Despite dual losses, Warrior wrestlers continue to improve on the mat

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By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register


“They all have quite a bit of fight in them, which is awesome to see. They don’t like to lose, which is a great mentality to have,” said coach Joe Koehn of Central’s wrestling program. That mentality showed with the recent meets. 


The Warriors battled at Anamosa on Dec. 7, improving from dual to dual as the meet went on. 


They took on Washington in the first match-up, losing 60-9 and going 1-4 in matches. The lone victory came from Nick Deitchler at 132 pounds, who won a 5-3 decision. Reese Berns (113) fought hard before being pinned 1:10 into her match, while Daniel Royer (138) lasted for four minutes before being pinned. 


The Warriors improved in the next dual versus Center Point-Urbana, where they went 2-3 in matches, but lost overall due to forfeits, 66-15. Sam Fettkether (170) fought to a 12-7 decision victory and Sean Wilwert (195) got a fall at 2:42. The rest of the team, Brandy Beatty (126), Dietchler and Rebecca Suhr (152) all lost via pin. 


In the dual against Anamosa, the team went 1-1 in actual matches, but lost 54-24 due to the amount of forfeit victories gained by Anamosa. The winning wrestler, Wilwert, got a pin at 3:25, while Fettkether lost by a quick pin in 31 seconds. Dietchler wrestled, but won via injury. 


“The scores might not seem like it, but overall as a team, we improved from the first dual to the last. We still lost some silly matches that we shouldn’t have, but we’re growing and developing as a team,” Koehn said.


The next meet was at Coe College on Dec. 9, where the Warriors lost all three duals. One thing that continued to plague the Warriors was the amount of forfeits they took, which Koehn stated is because “those schools are a lot bigger than us, so they are more apt to filling the weight classes.”


This issue was ever-present in the dual against Baxter, where the Warriors actually went 5-1 in matches, but lost 42-30 because of forfeits. Berns, Kimberly Suhr (126), Deitchler, Wilwert and Joel Thiese (220) all won by fall, with only Berns needing more than two minutes to secure the victory. 


When asked how winning the matches but losing in overall points because of forfeits impacts the team, coach Koehn wasn’t worried. 


“It excites us that, with less than half a line up, we’re still competing in these duals. That really, really excites me. It does stink losing those close ones because I hate losing, but looking at the overall picture, we are growing,” he said. “Also, it takes a little stress off them because teams that fill most line ups have to worry about winning the dual and what they need to do to have success. This way, we can just focus on the individual and what they can do to win the match.”


As for the other two duals, the Warriors were less successful. Against North Mahaska, they went 2-4, losing 66-18 overall. The two victories came via pin from Wilwert and Deitchler, while Tori Sylvester added an extra match victory—a 13-9 decision—that doesn’t count toward the team score. 


“North Mahaska had a tough squad. I just think that we know the next level we need to get to and it’s coming. We just have to be the aggressor and go out and take it,” Koehn said.  


When it came to the Postville dual, the Warriors lost 66-12, going 1-3 in matches, with Deitchler being the lone victor via fall in under two minutes. While Fettkether, Wilwert and Thiese all lost, they combined to last for over nine minutes on the mat, which is an improvement on the quick pin losses from a season ago. 


“We need to capitalize on opportunities that are presented. We have a shot or stand up or breakdown opportunities that are missed because we think too much. We just need to shut our brains off a little bit and just wrestle,” Koehn said. 


In the final event of the week, the Warriors took part in the Nashua-Plainfield Tournament on Dec. 11, where they placed sixth of eight teams and every wrestler finished in the top six. Berns finished second at 106 pounds, Deitchler was third at 132 and Wilwert third at 170, while Royer finished fifth at 138. Fettkether and Nate Shirbroun were both sixth in their respective 160- and 182-pound weight classes. In total, the Warriors finished with eight victories via fall. 


“We missed a lot of opportunities to score points on Saturday. We need to learn how to shut everything else off and just wrestle. We won matches with some sloppy wrestling, but after talking with coach Rupard, that excites us, because the fact that we are winning close matches by wrestling not to our expected potential, this means when we fix those little things and start capitalizing on those missed opportunities, we’re going to be pretty dangerous. Pretty excited about this young team,” Koehn said. 


Coming up for the Warriors is a home meet on Dec. 14 versus Tripoli and Central City, followed by a trip to the Clayton Ridge Duals on Dec. 17.

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