Prep Wrestling

Healthier Will Hoeft returns in Iowa City West wrestling's victory over rival City High

Senior 182-pounder records one of five Trojan pins in 40-32 win

Iowa City West's Will Hoeft wrestles Independence's Cole Davis (bottom) in their 182-pound semifinal match at the Cliff
Iowa City West's Will Hoeft wrestles Independence's Cole Davis (bottom) in their 182-pound semifinal match at the Cliff Keen Independence Invitational at Independence High School on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. Thirty-two teams from around Iowa and the Midwest participated in the meet. Hoeft won by decision, 9-3. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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IOWA CITY — Iowa City West’s Will Hoeft is happy and healthy now.

Earlier this season, he dealt with the lingering effects of an anterior cruciate ligament injury that was surgically repaired after last season. The Trojans’ second-ranked 182-pounder benefited from a procedure to remove scar tissue that remained.

“It’s all good,” said Hoeft, who suffered some mobility problems last month after a pain-free football season. “No issues. I feel great. I feel better than I’ve ever been.”

Hoeft returned to the lineup for the first time in about a month. He recorded one of West’s five falls in a 40-32 dual victory over Iowa City High in Mississippi Valley Conference prep wrestling action Friday at West.

Both teams won seven weights, but the Class 3A 19th-ranked Trojans (2-2, 2-2) scored bonus points in each of their victories for their first dual win over the Little Hawks in five years.

“They’ve been winning since my eighth-grade year, so it feels really good to finally get one,” Hoeft said. “I hope this is a new era, teetering more to West.”

Fourth-ranked Ashton Barker (170) and Hoeft opened the dual with consecutive pins and Anu Dokun followed with a major decision, giving West a 16-0 lead.

“I’m glad we started at 170, because we could get Ashton and me rolling,” Hoeft said. “I think that affected Anu’s wrestling, because winning is infectious, especially in the sport of wrestling.”

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Fourth-ranked Grant O’Dell (106) and top-ranked Hunter Garvin at 132 added first-period pins. Eighth-ranked Graham Gambrall’s fall at 152 secured the victory with one match remaining. West relies on big points from the five rated wrestlers.

“We definitely look for them to get falls,” West Coach Nate Moore said. “When we have duals where most guys aren’t getting falls or wins, it hurts us so that’s why it’s really big to develop those others guys who are struggling a little bit. We’re working to get a little depth back in the lineup.”

City High (4-10, 1-3) won six of the final eight bouts, including five in a six-match stretch. The Little Hawks received pins from sixth-ranked Ethan Wood-Finley (113) and No. 10 Garrett Bormann. Ryan Ott posted an impressive come-from-behind decision over Jackson Brennen at 138, turning a six-point first-period deficit into a 10-7 victory thanks to a takedown and three nearfall in the third

Reese Hayden (126) and No. 10 Reece Caven (145) added major decisions to pull City High within 34-26 with two matches left.

Sixth-ranked freshman Ben Kueter capped the dual with a fall at 160.

Hoeft improved to 6-1 and made his first appearance since a runner-up performance at the Cliff Keen Independence Invitational on Dec. 7. He has not lost to an Iowa foe and has his sights set on a state title.

“I think everyone is gunning for that and I am, too,” said Hoeft, a two-time state qualifier who was sixth last year. “I want to go undefeated and get all falls in duals. Do as much good for my team as I can.”

Iowa City West 40, Iowa City High 32

(Individual takedowns in parentheses)

170 pounds — Ashton Barker (ICW) pinned Mohammad Abdallah, 1:01 (1,0); 182 — Will Hoeft (ICW) pinned Nick Marker, 1:14 (1,0); 195 — Anu Dokun (ICW) major dec. Fritz Spencer, 14-2 (3,0); 220 — Jason Lemus (ICH) dec. Brett Pelfrey, 9-3 (3,0); Hwt. — Ben Alden (ICW) won by forfeit; 106 — Grant O’Dell (ICW) pinned Eli Rummelhart, 1:51 (1,0); 113 — Ethan Wood-Finley (ICH) pinned Isaac Liao, 1:30 (1,0); 120 — Garrett Bormann (ICH) pinned Connor Morris, 1:14 (1,0); 126 — Reese Hayden (ICH) major dec. Parker McBride, 12-4 (2,1); 132 — Hunter Garvin (ICW) pinned Cavan Magnuson,: 26 (1,0); 138 — Ryan Ott (ICH) dec. Jackson Brennen, 10-7 (2,2); 145 — Reece Caven (ICH) major dec. Drake Davis, 14-3 (4,0); 152 — Graham Gambrall (ICW) pinned Gable Mitchell, 3:05 (3,0); 160 — Ben Kueter (ICH) pinned Collin Leavy, 3:17 (6,0)

MEET STATISTICS

Takedowns — City High 19, I.C. West 13. Reversals — City High 2, I.C. West 3. Escapes — City High 7, I.C. West 8. Nearfall points — City High 19, I.C. West 22. Penalty points (awarded) — City High 0, I.C. West 0. Total match points — City High 68, I.C. West 62.

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

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