SPENCER, Iowa | The future flashed for Sergeant Bluff-Luton.
Of course, the present looked pretty good as well. The Warriors, who scored 211.5 points, crowned four champions in a five-weight span to win the first Austin Roberts Memorial Invitational here Saturday.
It wasn't just that SB-L crowned four champions, but it was who was winning those titles. Two freshman, a sophomore and a junior brought home championships.
"I have been waiting on a tournament where we can build on the success of each other," SB-L Coach Clint Koedam said. "This is one that I felt if our guys stayed together as a cohesive unit that success breeds success and one win is going to lead to another by another person."
It began with sophomore Nate Curry who controlled his match with Sibley-Ocheyedan's Mario Martinez en route to the 11-4 decision at 113 pounds.
That was followed by a pair of impressive freshmen performances kicked off by Jack Gaukel at 120. Gaukel built up a 4-0 lead on Eagle Grove senior Derek Graham before racking up three back points to go up seven. He would claim his first high school title with a 9-0 victory.
"It is a pretty big jump from middle school to high school and a lot of kids are going to be bigger, stronger, faster," Gaukel said. "The focus has been increasing my pace, scoring more points and looking for more falls and it has been paying off.
"With Nate getting in the finals, me, Isaac Bryan getting in the finals it is a nice 1-2-3 punch from 113 to 126. Just going in the room every day and scrapping trying to see where we are not so good and just fix those positions. Where we are good just keep honing that."
Isaac Bryan also brought home his first title, but he had to work for it as Sibley-Ocheyedan's Trey Schuck earned an escape in the final two seconds to force overtime. Bryan wasted no time as he fired in on a shot and scored the winning takedown for the 6-4 decision.
"I just had to attack, be aggressive, get that first shot off," said Bryan of his overtime mindset. "I wrestle a really aggressive style and so does he so I knew it was going to be a dogfight coming in here."
The final title for the Warriors came courtesy of junior Easton Graff as the No. 4-ranked (2A) wrestler handed Class 1A ninth-ranked Marvin Hildreth of West Monona the first loss of his season 3-0.
"I kept working at the end of the match ducking into some more shots," Graff said. "I think I should have won by more. I just need to work on some finishes and I will be right there next time."
The tournament was renamed for Roberts, a former Spencer wrestler, who died after suffering a medical issue while wrestling at this tournament in 2015. It was the first time the event was held since his death after last year's tournament was canceled because of weather.
"We didn't get to have this last year and we wanted to have a little more closure," Spencer co-head coach Adam Gress said. "It is a special day for sure. He is definitely watching now and probably thinking this big stink for me."
The biggest cheers of the day belonged to Spencer senior Brody Kacmarynski after he won the 160-pound bracket with a 12-4 major decision over SB-L's Bradyn Barclay. Kacmarynski was mobbed by his coaches and teammates after the emotional win.
"It was really great to win this one for Austin because I always think about him because I was there that night," Kacmarynski said. "It was great to go out there and wrestle for him ... I have actually won the Spencer tournament before like this in all my years."
Sibley-Ocheyedan's Jose Flores got the championship round started with a 10-4 win over Central Lyon/George-Little Rock's Cody Kramer at 106.
"I feel a lot stronger," said Flores of the difference from last season. "I am looking to create more of a gap and it is showing how much I am improving."
The Lions' third-ranked (2A) Gable Sieperda dominated his way to the title at 132, capping his day with a pin of Luverne's Tucker Oeltjenbruns in 3:10.
"Gable is just a kid that competes no matter what sport he is in, he is going to compete up to the best of his ability all the time," CL/GLR Coach Curtis Eben said. "Knowing Gable his goal is to win (a state title). That is his goal in everything he does. I am pretty sure if he is playing checkers or cards at home he is competing to win."
Lawton-Bronson's Austin Eilers, ranked third in 1A at 152, improved to 20-0 on the season with a 16-1 technical fall over Eagle Grove's Saxon Lyman.
Central Lyon/George-Little Rock, which finished second in the team race with 172, crowned a second champion with Kolten Bus at 182, and the Generals' third-ranked Hunter DeJong remained unbeaten with a pin of Humboldt's Hunter Egdorf at 195 in 3:40.