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Redhawk wrestling blasted by Denver, Hudson

January 25, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

The North Tama wrestling program traveled to Hudson on Thursday, Jan. 17 to take on the host Pirates and the top-ranked Denver Cyclones as both teams handled the Redhawks on the mat.

"I was just hoping to compete tonight," coach Andrew Knaack said. "Denver is the number one team in the state and there's a reason. Hudson was a better match-up for us and we were excited to take them on."

Denver made it a rough day for Redhawk wrestlers not named Morrison as the Cyclones dominated 69-12, with all wins coming by pin, technical all or forfeit as North Tama had the 113 lbs and 220 lbs classes open. Chase Morrison opened the dual on a high note with a pin in 2:39 minutes, but it wouldn't be until his cousin, Tyler, would put the Redhawks into the win column in the very last match of the day at 182 pounds.

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Chase Morrison lifts his Denver opponent up for a slam. The senior would be on the only Redhawk wrestler with a win in both duals against Denver and Hudson.

"They got after us right away and some of us backed down," Knaack said. "We needed to compete and be ready to go. I don't know if that's on me or them. We can't take a backseat to anyone we face and need more heart."

While the Redhawks continued to forfeit their open weights against host Hudson, the Pirates balanced things out with forfeits at 106 lbs and 120 lbs, yet took control in matches throughout the evening to win 52-30 on their Senior Night. Cory Isenhower had the first pin for the Redhawks after Hudson took a 34-12 lead. Zade Podhajsky came back from an early loss to Denver to pin his opponent at 170 lbs. Chase Morrison would be the only Redhawk with a win in both duals as he pinned his opponent in three minutes to end the night.

"We're still at a point we are trying to instill more fight in them and keep moving," Knaack said. "A lot of times when something doesn't go our way, we give up positions. We started off excited for Hudson and had more success."

A majority of their wins on Thursday came from seniors, and Knaack remarked they have been good leaders as the program shifted back to North Tama going alone for the first time in 25 years.

"They have taken the program and made it their own," Knaack said. "Truly, all of us were freshman this year with just being North Tama and we were learning what was expected all over again. The seniors didn't argue or back-talk to me. They fall in line and have done a lot to get the excitement back for North Tama."

The Redhawks hosted one last tournament for the season on Saturday before traveling to Baxter for their final regular season dual against Don Bosco, North Mahaska and host Baxter. Sectionals will take place on Saturday, Feb. 2 at Clarksville.

"We had some success early because people didn't know who we were," Knaack said. "Along comes success, people start to find out who you are and they wrestle differently against you when you have success. When you're Cory Isenhower and you've gone 24-9 so far, people start paying attention. Now, we have to realize we need to do the same thing to teams that Denver did to us tonight."



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