Warrior wrestling is still a work in progress

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By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register

It was a busy week for the Central wrestling program, with a girls meet at Anamosa, a dual at Riceville and hosting the Central Invitational. 

The girls took center stage at Anamosa, as Maria Medberry and Rebecca Suhr represented the school well. Medberry placed second in the 139-pound bracket, going 2-1 with two falls, and Suhr placed third at 147 pounds, going 1-2 with one fall. 

One of Medberry’s falls took only 12 seconds over Addison Juhl from Waverly-Shell Rock and Suhr’s lone fall came in a swift 20 seconds over Corrigan Wilson from Marion.

The Warriors next traveled to the Upper Iowa Conference duals in Riceville. According to head coach Joe Koehn, the team went into the meet shorthanded. 

“We were missing a few kids due to injury that night, which would’ve helped tremendously,” he said. 

The results reflect that, as Central lost three of four match-ups.

Against Postville, the team performed well, going 3-3 in matches, but once again, forfeits ultimately lost them the dual, 60-18. Nick Deitchler (132 pounds), Sam Fettkether (152 pounds), and Brandon Whittle (220 pounds) were all victorious via pin, and Medberry (138 pounds) won an extra uncounted match via fall in under two minutes. Beyond that, Central posted seven forfeits. 

When asked about how to fill those weight classes, Koehn responded, “I’m always working on kids and recruiting and talking to them. Just need to keep building relationships with these kids and show them what wrestling has to offer.”

Things did not improve against North Fayette. The team lost 60-12, with Sean Wilwert (160 pounds) winning the only wrestling contest via fall and Deitchler winning via forfeit. The team lost the other 10 matches, four via pin and six via forfeit. Medberry and Suhr performed well in extra matches, with Medberry winning two and Suhr winning one, all by pin. 

“North Fayette just matched up really well and we weren’t ready to go. We had a rough night on Thursday, and we knew that,” Koehn said. 

In the dual with Riceville, the Warriors won just two of the five matches that took place, losing 36-16. The two victories were achieved by Deitchler with a majority decision and Wilwert with a fall. Daniel Royer also won via forfeit. The team lost the other three matches by pin. 

“It was just little mistakes that were causing the problems. Not in a good stance or hanging the elbow—just little things that should be naturally getting taken care of,” Koehn said of the losses. 

The Warriors took on Clayton Ridge in the final match-up of the night, and while they came away with the 30-24 victory, they lost all three wrestling matches that took place, only winning the dual through five forfeit wins. 

“It was the last dual of the night and we were not ready to perform. We had a long talk after the conclusion of the duals because we know that something needs to change in order to peek at the right time,” Koehn said. 

In the final event of the week, the Central Invitational, the team wrestled better, with the boys finishing ninth out of 11 teams. On the girls side, no scorers were kept. 

Top performers for Central were Deitchler, who went 4-1 and finished second at 126, and Medberry, who also finished second at 132-139 pounds after going 2-1. As for the rest of the team, Royer finished fifth at 120 going 2-3; Fettkether finished ninth at 152 going 1-4; Wilwert finished seventh at 160 going 3-2; Gabe Erickson finished sixth at 170 going 0-5; Spencer Heer finished fourth at 182 going 3-2; and Suhr finished third at 145-151 going 1-2.

“Overall, I think we wrestled a lot better compared to Thursday, so I was happy with the kids’ performances. We still have a ways to go, but we’re working,” Koehn said. 

The team looks to continue improving this coming week on Jan. 12, at South Winneshiek, followed by the UIC Quad at Tripoli on Jan. 14.

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