Warrior wrestlers shine at home, but face adversity at Clayton Ridge duals

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Nate Shirbroun, wrestling at 195 pounds, picked up a fall in Central’s dual with Postville. (Photos by Bev Hamann)

Sean Wilwert (170) scored two falls in Central’s home dual meet.

Brandy Beatty wrestles in the Warriors' home dual meet.

Reese Berns picked up more wins last week, continuing her impressive freshman season.

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register


“It was awesome, the atmosphere was great and the crowd was getting into it. I don’t think the kids have experienced anything quite like that and it was awesome to see,” said coach Joe Koehn of Central’s recent home wrestling meet. 


In that meet, the Warriors won three of five duals and went 11-3 in matches making an emphatic statement that the program is trending in the right direction. 


“The atmosphere in the room. The kids want to work and they want to get better. It’s exciting to watch these kids grow and develop,” Koehn added.


In the match-up against Central City, the Warriors went 1-1 in matches, winning the overall dual 42-18 due to benefiting from six forfeit victories. Reese Berns (106) won her match via pin in 46 seconds, continuing to impress in her debut season. 


But the Warriors really impressed in the dual against Tripoli, where they won five out of seven matches, and took the dual 41-36. Berns (106) added a second pin, while teammates Brandy Beatty (132), Nick Deitchler (138), Daniel Royer (145) and Sean Wilwert (170) all added fall wins to the team total. 


The lone loss at the meet came against Postville where, despite winning all five wrestling matches, the team was undone by seven forfeit losses. The overall score was 42-36. In those five matches, Beatty (126), Deitchler (132), Royer (138), Wilwert (170) and Nate Shirbroun (195) all won via fall in an average time of 37 seconds. 


“We wrestled smart and stayed in good position and we looked to score. There’s a clear-cut difference when an athlete wrestles to win instead of to not lose. Big mindset change there,” Koehn said. 


When it comes to the mentality change and how well specific wrestlers are performing, like Berns, Beatty and Deitchler, Koehn acknowledged the great job they’re doing, but also made a point to talk about the team.


“They are all doing a great job in the room and on the mat. But they know they wouldn’t be where they are without their teammates, and if you ask them the same question, they’ll give you that answer. All are great kids in the classroom as well, which is a major factor in sports,” Koehn said.


At the next meet, the Clayton Ridge Duals, the Warriors were less successful, losing four of five duals and going 6-8 in matches. They also endured a number of losses via forfeit, something Koehn said was due to missing a few members of the team. The match losses were due to other things, such as mistakes and falling below expectations. 


“We were missing a couple teammates, which can always cause a little adversity. But we just need to learn to overcome that,” he said. “We also didn’t wrestle to our full potential either. The kids know that as well. I have high expectations for them and they weren’t quite met. I’m going to be compassionate with these guys and listen to what they have to say, but at the end of the day, we need to fix what we can, move on and learn from our mistakes. They know there are expectations to be met and they understand they need to be pushed in order to exceed them.” 


In the one dual victory over Clayton Ridge, the Warriors went 1-1 in matches, with Rebecca Suhr (152) securing a pin victory, while Berns (106) wrestled to a hard fought loss by fall. The Warriors won 36-18 due to forfeits.


Central lost 54-18 in the dual against Cascade, with Berns (106) and Deitchler (138) losing both matches via fall. 


They followed that with a close 36-30 dual defeat against Edgewood-Colesburg that saw the Warriors go 1-1 in matches but lose overall due to forfeits. Deitchler (138) won his match via pin, while Berns (106) again suffered a defeat, but lasted well over the two-minute mark before being pinned. 


Against Epworth, the Warriors went 2-3 in matches, but the 6-2 advantage in forfeits for Epworth gave the opponent the 51-24 dual victory. Berns (106) returned to the win column with a pin and Royer (138) added the second pin victory for the team. 


In a rematch against Postville, the missing wrestlers loomed large in the final score, as Postville lost three of four matches, but won the dual 54-23 because of eight forfeit wins. 


Shirbroun (195) got a win via fall in a match that lasted almost five minutes, while Deitchler (138) added another pin and Royer (145) won by technical fall 19-3. 


Summing up the two duals, Koehn said, “We just went out and wrestled and took what was ours. When you have that kind of confidence, it’s hard to lose. But we need to make sure we bring that confidence and swagger every time we wrestle. We can’t change who we are and how we wrestle because of who our opponent is. We need to be confident and trust the work that we’ve put in that we will have success.”


The team now heads  into winter break, before returning for a packed January schedule, which begins with the girls team at Anamosa on Jan. 3. The Upper Iowa Conference Tournament will be at Clayton Ridge on Jan. 6, followed by the Central Girls Tournament on Jan. 7. On Jan. 8, the boys will host the Central Invitational.


During the break, Koehn is going to keep the team prepared.


“We’re going to work on fine tuning our skills that each individual is excelling at and fix the areas that we are lacking in,” he said. “Also, we’re going to be doing quite a bit of live wrestling and live situations for each individual to push the pace and keep our conditioning up. Also, a few changes will be made to the way we drill that I’m thinking will help with our explosion into specific moves.”

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