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Individual wrestlers push Redhawks through second week

December 19, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

North Tama wrestling may have open weights affecting their ability to win duals, yet the Redhawks continued to see individual success at a meet in Ackley on Thursday, Dec. 12 and a tournament in Oelwein on Saturday, Dec. 14.

"We performed well and lost on the fact teams got more forfeits than we did," coach Andrew Knaack said. "The dual results are not what we want, but there's nothing we can do with forfeiting four weight classes."

The Redhawks kicked off the meet against host AGWSR, forfeiting three weights in addition to a double forfeit at 220 lbs. The Cougars would secure the first eighteen points of the dual, including two pins, before Jay Hill would secure the first North Tama fall in the first period at 195 lbs. Zane Nelson would emerge out of hard-fought battle with 6-5 decision at 132 lbs and Sam Snyder a pin at 138 lbs. Cory Isenhower would the Redhawks their final pin at 152 lbs, yet the forfeits spelled the 42-33 loss for North Tama.

Article Photos

Cory Isenhower pins AGWSR's Ben Puente at a quad meet in Ackley on Thursday, Dec. 12. Photo courtesy of Kristi Nixon, Mid-America Publishing.

North Tama squared off next with Columbus Catholic and quickly found themselves down 24-0 via two forfeits while Hill and Clay Herschberger suffered falls. 24 of North Tama's 27 points would come by forfeit, yet it would be the final three points in Noah Weber's 5-4 win that would be counted as a win in Knaack's book.

"Zane really had to fight through that match to get the win," Knaack said. "Noah beat a really good kid from Columbus. It's hard to say anything about guys that got forfeits, but we competed against these two teams."

The Redhawks would score a dominant 54-6 win over Baxter with five pins and only a single forfeit allowed to the shorthanded Bolts. Hill would come back from a loss against the Sailors to pin his Baxter opponent in 12 seconds.

The 2019 Oelwein Invitational was next for the Redhawks as they finished seventh out of 11 teams with a score of 158, six points behind Waterloo East. Cale Bradley finished fifth at 113 lbs, followed by Nathan Kucera in sixth at 126 lbs, Nelson second at 132 lbs, Logan Rausch seventh at 138 lbs, Ashton Bradley sixth at 145 lbs. Isenhower fifth at 152 lbs, Hill fourth at 195 lbs, Xander Bradley fourth at heavyweight and Weber taking the championship title at 160 lbs.

"We just want to go out compete, beat some good kids," Knaack said. "Noah came up from finishing third at Jesup to winning at this tournament. Individuals like Zane, Xander Bradley are really competing as individuals and helping bring back individual championships these first few weeks."

North Tama is currently 2-3 in duals this season and have seen several wrestlers stand atop the podium between tournaments at Jesup and Oelwein.

"We are lightyears ahead of where we were last season technique-wise," Knaack said. "There are positions people are no able to wrestle out of this year and are able to handle adversity.

The Redhawks faced off against South Hardin-BCLUW, Belle Plaine and BGM on Tuesday, Dec 17 and will host Central Elkader, Dike-New Hartford and Jesup for a quad in Traer on Thursday, Dec. 19 for their last action before winter break.

"We want to pile up some wins going into break," Knaack said. "We really want to pack the gym for our only home dual of the season. We've got the band playing, the dance team performing and want to get as many people there as possible. It would be great to roll into Christmas break 3-0 on our own floor.

North Tama will return from break on Saturday, Jan. 4 with a home varsity tournament against Baxter, Collins-Maxwell, North Cedar, Riceville and WACO.



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