116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MANCHESTER — West Delaware and Waverly-Shell Rock don’t back down from challenges.
The two top-ranked wrestling programs have stared each other down, presenting their best lineups and opening the high school season against each other in recent years. Nothing like a tough task and good gauge to start competition.
“It’s always a great test right away,” Go-Hawks Coach Eric Whitcome said. “It is two quality programs with rich and storied backgrounds. We look forward to it every year, knowing it’s going to be a test.”
Class 3A No. 1 Waverly-Shell Rock won nine matches with seven pins and closed with four straight victories to defeat 2A No. 1 West Delaware, 49-21, Thursday night at Seedorf Gymnasium.
“If we didn’t wrestle this level of an opponent, we definitely wouldn’t have learned the lessons we need to make progress,” West Delaware Coach Jeff Voss said. “Some of the lessons are you have to hustle the whole match. You have to finish matches. You really have to focus on what we’re trying to get better at.”
The two heavy hitters traded leads five times in the first half of the dual. Aiden Riggins was on the verge of a technical fall when he recorded a second-period fall at 160 for a 6-0 Go-Hawk lead.
The Hawks (0-1) answered with a Kyle Cole decision at 170. Will Ward provided West Delaware with its first lead. He recorded a 52-second pin at 182, making it 9-6.
The Go-Hawks’ McCrae Hagarty and the Hawks’ top-ranked Wyatt Voelker exchanged pins at 195 and 220, respectively. Top-ranked Hagarty, who won the 182-pound title in 3A last season, needed just 46 seconds for a pin over Cash Hauser. Voelker, a three-time state medalist and 2A state champion at 195 in February, built a 19-5 lead against 3A No. 3 Layne McDonald before notching the fall in 4:09.
“He dominated the match,” Voss said about Voelker. “He did that against a good kid.”
Waverly-Shell Rock (1-0) started to pull away, receiving three straight falls from heavyweight Jake Walker, Alex Hornyak (106) and Zane Behrends at 113. Hornyak and Brayden Maury were tied, 6-6, after two periods. Hornyak added an escape and then took Maury down to his back, ending it in 4:37.
Carson Less (120) scored a takedown in sudden victory to drop Braxton Westendorf, 5-3. Freshman Jax Miller just missed a major decision with a 10-3 triumph over Sam Hornyak, pulling the Hawks within 30-21.
Miller demonstrated maturity and collectedness, scoring in the final 10 seconds of each period. He tallied two nearfall in the waning moments of the first and third and a reversal near the end of the second.
“That’s the way we should be finishing periods and matches,” Voss said. “It’s something we can all learn from.
“He’s been a little kid in the stands for a long time. He’s been waiting for this moment and he capitalized on it.”
The Go-Hawks swept through the final four bouts, including a thriller at 132. Waverly-Shell Rock’s fourth-ranked Carter Fecht battled Blake Engel, ranked seventh at 138. Each managed an escape despite three periods of action, including multiple scrambles and flurries that didn’t result in points.
In sudden victory, Fecht scored the winning takedown. When Engel let up on his back in the extra frame, Fecht continued and earned the fall in 6:26.
“One of the things we stress is to continue wrestling,” Whitcome said. “Find a way to keep alive, stay in it and then you have opportunities that you need to take advantage of. That’s what happened at the end.
“Great job by one of our seniors.”
Top-ranked Ryder Block sealed the dual with a first-period fall at 138. Bas Diaz (145) won by decision and Robert Poyner closed it with a major decision.
The Go-Hawks were dominant from the neutral position, owning a 27-13 edge in takedowns and 14-8 lead in nearfall points. Voss said the Hawks did some good things but they have to keep getting better. The dual is a good learning experience.
“Our schedule allows us to see some really good competition at the beginning of the year,” Voss said. “I think that has allowed us to progress as the season goes on. Waverly is obviously a good team, so having them early gives us a gauge of what we need to improve. It’s good to learn that the first night.”
West Delaware returns to action Saturday, hosting the Bob Murphy Invitational. Waverly-Shell Rock left Manchester for Coralville for the inaugural Dan Gable Donnybrook on Friday and Saturday at the Xtream Arena and GreenState Family Fieldhouse.
Whitcome said he is looking for wrestlers to make adjustments and get better each match, regardless if that results in wins against a deep and talented field.
“We haven’t had the chance to wrestle anybody but ourselves in a while,” Whitcome said. “We want to see if the things we’re working on are working yet, or what do we need to work on to up our game.”
Waverly-Shell Rock 49, West Delaware 21
(Individual takedowns in parentheses)
160 pounds – Aiden Riggins (WSR) pinned Isaac Fettkether, 3:57 (7,0); 170 – Kyle Cole (WD) dec. Sean Mwangi, 3-0 (0,0); 182 – Will Ward (WD) pinned Tyler Gast, :52 (1,0); 195 – McCrae Hagarty (WSR) pinned Cash Hauser, :46 (2,0); 220 – Wyatt Voelker (WD) pinned Layne McDonald, 4:09 (7,0); Hwt. – Jake Walker (WSR) pinned Cameron Geuther, 2:39 (1,0); 106 – Alex Hornyak (WSR) pinned Brayden Maury, 4:37 (3,2); 113 – Zane Behrends (WSR) pinned Jack Buesing, 1:42 (4,0); 120 – Carson Less (WD) dec. Braxton Westendorf, 5-3 SV1 (1,0); 126 – Jax Miller (WD) dec. Sam Hornyak, 10-3 (2,1); 132 – Carter Fecht (WSR) pinned Blake Engel, 6:26 (1,0); 138 – Ryder Block (WSR) pinned Carson Turnis, :52 (3,0); 145 – Bas Diaz (WSR) dec. Brent Yonkovic, 5-2 (2,0); 152 – Robert Poyner (WSR) major dec. Garrison Gillihan, 13-4 (3,0)
Takedowns – WSR 27, WD 13. Reversals – WSR 2, WD 4. Escapes – WSR 12, WD 23. Nearfall points – WSR 14, WD 8. Penalty points (awarded) – WSR 0, WD 0. Total match points – WSR 84, WD 65.