‘IT’S ABOUT TIME’
4th time the charm for Rattenborg, who rolls to district title at 132
NEW HAMPTON — Lathered in sweat, Chase Rattenborg was walking out of the New Hampton High School gymnasium Saturday afternoon when he cocked his head to the side and, with a small grin on his face, uttered three poignant words.
He repeated them for effect.
“It’s about time,” he said. “It’s about time.”
If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Or in Rattenborg’s case, it’s try, try, try again.
In his fourth and final Class 2A district tournament, Webster City’s 132-pounder and the program’s 20th member of the 100 wins club finally got the result he wanted — a trip to Des Moines for state as a competitor, rather than just a spectator.
“It’s just a relief,” Rattenborg, who lost in the districts wrestleback round as a sophomore and again as a junior, said. “I had that much weight lifted off my shoulders. I’m tired of climbing just trying to get to state, so all of it left my shoulders and it feels really good.”
Rattenborg wasn’t just good on Saturday. He was dominant. From the opening whistle in the semifinals to the moment he jumped to his feet and raised his arms to the WCHS crowd following his 15-0 technical fall rout in 5:39 of Crestwood’s Cole Butikofer in the finals.
Rattenborg (29-7) left his usual funky style, which can be both entertaining and scary, in the locker room. He didn’t attempt crazy throws and he never once put himself in a scramble situation that would have left him vulnerable.
“I proved to myself that I can wrestle this way,” he said of his business-like approach. “I don’t have to wrestle all willy-nilly just to score. Proving that I could be a fundamental wrestler means a lot, and it proves to myself what I can do.”
Rattenborg secured three takedowns and three turns against Butikofer. He led 4-0 after one period and 9-0 at the end of two. One final turn in the third gave Rattenborg the 15-point cushion, and he stared at the scoreboard for a moment before he released the hold and started to celebrate.
“After last year, that was a heartbreaker, but it motivated him and he worked very hard,” WCHS head coach Chad Hisler said of Rattenborg. “I always knew he had this fire in him and it was great to see him come through. That kid he tech-falled was a quality kid.”
Rattenborg opened the tournament by decking Decorah’s Brady Stille in 1:58 in the semifinals. After a minute of little action, Rattenborg got to Stille’s legs for the takedown and quickly cranked him over to his back.
Afterward, Rattenborg said he just wished he would have been able to share the moment with his dad, Chad, who passed away in 2015. A basketball player growing up, Chad somehow raised a wrestler and he dove into the sport with his son prior to his passing.
“He was a good basketball player, he could dunk it, and I came out a wrestler somehow,” Rattenborg chuckled. “I just wish I could tell him I made it. I made it. He’d be so proud.”
Rattenborg will face ninth-ranked Reily Dolan (25-6) of West Delaware in the first round of the state tournament on Thursday in Des Moines. They met previously in the quarterfinals of the Perry Invitational last month, a bout Dolan pulled out 8-6 in sudden victory.
Webster City’s State Pairings
(Ranked wrestlers noted)
106 — No. 3 Carson Doolittle (32-4) vs. No. 9 Jacob Zabka (30-3), Algona.
113 — No. 1 Cam Phetxoumphone (31-1) vs. Lincoln Keeler (23-11), Creston/Orient-Macksburg.
132 — Chase Rattenborg (29-7) vs. No. 9 Reily Dolan (25-6).