Prep Wrestling

A rousing rally sends Solon wrestling back to State Duals

Zack Bevans, Jax Flynn help Spartans (20-5) erase late deficit for 37-34 win at West Liberty

Solon Spartans
Solon Spartans

WEST LIBERTY – The “underdogs” are back.

After graduating seven starters from a team that won the Class 2A traditional state tournament team title and placed second at state duals, many questioned whether Solon had the lineup to compete this year.

Those questions have their answer.

With Solon trailing by two points and only the 170-pound match left, sophomore Jax Flynn pinned West Liberty junior AJ Lenz in 3:22 as the Spartans rallied for a rousing 37-34 victory in the final of a Class 2A regional dual.

“We call ourselves, ‘underdogs’ because everyone doubted us,” Flynn said. “We overcame it and won.”

The Spartans (20-5) — ranked ninth in the latest poll from the IWCOA — jumped on the sixth-ranked Comets early with pins from Seamus Poynton at 182, heavyweight and Iowa football signee Tyler Linderbaum and junior Aidan Dall (126) that gave Solon its largest lead at 29-12 midway through the dual.

“It started right off the bat,” Solon Coach Blake Williams said. “There was a lot of jockeying going on, a lot of bumping up.”

Eight Solon wrestlers moved up a weight to counter the strength of West Liberty (26-4), which was evident when the Comets scored 22 points with four wins in a row. Pins from returning state place winner Will Esmoil (132), senior Justis Dengler (145) and three-time state medalist Joe Kelly (152) gave West Liberty its first lead at 34-29 with two weights to go.

Solon junior Zack Bevans cut the deficit to two with a 6-0 shutout decision over Austin Beaver.

“I knew going into it, it was going to be a tough match,” Bevans said. “Came through in the clutch. Just win and try as hard as we could.”


The Flynn pin delivered Solon to the state duals for the second year in a row. The Spartans will try to better last year’s runner-up finish Feb. 14 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

“They responded, they listened to what we wanted them to do and nobody backed down,” Williams said. “It is a great win for this program.”


At West Liberty


Solon 37, West Liberty 34

182 — Seamus Poynton (Solon) pinned Kolton Armey (West Liberty), 5:06.

195 — Mike Hoyle (Solon) maj. dec. Jackson Gingerich (West Liberty), 12-3.

220 — Bryce Esmoil (West Liberty) pinned Zach Wegmann (Solon), 2:52.

285 — Tyler Linderbaum (Solon) pinned Andy Lopez (West Liberty), 4:21.

106 — Alex Beaver (West Liberty) pinned Gabe Yetley (Solon), 1:14.

113 — Lucas TePoel (Solon) dec. Sam Gingerich (West Liberty), 7-5.


Thank you for signing up for our e-newsletter!

You should start receiving the e-newsletters within a couple days.

120 — Zeb Gnida (Solon) maj. dec. Talen Dengler (West Liberty), 12-4.

126 — Aidan Dall (Solon) pinned Montana Herrold (West Liberty), 1:33.

132 — Will Esmoil (West Liberty) pinned Colton Spillman (Solon), 3:41.

138 — Coy Ruess (West Liberty) maj. dec. Christian Haight (Solon), 11-3.

145 — Justis Dengler (West Liberty) pinned Andy Brokaw (Solon), 1:14.

152 — Joe Kelly (West Liberty) pinned Caleb Ebert (Solon), 1:22

160 — Zack Bevans (Solon) dec. Austin Beaver (West Liberty), 6-0.

170 — Jax Flynn (Solon) pins AJ Lenz (West Liberty), 3:22.

Semifinal round

West Liberty 67, Columbus Junction 12


170 — AJ Lenz (West Liberty) pinned J.T. Cunningham (Columbus Junction), 0:47

182 — Jackson Gingerich (West Liberty) pinned Chance Malone (Columbus Junction), 2:27

195 — Bryce Esmoil (West Liberty) pinned Alberto Lagunas (Columbus Junction), 0:07

220 — Kobe Simon (West Liberty) pinned Jorge Miranda (Columbus Junction), 1:48

285 — Andy Lopez (West Liberty) won by forfeit

106 — Jared Kadel (Columbus Junction) pinned Sam Gingerich (West Liberty), 1:12

113 — Brian Collins (West Liberty) dec. Brady Barton (Columbus Junction), 13-8

120 — Talen Dengler (West Liberty) pinned Garrett Palmer (Columbus Junction), 1:58

126 — Tucker Bright (Columbus Junction) pinned Montana Herrold (West Liberty), 1:11


132 — Will Esmoil (West Liberty) pinned Will Schwab (Columbus Junction), 1:01

138 — Coy Ruess (West Liberty) won by forfeit

145 — Justis Dengler (West Liberty) pinned Robert Loveless (Columbus Junction) 1:03

152 — Joe Kelly (West Liberty) pinned Jose Cereza (Columbus Junction), 1:50

160 — Austin Beaver (West Liberty) maj. dec. Noah Freeman (Columbus Junction), 13-0

Solon 45, Independence 24

170 — Cole Davis (Independence) dec. Seamus Poynton (Solon), 9-5

182 — Mike Hoyle (Solon) pinned Joe Kaiser (Independence), 1:43

195 — Adam Bock (Solon) pinned Tayten Freidhof (Independence), 1:38

220 — Zach Wegmann (Solon) dec. Hunter Crawford (Independence), 9-5


285 — Tyler Linderbaum (Solon) pinned Drew Evans (Independence), 0:35

106 — Brock Eldridge (Independence) pinned Gabe Yetley (Solon), 1:16

113 — Lucas TePoel (Solon) dec. Thomas Matteson (Independence), 7-1

120 — Zeb Gnida (Solon) pinned Caleb Straw (Independence), 1:18

126 — Aidan Dall (Solon) pinned Holdyn Griffith (Independence), 2:45

132 — Christian Haight (Solon) pinned Fischer Crawford (Independence), 2:46

138 — Andy Brokaw (Solon) dec. Matthew Doyle (Independence), 7-6

145 — Brady Webb (Independence) dec. Caleb Ebert (Solon), 8-6


152 — Jarret Orr (Independence) pinned Jackson Clevenger (Solon), 0:14

160 — Seth House (Independence) pinned Jaxson Howsare (Solon), 1:29

l Comments:

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.


Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.