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Redhawk wrestling opens first season in 25 years

Redhawk wrestling opens first standalone season in 25 years

December 6, 2018
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

North Tama wrestling is back and appeared ready to compete as they started off their season with duals against Aplington-Parkersburg and Union on Thursday, Nov. 29 and then battled in a tournament in Jesup on Saturday.

The Redhawks' first standalone season in 25 years did not get off to an easy start as they opened with the Union Knights with a fuller roster and State placewinners already warmed up from their first match again A-P. The Knights were awarded 30 straight points in the first five rounds off forfeits and falls before giving up their own forfeit and eventually Cory Isenhower scrapped together a 4-3 winning decision. Zade Podhasky would be the Redhawks only other win as he pinned his opponent in 1:50. Though North Tama lost 63-15, coach Andrew Knaack was pleased to take on Union right out of the gate.

"It's not fun to come in immediately and run into a buzzsaw like Union," Knaack said. "They are a good team and this dual was a learning experience for our boys to wrestle one of the top teams in the state."

Article Photos

Chase Morrison goes for a pin against his A-P opponent during North Tama’s first dual on Thursday, Nov. 29.

A more friendly match-up followed as the Redhawks took on the host Falcons next. Two early forfeits gave North Tama a quick lead before Brecken Payne pinned his opponent in 5:13 after an A-P pin the match before. Izach Henson followed suit in the 152 lbs match as he pinned his guy in 43 seconds. A-P would score the next 15 points before Chase Morrison came back after a difficult first match against Union to pin his opponent in a mere 35 seconds in the 195 lbs class. Xander Bradley was able to seal the deal for North Tama in the 285 lbs match to give North Tama their first dual win despite a subsequent pin and forfeit 36-33.

"It was great to have enough pride to bounce back and win our second dual," Knaack said. "The fight they had after realizing what Union just did to them and then turn around to do the same to A-P shows a lot. We scored first and tried to pin guys."

North Tama's first dual meet puts them at 1-1 early in the season Knaack continues to learn more about this team, and the team learn how to compete for their coach. While not all weights are filled, more will see wrestlers compete later on.

"I knew we were coming into this with three forfeits, but once we hit our own first dual meet it will be exciting to only have one forfeit," Knaack said. "We'll still be short of a full roster, but it will be exciting to have North Tama back in the gym."

The Redhawks continued their young season as they competed in a tournament in Jesup, placing third out of ten teams with 179 points. Podhajsky and Chase Morrison found the top of the podium in the 182 and 195 weight classes respectively, with Cory Isenhower runner-up in 160 lbs and Ashton Bradley taking third place in the 138 lbs class.

"This isn't our final destination and we'll be completely different by the end of the year," Knaack said. "Going forward, we need to learn to be more physical, compete hard. In our first dual, we took a backseat to placewinners at Union, so we have to go out and wrestle confidently. It's exciting to get this first dual win and tournament out of the way."

The Redhawks will host their own meet against AGWSR, Waterloo Columbus and Baxter on Thursday, Dec. 6 before hitting the road for a tournament at Oelwein High School against Starmont, Waterloo East, Edgewood-Colesburg, Clayton Ridge, Jesup and the host on Saturday.



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