116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
WILLIAMSBURG — Tyler Linderbaum traded rebounds for reversals.
Solon's junior heavyweight was a freshman basketball player. All it took was some coaxing from wrestling coach Blake Williams, who began inviting him to summer workouts when he returned to lead the Spartans program in 2015.
'He kept joking, 'You should try wrestling. You should try wrestling,'' Linderbaum said. 'I guess I just wanted something a little different. I went out my sophomore year.'
The conversion reached a new level when fourth-ranked Linderbaum put the finishing touches on the Spartans team title at the Class 2A sectional Saturday at Williamsburg High School. Solon crowned six champions and had a school-record 13 district qualifiers.
The 6-foot-2 Linderbaum wrestled and played basketball in eighth grade, but he chose to be a post player the following year. He said he still likes basketball and it was a tough decision to switch.
'I enjoyed basketball,' Linderbaum said. 'It is one of my favorite sports. I just wanted a change and now I enjoy wrestling.
'I could shoot and dribble a little bit. I was mostly a center.'
Linderbaum (45-7) pinned his way through the bracket, sticking Williamsburg's Logan Knutson in the final. He took a 2-1 lead with a third-period reversal and then put Knutson on his back for a pin in 4:27.
'I'm pretty happy,' Linderbaum said. 'I've got districts and state to worry about.'
He has come a long way from a third-place sectional finish last year, admitting he didn't know what to do in some match situations. Linderbaum has learned and improved technique.
'Last year, he was more of an athlete who wrestled,' Williams said. 'He's become more of an actual wrestler.
'He's gotten better. He's got to stay on his offense and do what he's done all year. He's going to be tough to beat.'
The Spartans also received titles from top-ranked Bryce and Drew West at 120 and 126, respectively. Ben Carr (138), Graeson Dall (152) and 160-pounder Trevor Nelson also won titles for Solon.
'We talked about how we had a shot for each and every guy to get through,' Williams said. 'The semifinal round was huge. We knew they were going to be tough matches. We wrestled well that round.'
The Spartans scored 274 points, beating the host Raiders by 48. Williamsburg received titles from top-ranked Grayson Kesterson (106), freshman Jalen Schropp (113) and 195-pounder Josh Holub.
Kesterson posted a 10-2 major decision over Columbus/WMU's No. 8 Jarod Kadel in the final. Schropp and Holub both won by fall.
'Those three have been solid all year,' Williamsburg Coach Grant Eckenrod said. 'They've beaten good competition.
'They were in control and they were wrestling good kids.'
The Raiders advanced seven to next weekend's district. They also joined Solon in qualifying for the regional duals Tuesday.
'Not too bad of a day,' Eckenrod said. 'You feel good for the ones that qualified for districts. You feel bad for the ones who didn't. The good thing is we all get to wrestle Tuesday and that takes away a little bit of the sting.'
Mid-Prairie received titles from 132-pounder Duncan McCain and Visouth Peterschmidt at 182.
Ninth-ranked McCain improved to 40-0 this season, scoring two takedowns before pinning Solon's Christian Haight in the final. McCain, whose 162 career victories is a school record, has 156 takedowns this season, beating the season mark of 153 by former Golden Hawks two-time state champion Adam Greiner.
'I felt really good,' said McCain, who won by fall in the semifinal. 'I came in with good sleep and felt good about the week of practice. I was confident coming in and controlling my opponent.'
McCain has overcome a torn elbow ligament, feeling weaker in tie-ups and takedown finishes. The solution was mind over matter. If he didn't mind, it didn't matter.
'Last Friday, something just clicked,' McCain said. 'Getting over it was all mental.'
McCain has reached state the last two seasons, placing sixth as a sophomore. He went 1-2 there last year. McCain wants to return to the state podium and match another feat of Greiner.
'I'm working to be part of that (Grand March) and be part of the matches that happen after it,' McCain said. 'I want to be a state champion.'
Clear Creek-Amana and Benton Community each had a champion and two district qualifiers.
The Clippers' Andrew Rohret scored a reversal with two seconds left to beat Solon's Zach Bevans for the 145-pound title.
Benton's sixth-ranked Blade Durbala pinned his way through the 220 bracket, decking Solon's Zach Wegmann in 1:43 of the final.
CLASS 2A SECTIONAL
Teams (District qualifiers in parentheses) — 1. Solon* 274 (13), 2. Williamsburg* 226 (7), 3. Benton Community 175 (2), 4. Columbus Community/WMU 99 (2), t5. Clear Creek-Amana 96 (2), t5. Mid-Prairie 96 (2).
106 pounds — 1. Grayson Kesterson (W), 2. Jarod Kadel (CC/WMU); 113 — 1. Jalen Schropp (Will), 2. Aidan Dall (S); 120 — 1. Bryce West (S), 2. Garrett Jensen (W); 126 — 1. Drew West (S), 2. Dylan Caskey (W); 132 — 1. Duncan McCain (MP), 2. Christian Haight (S); 138 — 1. Ben Carr (S), 2. Quinn Murphy (CCA); 145 — 1. Andrew Rohret (CCA), 2. Zack Bevans (S); 152 — 1. Graeson Dall (S), 2. Brody Scheer (BC); 160 — 1. Trevor Nelson (S), 2. Cavin Malloy (W); 170 — 1. Tucker Morrison (CC/WMU), 2. Mike Hoyle (S); 182 — 1. Visouth Peterschmidt (MP), 2. Dillon Diltz (S); 195 — 1. Josh Holub (W), 2. Jackson Walker (S); 220 — 1. Blade Durbala (BC), 2. Zach Wegmann (S); Hwt. — 1. Tyler Linderbaum (S), 2. Logan Knutson (W).
* — Qualified for Class 2A regional duals Tuesday.
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