Prep Wrestling

Western Dubuque rewards passionate home fans with state duals berth

Bobcats beat Iowa City High 40-21 in regional final

EPWORTH — For the fans. For their families. For each other.

Western Dubuque wrestlers wanted to give those supporters something to celebrate. The Bobcats delivered for the community and their program.

Eighth-ranked Western Dubuque won the final five contested matches and defeated No. 22 Iowa City High 40-21 in a Class 3A regional dual final Wednesday night at Western Dubuque.

The Bobcats (19-5) claimed their third trip to the state duals tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines next Wednesday and second in the last three seasons. The berth was 10 years from the program’s first.

“They love their fans, they love their families and they love each other,” Western Dubuque Paul Cleary said. “When you love something that much, you’ll do anything that you can to get the job done.”

The seniors are the first Western Dubuque class to make multiple state duals appearances. It made it even more special to accomplish it at home.

“It’s great,” Western Dubuque 170-pounder Jake Hosch said. “We’re glad to do it for the community. Thank God they showed up tonight. They were a big support and it feels good that we get to go there again.”

Hosch produced a big victory, giving the Bobcats their first lead and one it didn’t surrender. Fifth-ranked Hosch had two close matches with Brandon Lalla, who is ranked seventh at 160, earlier this season. The last one was by a single point.

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This time, Hosch distanced himself with four takedowns and three nearfall for a 12-4 major decision, making it 22-21 with four matches left.

“I knew I had to go out there and give it all for my team, because I had no idea what was going to happen at the weights behind me,” said Hosch, who followed teammate Ryker Kurimski’s first-period pin at 160. “I had to do the best I could do. I was trying to get six, but four ended up working, so I’m happy with that.”

The fuse was lit for the powder keg in the final three matches. Western Dubuque reserve Carter Kluesner stepped in at 182 so second-ranked Devin Ludwig could move up to 195. Kluesner responded with a pin in 45 seconds.

“It’s incredible for him,” Cleary said of Kluesner. “It’s great for the team. It goes back to our philosophy. It’s team. It’s next man in. Everyone is important. It doesn’t matter if you’re first string or fourth string.”

Ludwig sealed the victory with a first-period fall and Jason Simon-Ressler added a pin before a double-forfeit at heavyweight.

Jared Cordes (138) also ignited the crowd, overcoming a 2-0 deficit by cinching up a cradle and pinning Ryan Ceynar in 3:58, pulling the Bobcats within 14-12.

“I knew I could do this,” Cordes said. “I believe in myself. I knew I could get this pin and help this team to state.”

Cordes added, “It feels amazing when you have 1,000 fans cheering for you. It’s like nothing else.”

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Dawson Biermann (113) and Trent Busch (126) reversed results from the last dual against City High on Dec. 6. Both won by decision.

“It’s a whole team thing,” Cleary said of the victory. “It’s all 40 to 50 guys. It’s something everybody can be proud of.”

City High (12-12) exacted a little revenge against 10th-ranked Cedar Rapids Prairie (12-3) in the semifinal round. The Little Hawks won eight bouts, including five pins, for a 39-30 victory.

“We always stress getting bonus points,” City High Coach Cory Connell said. “It’s huge in any dual like this, getting bonus and not giving it up.”

Five wrestlers bumped for City High against Prairie. Four of them came away with victories, including Ceynar (145), Kyle Hefley (160), Lalla (170) and Joe Ring at 182.

Lalla scored a late takedown for a 3-2 decision over Colton LaGrange in a battle of two ranked wrestlers. Ring turned a reversal into a first-period fall to secure the victory with two matches left.

“We were ready when we stepped out on the mat,” Connell said. “The kids knew what they needed to do. We talked it about it all week, and all year. We started at a good part of the lineup and it was good.”

AT EPWORTH

Iowa City High 39, C.R. Prairie 30

(Individual takedowns in parentheses)

Hwt. – Jacob Murry (ICH) pinned Jordan Jacobus, 1:12 (1,0); 106 pounds – Ethan Wood-Finley (ICH) pinned Hunter Kalous, :59 (1,0); 113 – Austin Kegley (CRP) pinned Reese Hayden, :39 (1,0); 120 – Garrett Bormann (ICH) dec. Austin Steuhm, 5-1 (2,0); 126 – Michael Santoro (ICH) pinned Austin Nicewanner, 3:54 (3,0); 132 – Conrad Braswell (CRP) pinned Gable Mitchell, 1:56 (1,1); 138 – Johnny Washburn (CRP) pinned Will Flack, 1:58 (1,0); 145 – Ryan Ceynar (ICH) dec. Brady Nicewanner, 3-1 (1,0); 152 – Justis Kruse (CRP) dec. Reece Caven, 10-6 (4,1); 160 – Kyle Hefley (ICH) pinned Bronson Kepner, 1:40 (1,0); 170 – Brandon Lalla (ICH) dec. Colton LaGrange, 3-2 (1,0); 182 – Joe Ring (ICH) pinned Nick Pearson, 1:09 (0,1); 195 – Logan Andeway (CRP) dec. Jason Lemus, 7-5 (2,1); 220 – Ashton Stoner-DeGroot (CRP) pinned Davryn Stewert, 1:47 (3,0).

MEET STATISTICS

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Takedowns – CRP 13, ICH 13. Reversals – CRP 0, ICH 2. Escapes – CRP 11, ICH 9. Nearfall points – CRP 2, ICH 6. Penalty points (awarded) – CRP 1, ICH 2. Total match points – CRP 40, ICH 47.

Western Dubuque 40, Iowa City High 21

(Individual takedowns in parentheses)

106 pounds – Wood-Finley (ICH) pinned Max Clasen, 1:16 (1,0); 113 – Dawson Bierman (WD) dec. Hayden, 14-8 (4,2); 120 – Carter Newton (ICH) tech. fall Campbell Conway, 23-7 (4,0); 126 – Trent Busch (WD) dec. Bormann, 6-2 (2,0); 132 – Mitchell (ICH) dec. Dakota Lau, 6-2 (3,0); 138 – Jared Cordes (WD) pinned Ceynar, 3:58 (1,1); 145 – Caven (ICH) major dec. Tony Lyon, 12-4 (4,0); 152 – Hefley (ICH) dec. Elijah Demmer, 6-0 (2,0); 160 – Ryker Kurimski (WD) pinned Kevin Berg, :48 (1,0); 170 – Jake Hosch (WD) major dec. Lalla, 12-4 (4,0); 182 – Carter Kluesner (WD) pinned Ring, :45 (2,0); 195 – Devin Ludwig (WD) pinned Drake Patterson, :49 (1,0); 220 – Jason Simon-Ressler (WD) pinned Lemus, 3:36 (1,0); Hwt. – Double Forfeit.

MEET STATISTICS

Takedowns - WD 16, ICH 17. Reversals – WD 5, ICH 1. Escapes – WD 12, ICH 12. Nearfall points – WD 11, ICH 19. Penalty points (awarded) – WD 0, ICH 1. Total match points – WD 65, ICH 68.

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

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