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NOW OR NEVER

Webster City wrestlers eye deep state duals run

At the beginning of the season, the Webster City wrestling team seemed primed for the bigger stage. The Lynx’s triple threat – senior CJ Hisler, senior Jaxon Cherry and junior Carson Doolittle – appeared ready for greater glory in February.

As the winter campaign marched on, the Webster City grappling faithful saw Hisler and Doolittle capture their 100th career victories before the Lynx hauled in their first North Central Conference title since 2018 with four individual champions. Those conference champs included the aforementioned Hisler and Doolittle, along with Cherry and senior Austin Mason.

With a solid collective and a Top-10 ranking, WC head wrestling coach Chad Hisler and crew had a higher goal within their sights.

This past Tuesday, that plan came to fruition.

Punching their ticket to the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s State Dual Team Tournament, by way of a thrilling 37-33 victory over Crestwood this past Tuesday at the Competition Gym in Webster City, the Lynx are taking aim at greater glory.

At 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Xtream Arena in Coralville, the No. 7 Lynx will face off against second-seeded West Delaware in the first round of Class 3A state duals. It will be Webster City’s sixth overall appearance and their first since 2018.

“We want to go and finish as high as we can,” Hisler said of the road ahead. “We’re capable of doing some great things, and we’re going to give it all that we have. We’re going to give it our best.”

Prior to this year, the state duals took place one day before the IHSAA’s traditional state tournament, located at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. This year will mark the first time that the dual team tournament takes center stage in Coralville.

Before embarking on the endeavor, coach Hisler praised his senior leadership and his staff.

“We have a great senior class with CJ, Dylan Burnette-Bingham, Austin, Brayden Henely, Jordan Vankham and Skyler Scott,” Hisler said. “The kids kept working, and we did it. Two of our major goals were to win the conference and make it to state duals. We can check both of those off.”

“We have a really good coaching staff, with Bill Bertran, Joel Kennedy, Carson Hartnett and Jake Haverman,” Hisler added. “They come to every practice, work really hard and work well with the kids. The kids respect them, and it takes a whole group of people helping out to get to this point.”

From Doolittle’s perspective, it’s a momentous occasion.

“It will be amazing, just on the atmosphere alone,” Doolittle said. “In a way, we’re making history and it’s a pretty good feeling.”

Webster City comes into the Xtream Arena with a 12-3 duals record, while Hawks hold a 13-1 overall mark. It won’t be the first time that the Lynx and West Delaware have met, as Webster City finished second to the Hawks in the points standings of the Perry Invitational, held on Jan. 17 in Perry.

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