Lions win Sectionals; send nine wrestlers to Districts

The Clear Lake wrestling team once again appears to be peaking at the right time.  The Lions won Saturday’s Sectional Tournament by 65 points over Forest City. Both teams advanced to the first round of the Dual State competition, which was held Tuesday in Clear Lake.  Results were not available at prestige.  In addition, the Lions send nine wrestlers to District competition Saturday at Webster City.

“We had a great day Saturday!” exclaimed Clear Lake Coach Gary Weber.  “We obviously would have liked to get all 14 kids to districts, but all 14 did wrestle well.   Our assistant coaches did an exemplary job physically and mentally preparing our student athletes. To have eight coaches in the room helping our wrestlers is really an advantage most programs do not have.”

The Lions dominated the lower weights, crowning champions in the first six weight classes: Brennen Doebel (106), Ryan Leisure (113), Ryan Schmalen (120), Spencer Orr (126),  Ryan Faught (132) and Andres Gonzalez (138).   In addition, Carter Garrington posted an upset to win at 195-pounds.  Two other Lions, Blake Kelso (145) and Connor Nosbisch (182) were runners-up.

“Carter was phenomenal,” said Weber.  “He pinned senior Jeff Buchanan (Algona) in the finals and he was 28-9!”

Garrington (19-16) started the day with a bye, but then pinned his Forest City opponent in the semi-finals to set up a championship battle with Buchanan.  Garrington got the fall in 5:39.

Brennen Doebel (30-1) also started the day with a bye at 106.  He pinned GHV’s Austin Case in 0:48 in the semi-finals and got the fall over Dante Tacchia (29-9), of Iowa Falls-Alden, in 1:38.

“Brennen had two pins and possibly had a shot at the pin record if Mother Nature had not snowed out so many meets,” noted Weber.

At 113, Leisure (30-3) had a first round bye, then won by fall over Dillon Rubow, of IF-A, in 0:33.  He took the title with a technical fall over Carter Barkema, of Hampton-Dumont, 17-2.

“Ryan won by technical fall in the second period over returning state place winner Carter Barkema.  That shows how gifted he is,” said the coach.

Schmalen (6-1) earned an 8-4 decision over Pierce Gelhaus, of Forest City, in the 120-pound championship.  The Lion junior has only recently returned to the line-up after sustaining a serious injury just before the start of the season.   He had a first round bye and pinned Andrew Dornbier, of GHV, in 1:06 on his way to the final.  

“Ryan is really starting to look good after missing most of the season hurt. His conditioning and pace has really improved the past two weeks,” said Weber.

Spencer Orr (24-8) entered the 126-pound championship match with quarterfinal and semi-final round byes.  In the final, he won by fall over Austin Oborny, of GHV, in 1:18.  Coach Weber said he feels Orr has a very good chance of making it to State.

Ryan Faught is another wrestler the coach said called posed to do well at State.  Faught (26-6) had a first round bye, then won by technical fall over Joe Schall, of H-D, on his way to the championship.  Faught got the win by

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