THE FAB 4
Phetxoumphone rolls to 3rd NCC title; Doolittle, Hisler and Shannon reach top of podium for 1st time
WEBSTER CITY — Cam Phetxoumphone spent more time receiving pats on the back and congratulations from fans than he did on the wrestling mat Saturday afternoon.
When you’re as good as he is, not many opponents can hang around for long. And everyone watching wants to revel in the successes.
Phetxoumphone, Webster City’s 2020 state champion and top-ranked 113-pounder (Class 2A), toyed briefly with both of his opponents before turning out the lights at the North Central Conference tournament. The junior won his third league title in as many tries — he’s just the fifth Lynx grappler to achieve that feat — and became the program’s 21st 100-match winner when he stuck Clarion-Goldfield-Dows’ Kaeden Langfitt in 41 seconds in the finals.
But Phetxoumphone, who improved to 18-0 on the season and 100-6 in his career, looked beyond his own achievements as he clutched his cardboard bracket at day’s end. He’s not the first WCHS wrestler to turn heads and he wants to help make sure he’s not the last.
“This lets me know that I’m making history for Webster City and I’m not the only one that’s going to do this,” Phetxoumphone, who upped his winning streak to 61 consecutive matches, said. “People are looking up to me and they’re going to want to do the same thing. They can achieve anything.”
WCHS led the field with four individual champions, and the Lynx were fourth in the team race with 1761⁄2 points. CGD (235) claimed its fifth team title in the last seven years by putting eight in the finals and winning three gold medals. Humboldt (191) was second, followed by Hampton-Dumont/CAL (177).
Fourth-ranked Carson Doolittle (106), 10th-ranked CJ Hisler (182) and Trey Shannon (285) joined Phetxoumphone on top of the podium. It marked the ninth time in WCHS program history that at least four grapplers won NCC titles, and it’s occurred six times in the last 10 seasons.
“They did well and all four of them should be proud,” WCHS head coach Chad Hisler said. “They went out and really controlled things.”
The Doolittle brothers are now 5 for 5 at the league tournament. Drake Doolittle became the Lynx only four-time champion in 2019 and Carson (18-2), a freshman, followed in his brother’s footsteps with relative ease. He pinned his way into the finals and then handled ninth-ranked Jacob Zabka of Algona for the third time this season. Doolittle led 4-1 after one period and 8-1 after two. He notched two takedowns, two reversals and a two-point near-fall in the six-point victory.
“I was looking forward to this tournament all week,” Carson Doolittle said. “I figured I could win it, but I was still a little nervous. My brother won it four times, so that motivated me to win it just as much.”
CJ Hisler (15-3), the 2020 NCC runner-up at 170, followed Phetxoumphone’s path to success and, actually, exceeded it. While Phetxoumphone spent 2:05 on the mat, Hisler needed just 1:51 to stick his two opponents. His quickness and power were overwhelming, and Hampton-Dumont’s Tate Schmitt had no answers in the finals. He attempted a throw, but Hisler snuffed it out with a headlock toss that ended things in 1:16.
Avenging last season’s loss was one motivator for Hisler. The other was one-upping his dad and coach, who never won a conference title.
“I was trying to be better than (Chad Hisler), that was my first goal, and I was really upset last year and I wanted to change that,” CJ Hisler said. “Quickness is the key for me. It helps a lot to be quicker than my opponent.”
With Lynx heavyweight Landon Griffin injured, Chad Hisler gave Shannon (17-3) the option of bumping up to 285 and the senior took his coach up on the offer. Despite giving up signifiant weight, the gamble paid off.
“I didn’t do it as soon as I wanted to, but I’m happy it happened,” Shannon said of his first conference crown. “It just means you’re the best. We wrestle these same teams every year and you can say you’re the best at this weight.”
Quickness was the key for Shannon as well. It helped him deck Algona’s Logan Meendering in the semifinals and then blank CGD’s Daniel Chavez, 6-0, in the finals. Shannon notched an escape, takedown and two-point turn in the second period to take control.
“I can’t go under them because they’re a lot heavier than me, so I have to be quicker,” Shannon said.
Chase Rattenborg (132) placed third for the Lynx and four others — Reece Sadler (126), Austin Mason (138), Jordan Vankham (145) and Evan Estlund (152) — were fourth. Brayden Henely (120), Skyler Scott (170) and Dylan Burnette-Bingham (195) were all fifth.
Rattenborg faced the toughest bracket and he dropped a 16-9 semifinal decision to sixth-ranked Sam Nelson of Clear Lake. It was a two-point match in the closing seconds when Rattenborg attempted a Hail Mary throw and was put on his back, but he rebounded with back-to-back wins in the consolation rounds.
“I knew Chase’s bracket was going to be the toughest one,” Chad Hisler said. “It’s always bittersweet when you have some kids win it and some kids that don’t.”
Saturday at Webster City
1. Clarion-Goldfield-Dows 235; 2. Humboldt 191; 3. Hampton-Dumont/CAL 177; 4. Webster City 176 1/2; 5. Algona 136 1/2; 6. Clear Lake 110 1/2; 7. Iowa Falls-Alden 76; 8. St. Edmond 17.
106 — Carson Doolittle, Webster City. 113 — Cam Phetxoumphone, Webster City. 120 — Max Currier, Clear Lake. 126 — Jase Goodell, Humboldt. 132 — Jakyb Kapp, HDC. 138 — Reed Abbas, CGD. 145 — Remington Hanson, CGD. 152 — Carl Barkema, HDC. 160 — Braden Hansen, HDC. 170 — Garrett Seaba, CGD. 182 — CJ Hisler, Webster City. 195 — Gabe Hadwiger, Iowa Falls-Alden. 220 — Colten Goodell, Humboldt. 285 — Trey Shannon, Webster City.
Webster City Results
106 — Carson Doolittle 3-0, 1st. 113 — Cam Phetxoumphone 2-0, 1st. 120 — Brayden Henely 2-2, 5th. 126 — Reece Sadler 0-2, 4th. 132 — Chase Rattenborg 3-1, 3rd. 138 — Austin Mason 1-2, 4th. 145 — Jordan Vankham 2-2, 4th. 152 — Evan Estlund 2-2, 4th. 160 — Brady Jessen 0-2, DNP. 170 — Skyler Scott 1-2, 5th. 182 — CJ Hisler 2-0, 1st. 195 — Dylan Burnette-Bingham 1-2, 5th. 220 — Isaac Firsching 0-3, 6th. 285 — Trey Shannon 2-0, 1st.