MANCHESTER – Mitchel Mangold was the first to flash a little bling, even if it was for a brief moment.
Teammate Jordan Bries got his hands on it for a shorter period before Ben Ridenour took possession of it for the rest of the night. Class 2A fifth-ranked West Delaware debuted its pin belt, which is awarded to the wrestler with the most recent fall.
The trio each had their hands on the new prize with pins Thursday night in a 43-19 dual victory over Decorah at Seedorf Gymnasium.
The pin belt is their version of pin chain gimmicks that college programs like Ohio State have started, following the lead of Miami football’s turnover chain. West Delaware manager Dylan Linderwell transformed an old pro wrestling belt into the Hawks’ new trophy.
— Dylan Linderwell (@dlinderwell2) December 22, 2017
“We put a ‘WD’ sticker on it and made it our own,” said Mangold, who posted the Hawks’ first fall, pinning Mikel Fullhart in 1:52 at 152. “I think it will bring a spark. A little extra motivation to get more pins and the extra six points.”
West Delaware Coach Jeff Voss laughed at the mention of the belt after the dual. He wasn’t aware of its origin, but supports anything to bolster team camaraderie.
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“They are having a lot of fun with each other,” Voss said. “If they want to do that and have a lot of fun then I’m all for it.”
The Hawks (8-3) won nine weights, including seven for bonus points, to improve to 8-3. Mangold’s fall made it 15-0, following Cole Engel’s 11-3 major decision to start the meet at 138 and Cael Meyer’s 18-3 technical fall at 145.
Bries and Ridenour pins sandwiched Harrison Goebel’s 5-1 decision at 195. Luke Farmer (106) scored four takedowns and three nearfall for a major decision and 40-9 West Delaware lead.
The Hawks were aggressive, owning advantages in takedowns (23-16) and nearfalls (19-5). They have been better each week.
“That’s kind of been our focus all year,” Voss said. “The guys are getting more confidence in what they are doing.”
West Delaware’s lineup is comprised mostly of underclassmen. The Hawks start five freshmen and three sophomores.
“I think the progress has been good,” Voss said. “There has been great leadership by our upperclassmen that our younger guys feed off of.”
Decorah won five matches. Heavyweight Daniel Schwartzhoff won by pin and 126-pounder Philip Ihde added a 16-5 major decision for the Vikings.
West Delaware 43, Decorah 19
(Individual takedown in parentheses)
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138 pounds – Cole Engel (WD) major dec. Nils Holkesvik, 11-3 (2,1); 145 – Cael Meyer (WD) tech. fall Brendan Lovstuen, 18-3 (5,0); 152 – Mitchel Mangold (WD) pinned Mikel Fullhart, 1:52 (5,0); 160 – Tom Knoke (D) dec. Jared Voss, 7-4 (2,0); 170 – Jack Neuhaus (WD) won by forfeit; 182 – Jordan Bries (WD) pinned Andy Murphy, :53 (1,0); 195 – Harrison Goebel (WD) dec. Andy Lillegraven, 5-1 (1,0); 220 – Ben Ridenour (WD) pinned Caden Keck, 1:37 (3,0); Hwt. – Dabiel Schwartzhoff (WD) pinned Carson Petlon, 2:26 (0,0); 106 – Luke Farmer (WD) major dec. Luke Dieschbourg, 11-2 (4,0); 113 – Kyzer Engen (D) dec. Evan Woods, 5-0 (2,0); 120 – Corban Rowley (D) dec. Reilly Dolan, 11-5 (4,1); 126 – Philip Ihde (D) major dec. Staveley Maury, 16-5 (6,0); 132 – Ryan Phillips (WD) dec. Jackson Rolfs, 6-2 (1,1).
Takedowns – West Delaware 23, Decorah 16. Reversals – West Delaware 4, Decorah 2. Escapes – West Delaware 11, Decorah 15. Nearfall points – West Delaware 19, Decorah 5. Penalty points (awarded) – West Delaware 1, Decorah 0. Total match points – West Delaware 85, Decorah 56.
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