SIOUX CENTER, Iowa | Brady Schweitzberger is just a freshman but it took him all of one quadrangular to make his mark.
The Woodbury Central 126-pounder won three matches, including the final two by pin while tied or trailing in the match, to help the Wildcats open the 2017-18 season with a 3-0 record.
"It is a great story about getting kids involved and what getting kids involved and making them feel like they are part of it and working hard in the room is," Woodbury Central Coach Jake Thomas said. "You saw the way the crowd got into those matches and they were jacked up for him. He did his part to go out there and get those matches."
The Wildcats downed Sioux City East 52-20 in a battle of unbeatens after both started the night with wins over Akron-Westfield and Sioux Center, but when things got interesting it was Schweitzberger that turned momentum back in favor of Woodbury Central.
The Wildcats started strong against the Black Raiders getting back-to-back pins from Jim Moss at 182 and Nathan Lister at 195. The Wildcats' Sean Parks then found himself down 2-0 early to Dalton Dwyer at 220, but a turn made it 3-2 for Parks on his way to the 6-2 victory.
East would get its first points when Patrick Conley pinned Zach Thomas in 46 seconds at heavyweight, but freshman and third-ranked (1A) Beau Klingensmith capped a 3-0 debut with a pin over Kale Anderson in 1:28 at 106.
East's ninth-ranked (3A) Sean Heeney earned a 13-5 major decision at 113 and Rafe McClendon recorded a 14-1 major decision at 120 to pull the Black Raiders within 21-14.
"Some of old-timers did a good job but the reality part of it is some of our seniors still have to find themselves and a couple sophomores still doubting," East Coach Vince Pederson said. "I thought we wrestled pretty well, but reality is in the third match rolls started going the other way and our kids just did not respond."
Schweitzberger turned the momentum as he found himself trailing 5-4 to Johnny Gomez Morales when he got the turn and earned the pin in 3:40.
"Carter Schultzen is going to try to do both (basketball and wrestling) for us, but he was doing basketball tonight," Thomas said. "Brady filled in and had an awesome night for us."
From there the Wildcats rolled.
Nate Monahan earned a pin in 1:37 at 132 before the match of the night saw No. 5 Wade Mitchell give up an early takedown to East's Alex Kleider at 145. Mitchell would get a takedown before the end of the first period to go up 3-2 and increased his lead to 8-5 after two. He ended the match with a 15-7 major decision.
"You want to see a tough kid like that and you want to see that kid come at us right away," Thomas said. "I know Wade was getting frustrated with all that blood time (from a bloody nose) because he wants to push the pace. To see him have to deal with several elements and still wrestle his match anyway is good."
No. 9 Garrett Arment finished a 3-0 night -- all pins in the first period -- with a pin of Aman Dean in 36 seconds. Anthony Baird had a 12-8 decision and Jake Dennison ended the dual with a pin in 3:31.
"Garrett is excited to do some wrestling this year," Thomas said. "It speaks to the whole group, and this group enjoys being around each other so much. It is a workman-like attitude to all of it and they embrace it.
"I was pleased with the effort tonight but we have a lot of technique to clean up. I was pleased with the effort tonight and I think we controlled the pace of a lot of those matches that we wanted to. I can't fault them for the intensity."
"We were able to nip them last year but you roll the wrong way and give up six instead of get six that is what happens," Pederson said. "Woodbury Central wrestled very well tonight."
Woodbury Central recorded five pins and a pair of technical falls in its opening dual against Akron-Westfield in the 58-15 victory.
Klingensmith picked up takedowns and tilts to race out to an 11-3 first-period lead on his way to the 18-3 technical fall in his first high school match at 106. Monahan, Mitchell and Arment went pin, technical fall and pin starting at 138 to close out the dual.
The Westerners got a pin in 1:30 from top-ranked and defending state champion John Henrich as he bumped up to 170, and the Westerners also got a pin from Christian Wolthuizen at 195.
The Black Raiders opened their season with an 58-18 win over Sioux Center winning nine of 10 matches at one point. All of East's victories came by bonus points in the dual getting pins from Dawson DeBell (170), Drew Walters (195), Dwyer (220), Anderson (106), McClendon (126) and Angel Morales (138).
East also picked up a 55-21 win over the Westerners despite falling behind 18-0 at the start. Henrich, Brady Bergman and Wolthuizen all recorded pins for A-W, but East would get a pin from Dwyer and a forfeit at 285 before Anderson earned a 6-2 win over Jader Briggs at 106. Another forfeit made it 21-18 Black Raiders and they were on their way to the victory.
Sioux Center made its charge against the Wildcats with back-to-back pins from Adam Mohning at 220 and Uriel Jara at 285 to give the Warriors a 15-11 lead. Klingensmith would respond for Woodbury Central with a pin at 106, and a Sioux Center forfeit at 113 gave some breathing room before the Warriors' Jaren Pierce scored a technical fall at 120.
The Wildcats would take control when Schweitzberger turned a 6-6 match with Logan Pitsenberger into six points for Woodbury Central with a pin in 3:19. The Wildcats would win three of the final five matches to take the dual 47-32.
Sioux Center would pick up the 45-34 win over Akron-Westfield in the final dual.