2. Humboldt 2311⁄2; 3. Webster City 1881⁄2; 4. Okoboji 138; 5. Estherville-Lincoln Central 126; 6. Southeast Valley 122.

District Qualifiers

106 — 1. Cam Phetxoumphone (WC); 2. Cole Nelson (HUM).

113 — 1. Jase Goodell (HUM); 2. Caelan Oakes (SEV).

120 — 1. Cresten Craven (HUM); 2. Lucas Carter (EMM).

126 — 1. Hunter Abrahamson (OK); 2. Colby Clarken (HUM).

132 — 1. Chase Rattenborg (WC); 2. Blake Abrahamson (OK).

138 — 1. Ryan Brennan (EMM); 2. Noah Strantz (OK).

145 — 1. Brad Wirtz (EMM); 2. Nick Gasca (WC).

152 — 1. Bret Hoyman (EMM); 2. Evan Estlund (WC).

160 — 1. Levi Naeve (HUM); 2. Garrett Paulson (E-LC).

170 — 1. Mason Griffin (EMM); 2. CJ Hisler (WC).

182 — 1. Matthew Wirtz (EMM); 2. Logan Nilles (HUM).

195 — 1. Zavion McMurran (E-LC); 2. Jon Lace II (EMM).

220 — 1. Colten Goodell (HUM); 2. Mark Hughes (SEV).

285 — 1. Jordan Anderson (EMM); 2. Nick Bronstad (OK).

Other Webster City Places

113 — 5. Brayden Henely. 120 — 3. Reece Sadler. 126 — 5. Codey Berg. 138 — 3. Jordan Vankham. 160 — 4. Cole Bingham. 182 — 5. Truman Klein. 195 — 5. Dylan Burnette. 220 — 6. Broden Miller. 285 — 3. Trey Shannon.

District Semifinals (of note)

106 — Cam Phetxoumphone (36-0), Webster City vs. Zach Feld (17-24), GH/Ventura.

132 — Chase Rattenborg (29-9), Webster City vs. Conner Morey (29-10), Clear Lake.

145 — Nick Gasca (23-9), Webster City vs. David Cornejo (27-5), Hampton-Dumont/CAL.

152 — Evan Estlund (22-17), Webster City vs. Kristian Gunderson (38-13), Forest City.

170 — CJ Hisler (27-12), Webster City vs. Spencer Mooberry (31-1), Osage.