MONONA — MFL MarMac Coach Chet Bachman has worked with the current Bulldogs for many years.
He recognized the potential for the experienced group.
MFL MarMac is 22-2 with four ranked wrestlers and is ranked seventh in both the tournament and dual rankings of Class 1A.
“We have a veteran group,” Bachman said. “These kids have been working for this for a long time. They have been around.”
The Bulldogs returned 11 letterwinners from last year’s squad that went 24-2 and mixed in some talented freshmen. They have won four tournaments, winning Central Decatur’s Dan Christensen Invitational and Starmont’s Doug Guilford tournament. They also won the Upper Iowa Conference dual title and a crown at the Cascade Duals.
“We’re fairly balanced,” Bachman said. “We have some hammers. We have a pretty good lineup. Our upper (weights) pull some weight for us. We’ve got guys here and there getting the job done as well.”
Bachman took the team to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., in the summer. They stopped at camps at Iowa State and NCAA Division-II power Nebraska-Kearney along the way. They continued to accumulate the miles, traveling 1,500 miles for action in December.
“You’ve got to travel to get some different competition because it’s hard to get people to travel up here,” Bachman said. “We’ve had to venture out.”
Senior heavyweight Korby Keehner (32-1) is ranked No. 1 in 1A, while cousin, Garrett Keehner is third with a 33-0 record at 220. Michael Egan, who placed sixth at state last season, is fourth at 145 and Nathan Johanningmeier is fifth at 182.
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Bachman said the Keehners come from tough and hard working families. Korby Keehner placed eighth at state as a sophomore. Garrett Keehner has had a breakout season, toppling five ranked guys.
“He’s kind of been a surprise,” Bachman said of Garrett. “He’s been capable of this. I think he’s kind of come out of his shell a little bit.”
Johanningmeier (29-3) and current 132-pounder Ethan Stubbs (28-7) were state qualifiers two years ago. Zach Howe (195) and Andrew Heins (113) are among 10 Bulldogs with at least 20 victories. Bachman praised his staff and program supporters, noting they don’t have big towns or super clubs to manufacture wrestlers. They develop the athletes into successful competitors.
“We just do it here,” Bachman said. “You have to put in a lot of time to make it work. These kids will definitely get what they earn the old fashioned way.
“We have a lot of volunteers and the youth program is good. Everybody works together from the youth to middle and high schools on everything. I think that helps.”
Aden Reeves done for the season
Albia two-time state champion Aden Reeves confirmed that he will undergo season-ending surgery for an undisclosed injury that occurred in a dual on Dec. 18. Reeves was 19-0 and closed his prep career with a 166-3 career mark, winning his last 100 matches.
The focus now changes to repair and recovery as he prepares to continue his career at Iowa State for head coach Kevin Dresser.
Reeves has climbed the national rankings. He is ranked second at 126 pounds by flowrestling.com and was No. 1 by InterMat before the holiday break.
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“I am so thankful for all the support I have received during my career at Albia and cannot begin to explain how grateful I am for everything this team and community has done for me,” Reeves told the Ottumwa Courier Sunday. “Even though I am saddened that my high school career had to end this way, I am excited to what the future brings.”
Reeves was third at state as a freshman, going 37-2 at 106. He won consecutive Class 2A state titles at 113 and 120.
Two Gazette-area wrestlers reached 150 wins and they did it at the same tournament Saturday.
Lisbon’s Ryne Mohrfeld and Center Point-Urbana’s Caleb Fuessley each reached the milestone at Solon’s Ed Hadenfledt tournament
Mohrfeld recorded a 7-5 decision over Solon’s Caleb Evert for his 150th victory. Mohrfeld, a two-time state qualifier who placed sixth in 2017, is ranked sixth in Class 1A at 145 pounds, improving to 32-8 this season.
Fuessley captured the 120-pound title for his 150th victory. He is 29-0 this year and 150-21 all-time. Fuessley, ranked fourth in 2A, is a two-time medalist, finishing sixth and eighth the last two seasons.
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