116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Lisbon's wrestling season has been full of success.
The Lions are 21-3 and have won tournament titles. They have six wrestlers ranked by The Predicament and are rated second as a team in dual and individual competition.
The bad news for opponents is they might be wrestling their best as the regular season comes to a close.
'The last couple weeks we've really been competing well, eliminating mistakes,' Lisbon Coach Brad Smith said. 'We're in the best shape we have been in all year. I feel like we're starting to peak right now.'
Second-ranked Lisbon defeated No. 1 Don Bosco, 41-21, Tuesday night at Cornell College's Small Multi-Sport Center in Mount Vernon. The victory is sandwiched between a third-place finish in a stacked field at Clinton's Bob Lueders Invitational and before a showdown with top-ranked Alburnett at the Tri-Rivers Conference tournament Saturday.
The Lions trailed 18-0 after the first four matches against Don Bosco. Lisbon won the next six weights for a 26-18 lead and didn't look back. Cooper Siebrecht sparked Lisbon with a major decision at 120. Wally Zernich, who moved to town from Nevada, followed with a major. The Lions' fifth-ranked Chase McLaughlin won a marquee match at 132, topping No. 7 Nick Mangrich, 11-4.
State champion Nick Williams (138) added a decision before three-time state champ Carter Happel and Hunter Robinson posted consecutive pins.
'There were some really good matches,' Smith said. 'There was a great crowd there.'
Williams and Happel are returning state champions ranked first in 1A. Robinson is the heaviest ranked Lion, joining Siebrecht, Zernich and McLaughlin. The upper weights secured the dual win over the Dons, including a pin from Bryce Werderman and a decision by Dakota O'Connor.
'Those guys (upper weights) have helped us quote a bit in our duals,' Smith said, 'That was a big win for Dakota.'
The dual was originally set for Monday at Lisbon. Weather postponed the dual and forced a change of venue. Smith said Rams Coach and longtime Mike Duroe reached out, offering Cornell as a host to the 1A powers.
'It worked out great,' Smith said. 'It was awesome to recognize our seniors. All our seniors won that night, too.'
With the pin, Happel raised his record to 39-0 this season. He is 194-1 with more than 155 straight wins. He broke the school's career wins record of 164 set by Ryan Morningstar (2002-05). He has rewritten the entire record book at Lisbon.
'He's got every single season record except one,' said Smith, noting that Lions assistant Greg Butteris has the record for 22 straight pins. 'He also has all but one career record, which is total tournament titles. Ike Light has that but we wrestle in more dual tournaments now.'
AXMEAR WITH NOTABLE WIN
English Valleys' Zach Axmear prevailed in a showdown between Class 1A top-ranked wrestlers last weekend at the Alburnett Duals. Second-ranked Axmear pinned Alburnett's No. 1 Conner Shulista, a three-time state medalist and 2015 state finalist. Axmear had three falls during the dual tournament, sticking Shulista in 3:26.
Axmear is a two-time state medalist. He went 53-1 and placed third at 152 pounds last year. He finished fifth at the 2014 state tournament.
METRO DUO IN NATIONAL RANKINGS
Cedar Rapids Jefferson duo Brenden Baker and Kyle Briggs were included in Wrestling USA Magazine's rankings of top senior wrestlers. Baker is 27th at 120 pounds, while Briggs is 29th at 152.
Lisbon's Carter Happel is the highest of 16 ranked Iowans, owning the top spot at 145. Happel is attempting to become the state's 25th four-time state champion.
Center Point-Urbana's Brock Rathbun, a two-time state champion and three-time state finalist, is ninth at 126. Both Happel and Rathbun have signed to wrestle for the University of Iowa, as well as Glenwood's Matt Malcom, who is 23rd at 152.
Metro wrestlers Sam Uthoff (132, Prairie), Clint Lembeck (138, Xavier) and Shea Hartzler (160, Linn-Mar) received special mention recognition. Lisbon's Nick Williams (138), Alburnett's Conner Shulista (152) and Bryce Paul (160), North Fayette Valley's Nick Baumler (182) and Iowa City West 195-pounder Donovan Doyle were also special mention picks.
l Comments: (319) 368-8679; email@example.com