IDA GROVE, Iowa | Cash Wilcke thought it might be a bad dream. Perhaps just a bad joke.
It was neither as the OA-BCIG undefeated senior finally claimed the one title that had eluded him for so long, just not in the way he thought he would win his first Herb Irgens Invitational crown.
Wilcke pinned his way to the finals at 195 pounds before claiming his title when Independence’s Matt McMillan injury defaulted out of the match before it started.
“I just woke up from a nap so when I heard I thought they were just playing a joke on me,” said Wilcke of his reaction when he was told of the default. “I will take it.”
Wilcke, who picked up the 100th pin of his career during the tournament, spent a total of 2 minutes, 40 seconds on the mat during the two-day tournament.
Wilcke is now 30-0 on the season as he prepares to defend his state title before starting his college career at the University of Iowa.
“It was good to finally get this tournament and it was definitely one of the goals at the beginning of the year to win it,” said Wilcke, who still received a loud cheer from the home fans when his hand was raised.
Woodbury Central's Andrew Petersen dominated his way to the 220 title by handing second-ranked Rylan Richardson of South Central Calhoun his fist loss of the season with a 5-1 decision.
Petersen, ranked fourth, used some powerful takedowns to establish himself in the match.
"I knew I was going to control the ties and when he started taking shots I knew I could defend him,” Petersen said. “Once I hit that double leg – it was an explosive double leg – I impressed myself with that one. Didn’t think I had that in me, but it was awesome.”
It was a bit of redemption for Petersen, who suffered a significant medical issue after this tournament last season which ended his season early.
"This one meant a lot because last year everyone knows I came here and got herpes from it,” Petersen said. “I came back this year with my mind set that I was winning the whole thing. I knew it, I felt it because I came in the gym and saw the competition and just knew it.”
The most entertaining final of the night just might have taken place at 132 as Sibley-Ocheyedan's eighth-ranked Dylan Schuck outlasted Woodbury Central's third-ranked Lane Nichols 7-2 in the first tiebreaker.
With the match tied at 2-all late in the third period Nichols shot in deep on Schuck and seemed close to the takedown, but Schuck was able to fight it off with sheer determination. Another deep shot was fought off by Schuck in overtime before he took control in the tiebreaker thanks to a reversal and back points.
"It was really my freestyle experience there that helped me roll through and was able to not let him score on me,” Schuck said. “That is why I like to wrestle freestyle because it shows you all different kinds of scenarios.”
Schuck improved to 34-0 with the win.
Sergeant Bluff-Luton's third-ranked Brayden Curry made it look easy on his way to the 120-pound title. He had three pins and two technical falls to claim the title, including a 35 second pin in the finals over Independence's seventh-ranked Mitch Evens.
"For me it is having offense going at all times and scoring from all three phases,” Curry said. “I have good partners in the room and they are pushing me.
“I am just working toward a state title now because that road is getting shorter and shorter.”
Curry's title, along with fellow Warrior champion Preston Dunn at 138, helped SB-L to a fourth-place finish, the best of any Siouxland team. Tournament newcomers Independence and Solon enjoyed the cozy confines in Ida Grove as they finished 1-2 with Independence racking up 222 points to win.
The Generals had a pair of champions as No. 5 Trent Kruger staged a third-period rally to down Independence's No. 4 Jake Juhl 10-7 at 160. Sibley-Ocheyedan brought just six wrestlers to the tournament, placed four in the finals and had two champions.
Independence's top-ranked Chase Straw (152 pounds), Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton's undefeated and No. 1 Evan Hansen (182) and Solon's unbeaten Logan Linderbaum (285) all claimed titles during the 45th edition of the tournament.
Herb Irgens Invite
Team standings: Independence 220, Solon 162.5, Don Bosco 158.5, Sergeant Bluff-Luton 154, South Central Calhoun 144, Sibley-Ocheyedan 123, Pocahontas 119, Sioux Center 90, OA-BCIG 87, Woodbury Central 81.5, Cherokee 76, Carroll 61, Audubon 57, Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn 51.5, Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire 49, Okoboji 48, West Lyon 47.5, Southeast Valley 47, Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton, Spirit Lake Park 45, Akron-Westfield 40, Storm Lake 37, Woodbine 36, Kingsley_Pierson 33, Ridge View 33, Lawton-Bronson 16, Western Christian 15.
106: 1, Gable Fox, Don Bosco; 2, Shea Ruffridge, Pocahontas; 3, Jarrett Ott, Independence; 4, Christian Haight, Solon; 5, Jayden Gilge, Spirit Lake Park; 6, Seth Wright, Woodbine.
113: 1, Spencer Johnson, Southeast Valley; 2, Joe Minkler, Pocahontas; 3, Devin Phaly, Sergeant Bluff-Luton; 4, Jeremy Schmitz, Don Bosco; 5, Lance Else, Ridge View; 6, Dominick Titus, Okoboji.
120: 1, Brayden Curry, Sergeant Bluff-Luton; 2, Mitch Evens, Independence; 3, Mitchel Brinkman, Pocahontas; 4, Shane Funk, Woodbury Central; 5, Ben Carr, Solon; 6, Gavin Kramer, Spirit Lake Park.
126: 1, Nick Mangrich, Don Bosco; 2, Louis Gnida, Solon; 3, Jake Wulf, OA-BCIG; 4, Rhyker Sims, Sergeant Bluf-Luton; 5, Kolton Roth, Graettinger-Terril/RA; 6, Ben McDaniel, Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn.
132: 1, Dylan Schuck, Sibley-Ocheyedan; 2, Lane Nichols, Woodbury Central; 3, Drew Davis, Independence; 4, Colin Corey, South Central Calhoun; 5, James Dirkx, Carroll; 6, Cain Blenderman, Sergeant Bluff-Luton.
138: 1, Preston Dunn, Sergeant Bluff-Luton; 2, Jake Mulford, Audubon; 3, Cole Fox, Don Bosco; 4, Cole Fritz, Solon; 5, Sam Kastle, Carroll; 6, Alex Hoffman, Graettinger-Terril/RA.
145: 1, Brad Kerkhoff, Audubon; 2, Garrett Sayler, Sibley-Ocheyedan; 3, Kade Steuhm, Solon; 4, Elliot Ryan, Independence; 5, Keagan Putnam, Sergeant Bluff-Luton; 6, Kent Krager, OA-BCIG.
152: 1, Chase Straw, Independence; 2, Hunter Morrow, Cherokee; 3, Chris Paulsen, Don Bosco; 4, Graeson Dall, Solon; 5, Isaac Reis, Kingsley-Pierson; 6, Cody Schumacher, South Central Calhoun.
160: 1, Trent Kruger, Sibley-Ocheyedan; 2, Jake Kuhl, Independence; 3, Logan Peed, South Central Calhoun; 4, Trevor Nelson, Solon; 5, Kyle Benson, Sergeant Bluff-Luton; 6, Noah Bouse, Okoboji.
170: 1, Nick Holt, Independence; 2, Tyler Strong, Sergeant Bluff-Luton; 3, Noel Banuelos, Storm Lake; 4, Hunter Dejong, Sibley-Ocheyedan; 5, Daniel Sommerlot, Pocahontas; 6, Jeff King, South Central Calhoun.
182: 1, Evan Hansen, Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton; 2, Zayne Barrett, South Central Calhoun; 3, Mitchell Sandbulte, Sioux Center; 4, Conner Holmes, Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn; 5, Mason Meitzenhimer, Cherokee; 6, Reed Mitchell, Woodbury Central.
195: 1, Cash Wilcke, OA-BCIG; 2, Matt McMillan, Independence; 3, Zach Hickson, Don Bosco; 4, Ty Riley, South Central Calhoun; 5, Skylar Bonestroo, Western Christian; 6, Jed Van't Hof, West Lyon.
220: 1, Andrew Petersen, Woodbury Central; 2, Rylan Richardson, South Central Calhoun; 3, Dustin Brown, West Lyon; 4, Jason Grove, Independence; 5, Elijah Van't Hof, Sioux Center; 6, Montana Jackson, Akron-Westfield.
285: 1, Logan Lindenbaum, Solon; 2, Houston Coleman, Sibley-Ocheyedan; 3, Gabe Shafer, Woodbine; 4, Tyler Schick, Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn; 5, Colten Smolders, Sioux Center' 6, Zach Beyerink, Carroll.