Mount Vernon's Cody Connolly seizes last opportunity to wrestle after four-year hiatus

Senior opens 2-0, fills upper-weight spot for Mustangs

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CEDAR RAPIDS — Mount Vernon Coach Vance Light didn’t know he had a 220-pounder until the preseason started.

Cody Connolly wasn’t set on wrestling again until the night before the first practice. The Mustang senior decided to take advantage of his last opportunity to wrestle and hit the mat for the first time since eighth grade.

“I took a break,” Connolly said. “I figured senior year, why don’t we try something out? Try and give it a shot again.”

Connolly’s return to the mat was a successful one. He went 2-0, including a second-period fall in his debut, and helped Mount Vernon to a sweep of Marion and host Cedar Rapids Washington on Tuesday night to open the prep wrestling season. The Mustangs beat Marion, 35-28, and Washington, 52-18. The Indians topped the Warriors, 42-27, in the nightcap.

“To get a pin in my first match and a good second match, it was pretty cool,” Connolly said. “It was special.”

Connolly was a welcome body that filled a hole in the upper weights for Mount Vernon. He received encouragement from the wrestlers.

“We didn’t know he was going out,” Light said. “I think the kids talked him into going out, which is a good thing.”

Connolly had a steep learning curve when he began practicing. He was fine with the moves, but it was the terminology that he had to brush up on, so he watched his teammates and followed their lead. Connolly is acclimating well.

“I had to remember a lot of things,” said Connolly, whose uncle, Joe, is the head coach at Dubuque Senior. “I heard a lot of things I couldn’t remember. It’s all coming back.”

Connolly actually trailed Marion’s Logan Hangartner, 2-1, in the second period. He scored three nearfall and then got the pin in 3:44, posting one of five falls against Marion. Connolly added six third-period points for a 7-5 victory over Washington’s Jonah Johnson.

Light said the wins are a confidence boost, motivating him to continue his improvement. The 6-foot-1 football lineman has some key attributes to build on through the season.

“He’s a big, physical kid,” Light said. “He’s willing to work hard and that takes care of a lot right there.”

Mount Vernon (2-0) split the 14 matches with Marion, but benefited from more bonus points. The Mustangs built a 46-0 lead, winning the first 10 bouts against the Warriors.

The Indians (1-1) rebounded against the Warriors, receiving four forfeits and pins from heavyweight Carson Webster and Ben Gibson (152). Brady Bartz (182) recorded a technical fall in the opener for Marion.

The ranked duo of Will Foreman (132) and Chris Karamitros (138) and 126-pound freshman Joe Foreman won two matches for the Washington (0-2).

AT C.R. WASHINGTON

Marion 42, C.R. Washington 27

160 pounds - Hashim Herz (CRW) pinned Thomas McAllister, 1:34; 170 - Nate Miller (Mar) won by forfeit; 182 - Brady Bartz (Mar) won by forfeit; 195 - Jared Scherrman (CRW) pinned Weston Horak, 3:35; 220 - Logan Hangartner (Mar) dec. Jonah Johnson, 12-5; Hwt. - Carson Webster (Mar) pinned Brandon Smith, :36; 106 - Niyo Gady (Mar) won by forfeit; 113 - Gavin Hiler (Mar) won by forfeit; 120 - Aden Abram (CRW) dec. Ismail Havyarimana, 6-4; 126 - Joe Foreman (CRW) dec. Jack Eichhorn, 8-4; 132 - Will Foreman (CRW) tech fall Braden Garringer, 22-6; 138 - Austin Fritz (Mar) dec. Caleb Velasquez, 8-4; 145 - Chris Karamitros (CRW) major dec. Zach Cochran, 10-2; 152 - Ben Gibson (Mar) pinned Dalton Lauderdale, 5:23.

Mount Vernon 35, Marion 28*

145 pounds – Cochran (Mar) dec. Mitch Louwagie, 6-4 SV; 152 – Gibson (Mar) dec. Andrew Louwagie, 12-9; 160 – Paul Ryan (MV) pinned McAllister, 1:12; 170 – Nolan Hinrichs (MV) pinned Nate Miller, 4:00; 182 – Bartz (Mar) tech fall Coy Martin, 22-5; 195 – Camron Woodley (MV) pinned Horak, 3:13; 220 – Cody Connolly (MV) pinned Logan Hangartner, 3:44; Hwt. – Preston Shultz (MV) dec. Webster, 5-0; 106 – Grady (Mar) won by forfeit; 113 – Hiler (Mar) dec. Ryan Clark, 10-6; 120 – Jack Streicher (MV) dec. Havyarimana, 9-3; 126 – Connor Bilden (MV) pinned Eichhorn, 2:40; 132 – Garringer (Mar) dec. Garret Akers, 7-5; 138 – Fritz (Mar) pinned Seth Moore, 3:50.

*—Both teams deducted a team point after 126-pound match 

Mounnt Vernon 52, C.R. Washington 18

152 – A. Louwagie (MV) pinned Herz, 5:12; 160 - Ryan (MV) won by forfeit; 170 - Joe Hunter (MV) won by forfeit; 182 - Martin (MV) won by forfeit; 195 - Woodley (MV) major dec. Scherrman, 15-5; 220 - Connelly (MV) dec. Johnson, 7-5; Hwt. - Shultz (MV) pinned Smith, 3:41; 106 - Double Forfeit; 113 - Clark (MV) won by forfeit; 120 - Streicher (MV) dec. Abram, 10-7; 126 – J. Foreman (CRW) pinned Bilden, 2:42; 132 – W. Foreman (CRW) pinned Akers, 2:22; 138 - Karamitros (CRW) pinned Moore, 3:46; 145 – M. Louwagie (MV) pinned Lauderdale, 3:18.

l Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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