The Clear Lake wrestlers placed seventh Wednesday in the State Duals in Des Moines.
Clear Lake (23-4), the fifth seed in the Class 2A field, started the day matched against the number four seed, Creston-Orient Macksburg (16-0). The Lions won five of the first six matches, but were defeated 36-32.
The meet started at 106, where Brennen Doebel needed just :38 to pin his opponent. Ryan Leisure put up a 9-0 major decision and Ryan Schmalen won in sudden victory to give the team a quick 13-0 lead. Spencer Orr was beaten at 126, but Ryan Faught’s major decision and a pin by Andres Gonzalez had the Lions in comand, 23-3.
Creston controlled the middle weights, with pins at 145, 152 and 160. They tacked on a technical fall and another pin to surge ahead, 32-23. Connor Nosbisch tried to stem the tide at 195, pinning his opponent in 1:57 and pulling the Lions within three, 32-29. A loss by major decision at 220 gave Creston all the points they would need. A 3-1 in in sudden victory by Mitchell Jordan made the final 36-32.
In the next round the Lions were again on the short end of a close match score. Sergeant Bluff-Luton won, 38-25. Again, they were able to get out to a fast start with wins at 113 and 120 by Leisure and Schmalen. Ryan Faught also had a major decision at 132, making the score 12-4 after four matched.
Coach Gary Weber opted to sit out Andres Gonzalez at 138, and Tanner Berger was defeated, as well as Blake Kelso, TJ Hauser, Logan Wilcke and Rowdy Yates. Nosbisch recorded a second period pin at 182 to even the score at 25-25, however losses in the remaining weights sent the Lions to the seventh place match.
The final match of the day pitted the Lions against North Central Conference rival Webster City. It was another closely contested meeting, but the Lions came out on top of a dual settled in the final match. It was the third time this year the Lions have beaten Webster City in a dual.
“I was very happy with the way the kids competed in that dual. We could have not tried very hard, but they did just the opposite. In particular, Brennen Doebel and Ryan Leisure moved up a weight to help the team. TJ Hauser came up with a huge win when he was losing 9-1, and Logan Wilcke beat a state place winner at 160 so we had some great performances.”
The Lions opened with three straight wins. Leisure posted a technical fall; Spencer Orr pinned his opponent and Faught had a major decision. Clear Lake dropped the next two weights, but rebounded with Hauser’s pin at 152 and Wilcke’s 4-3 decision at 160.
The Lynx clawed back into the match with five straight wins, putting the final in the hands of Sam Jones at 106 and Doebel at 113. Both responded with major decisions, giving the Lions a 32-27 victory.
Despite his enthusiasm about being back at the State Duals, Coach Gary Weber was vocal about his dislike of the timing of the event. The coach said he feels it is unfair to put wrestlers who have qualified for the individual State Tournament at risk of injury or fatigue by competing only hours before the opening rounds of the tournament. In addition, he noted the team aspect of the sport suffers by the timing.
“I wish the state association would move the date of the duals so it would not put the wrestlers and coaches in tough situations as to who to wrestle.”