Prep Wrestling

East Buchanan heavyweight Taylor Fox vies for state wrestling berth before heading to Iowa for football

Dyersville Beckman, Alburnett advance to 1A regional duals

East Buchanan
East Buchanan

CASCADE — Taylor Fox has implemented a new approach for the last half of the wrestling season.

Rather than react to the actions of his opponent, the East Buchanan senior heavyweight has gone on the offensive.

Fox put his new strategy to the test on Saturday at a Class 1A sectional wrestling tournament at Cascade High School, where he faced Central City senior Nile Coghlan, who he had narrowly defeated twice before with 1-0 decisions.

The result this time? A convincing 7-1 decision and a sectional championship.

“He’s a really good wrestler, I have a lot of respect for him,” Fox said. “”It just went my way today. … I was a little more offensive this time.”

Fox (34-3) is ranked third in 1A and hopes his tactical changes will yield his first state tournament berth at a district meet next Saturday in Jesup. Coghlan also qualified for the district meet by reaching the sectional title match.

“It would really mean a lot,” Fox said. “I’ve always had friends, teammates go down there. I’ve always wanted to be down on the mat with them.”

Qualifying for the 1A state tournament would be a welcome cap to a prep wrestling career for Fox, whose collegiate athletic future will be on the football field. Midway through the last high school football season, the 6-foot-3, 265-pound offensive lineman accepted a preferred walk-on offer from the University Iowa.

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“I’ve always been a Hawkeye fan,” Fox said. “Playing for Iowa has always been the dream. Having that come true is pretty awesome.”

Behind sectional championships from sixth-ranked Grant Hoeger at 138 and third-ranked Owen Grover at 195, Dyersville Beckman (174 points) edged Alburnett in the team race by three points. As the top two team finishers, both advance to the 1A regional duals on Tuesday.

The most-anticipated championship match of the tournament was at 106, where third-ranked Midland sophomore Damon Huston (40-1) scored a lively 6-4 decision over No. 2 Jaymus Wilson of Alburnett, a three-time state medalist and state finalist last season.

“It really boosts my confidence a lot,” Huston said. “I knew there was going to be a lot of eyes on that mat there. I just knew I had to keep fighting.”

Midland also had winners at 126 with Griffin Gravel (33-6) and fourth-ranked Brett Schoenherr (37-3) at 220.

Alburnett’s lone winner was at 170, where fifth-ranked Mason Wickman (33-4) pinned his opponent in 20 seconds.

North Linn crowned three titlists in third-ranked Brady Henderson (152), eighth-ranked Quinton Rechkemmer (182) and No. 7 Heath Moyer, who defeated ninth-ranked Nolan Noonan of Cascade at 132 less than four months after sustaining a badly-lacerated head and broken toes in a car accident.

“I didn’t really have a strategy,” Moyer said. “Other than to just get to my stuff. Do what I’m good at.”

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At 145, T.J. Lau gave East Buchanan its second winner, while fourth-ranked Aidan Noonan (113) was the lone winner for host Cascade.

Prep wrestling

CLASS 1A SECTIONAL TOURNAMENT

At Cascade

(Top two teams advance to regional duals, top two wrestlers at each weight qualify for district meet)

Teams — 1. Dyersville Beckman 174, 2. Alburnett 171, 3. North Linn 145.5, 4. East Buchanan 139.5, 5. Cascade 116, 6. Bellevue 114.5, 7. Midland 112, 8. Central City 39.

Championship matches

106 — No. 3 Damon Huston (Midland) dec. No. 2 Jaymus Wilson (Alburnett), 6-4

113 — No. 4 Aidan Noonan (Cascade) maj. dec. Cade Cook (North Linn), 9-1

120 — Zach Roeder (Bellevue) dec. Conner Grover (Dyersville Beckman), 11-6

126 — Griffin Gravel (Midland) pinned Curtis Schott (North Linn), 1:24

132 — No. 7 Heath Moyer (North Linn) dec. No. 9 Nolan Noonan (Cascade), 5-2

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138 — No. 6 Grant Hoeger (Dyersville Beckman) pinned Connor Conlin (Cascade), 1:37

145 — T.J. Lau (East Buchanan) tech. fall Mason Recker (Dyersville Beckman), 16-0 (5:02)

152 — No. 3 Brady Henderson (North Linn) pinned Jacob Waller (Bellevue), 3:49

160 — Hunter Clasen (Bellevue) pinned Owen Huehnergarth (Dyersville Beckman), 1:22

170 — No. 5 Mason Wickman (Alburnett) pinned Zach Ries (Cascade), 0:20

182 — No. 8 Quinton Rechkemmer (North Linn) pinned Noah Neofotist (Alburnett), 3:08

195 — No. 3 Owen Grover (Dyersville Beckman) dec. No. 8 Kanan Morris (Alburnett), 6-1

220 — No. 4 Brett Schoenherr (Midland) dec. Luke Recker (East Buchanan), 3-1

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285 — No. 3 Taylor Fox (East Buchanan) dec. Nile Coghlan (Central City), 7-1

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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