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L-S grapplers place sixth in SICL, Zylstra takes first (Hometown Press article)

posted Feb 2, 2018, 9:13 PM by Shane Ehresman

The L-S wrestlers traveled to Montezuma for the annual SICL Conference on Saturday, Jan. 27. With only five wrestlers on the Hawks’ lineup, they managed to send three of the five to the finals and crowned one champion. The Hawks ended up placing sixth out of 10 teams.

The Hawks were without senior Carson Dunsbergen, who has anemia, and freshman Lane Mathis, who has a back and rib injury.

“I was proud of the way the boys wrestled. Placing sixth with only five wrestlers is a big accomplishment for us. We have a lot to look forward to in the next couple weeks,” said Head Coach Jason Walston.

The one conference champion for the Hawks was senior Sage Zylstra at 170 pounds. Going into the meet, Zylstra only had 14 total matches all year with a record of 10-4. With a bye in the quarterfinal round, Zylstra went straight to the semis to face Xavier Anderson of Colfax-Mingo. Zylstra pinned Anderson in 1:23 to move on to the finals. In the finals, Zylstra got another first-period pin over Caleb Peach of English Valleys in 1:32 to be crowned conference champion.

Senior Cayden Johnson controls his opponent, Zech Boender of Sigourney, on his way to a pin in 1:42. Johnson placed second.

“It felt really good to be a conference champion,” Zylstra said. “After not being able to wrestle for a couple weeks, I knew that I was going to be a little out of shape. As far as the team goes, I think we did really good. Whenever a team shows up with only five wrestlers and place sixth, you know that those are five solid wrestlers. We have to keep pushing each other and getting better to make sure we have a lot of success next week at sectionals so we can move on.”

The Hawks had two other seniors make their way to the final round: Josh Dunsbergen at 138 pounds and Cayden Johnson at 152 pounds.

Senior Josh Dunsbergen takes down his opponent at the SICL meet at Montezuma last Saturday where he placed second.

Dunsbergen started off his day in the quarterfinal round, where he earned a win over Nick Ives of Sigourney, beating him 12-0. In the finals, Dunsbergen went against long-time rival Tyler Strasser of North Mahaska. Dunsbergen lost a close match, 3-0, to take second.

Johnson had forfeits until the semifinal round, where he pinned Zech Boender of Sigourney in 1:42. In the finals, Johnson wrestled Jaedon Probasco of Montezuma, who was 40-8 going into the meet. Johnson ended up getting pinned in 4:28 to place second.

“I think the team did pretty well overall at the conference meet,” Johnson said. “I did not finish how I planned, but the team and I have to keep working hard for the postseason.”

The other two wrestlers for the Hawks were junior Ben Van Wyk and freshman CJ Snethen.

Van Wyk only had two other wrestlers in his 113-pound weight bracket. Van Wyk lost in the semifinal round to Kodie Strong of Montezuma to end his day in third.

Snethen, at 120 pounds, placed fourth overall. He started out his day by pinning Joel Davis of North Mahaska in 1:16. In the semifinal round, Snethen got pinned by Seth Thompson of English Valleys in 1:51. In the consolation round, Snethen pinned Trey Streigel of Belle Plaine in 3:16 to wrestle for third. He then lost to Blake Mann of BGM in the third-place match to place fourth.

Junior Ben Van Wyk tries to turn over Kodie Strong of Monte-zuma. Van Wyk placed third in the SICL last Saturday at 113 pounds.