116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Connor Murray has grown up around the Cedar Rapids Xavier wrestling program.
His father, Kevin, has been a longtime Saints assistant and family have helped with the X-Men youth club, which serves as a feeder to the high school program.
Murray owns numerous memories from the many practices and competitions over the years.
“I think going through all this ever since I was little,” Murray said, “it has been the best time.”
He produced one more memorable moment Thursday night, recording a pin in his final home dual and helping Xavier to a 52-30 Mississippi Valley Conference dual victory over Waterloo East on Senior Night at Ron Thillen Gymasium.
“It felt great,” Murray said. “Just for it to be my last (home) meet, to go out there and get a win.”
As Murray came off the mat and passed the bench, he was greeted by his dad. The pair exchanged a quick moment that included a congratulatory hug. A cap to an emotional night.
“It just means a lot to me for him being my coach and father,” Murray said. “It all comes together in one.”
Chambers said he was happy for Murray and wanted to send all the seniors out with a win. Classmates Christian Stanek (160) and Nate Westhoff (220) also earned victories for the Saints.
“It was an emotional win for Connor and for us,” Chambers said of the coaches. “As a team, it was nice to see the seniors go out with a win.
“Connor’s was extra special.”
Murray built an 18-6 lead before pinning John Sailor in 4:27 at 145. He tallied six takedowns, four nearfall points and a reversal.
“He wrestled lights out, I thought,” Chambers said. “He was doing some things that didn’t surprise us because we see it in practice, but to see it in a match was impressive.”
Third-ranked Stanek was dominant. The three-time state medalist built a 7-2 advantage and stuck Cadin Hermann in just 3:27. Stanek, who is attempting to become Xavier’s first four-time state placewinner, improved to 31-3 this season.
Xavier won nine weight classes, receiving five forfeits. Ronan Thomas won by fall at 138 and Ryan Hoeger added a major decision at 120 for the Saints.
Georvon Tyler (132), William Clark (152), Eli Sallis (170) DeMaris Henderson at 182 and 195-pounder Lawrence Taylor III each had pins for the Trojans.
AT C.R. XAVIER
C.R. Xavier 52, Waterloo East 30
(Individual takedowns in parentheses)
106 pounds - Kale Leymaster (CRX) won by forfeit; 113 - Joe Schmitz (CRX) won by forfeit; 120 - Ryan Hoefer (CRX) major dec. Ricardo Rios, 15-7 (3,2); 126 - Adam Cook (CRX) won by forfeit; 132 - Georvon Tyler (WE) pinned Lucas Osterhaus, 3:24 (1,2); 138 - Ronan Thomas (CRX) pinned Ryan Strong, 3:29 (1,1); 145 - Connor Murray (CRX) pinned John Sailor, 4:27 (6,0); 152 - William Clark (WE) pinned Jean Ngoma, 4:54 (3,0); 160 - Christian Stanek (CRX) pinned Cadin Hermann, 3:27 (3,0); 170 - Eli Sallis (WE) pinned T.J. Cook, 2:17 (2,0); 182 - DeMaris Henderson (WE) pinned Justin Adams, 4:15 (2,0); 195 - Lawrence Taylor III (WE) pinned Ben Volk, 1:00 (1,0); 220 - Nate Westhoff (CRX) won by forfeit; Hwt. - Caiden Tresnak (CRX) won by forfeit.
Takedowns - Waterloo East 12, C.R. Xavier 15. Reversals - Waterloo East 1, C.R. Xavier 4. Escapes - Waterloo East 11, C.R. Xavier 5. Nearfall points - Waterloo East 11, C.R. Xavier 11. Penalty points (awarded) - Waterloo East 0, C.R. Xavier 1. Total match points - Waterloo East 48, C.R. Xavier 55.