SIBLEY, Iowa -- After Trevor Schuller won his consolation match at 182 pounds, West Sioux coach Mark Van Oort couldn’t stop smiling.
Even though the Falcons, ranked No. 5 in 1A by The Predicament, were bringing a good contingent to the Class 1A district meet in Sibley on Saturday (10 wrestlers), Van Oort knew it was going to be a challenge to get a sizeable group to the state tournament with Woodbury Central, ranked No. 6, at the tournament along with plenty of other quality wrestlers.
So Van Oort was elated when eight of the 10 West Sioux wrestlers at the district qualified for the state tournament. Eight state qualifiers is the most in West Sioux history.
“I’ve said it all year, this is a special group of kids. These kids love to compete and love to perform,” Van Oort said. “They are most comfortable out there in this competition. I don’t see a lot of holes in what we did. There are times matches don’t go the direction you expect them to. We preach don’t worry about their points, focus on your next points because good kids are going to score points on you. We need to focus on scoring our points and coming out with more points on the scoreboard and that’s what we did today.
“It always hurts when you don’t get a couple but those guys came in here and wrestled their butts off as well. I was just really impressed, up and down our lineup, of how our kids showed up and wrestled.”
The Falcons had four district champions - Adam Allard (120), Dillon Lynott (132), Kory Van Oort (152) and Logan Koedam (195). Drayven Kraft (106), Cullen Koedam (113), Carson Lynott (138) and Trevor Schuller (182) were runners-up.
West Sioux won the district title with 138.5 points. Woodbury Central, which qualified five wrestlers for state, finished in second with 85 points.
Kory Van Oort and Woodbury Central’s Garrett Arment wrestled one of the best matches of the day for the 152-pound title. Arment got the first takedown but Van Oort came back to tie it and took the lead. Arment later tied the match and it went into overtime at 4-4. Neither wrestler scored in sudden victory. Van Oort started down in the ultimate tiebreaker and got a reverse. He later rode out Arment for the title.
“We saw Arment earlier in the year and I had a concept of where they were going to go in that match. They had a good strategy and they game-planned it. Fortunately, we knew where we were going to have to score our points,” Mark Van Oort said. “I’ve known Garrett for years and I hold him in high regard as a wrestler and as a person. Those two wrestled a great match with a lot of great sportsmanship. I think they both have the ability to do well in Des Moines.”
Logan Koedam had a dominating day on the mat. He won by fall in 35 seconds to start the day, the 150th victory of his career, and he won the title match by a 15-0 tech fall.
“I knew my 150 was coming up and I couldn’t let that get in the way of my mindset of dominating every match. I felt really good about my performance today,” Koedam said. “We are peaking well at the right time. The whole team is performing well today. It’s great training and this is what we expect. We wrestled well.
“I want to be at the top (next week) and I feel I can be at the top. With the practice partners I have and all of the coaches pushing us to be the best, I feel the whole team is doing that.”
West Sioux junior Adam Allard, a two-time state champion, qualified for state again and remains undefeated at 52-0. He won his first match by fall in 55 seconds and won the 120-pound title by fall in 1:35.
At 132, Dillon Lynott won his first round match by fall in 3:01. In the finals, East Sac County’s Nathan Thomsen gave Lynott all he could handle. Thomsen went up 2-0 in the first period but Lynott got a reversal and back points right at the end of the first period. From there, Lynott held off Thomsen, who finished as the runner-up, for a 9-4 decision to qualify for state for the third time.
“I just told myself I had to stay calm. I just knew I had to push through it. (The end of the first period) was a huge confidence booster,” Lynott said. “The second I felt him come high, I knew it would be there. It’s just another idea of what I will see at state and that’s exactly what I needed to see.”
The Falcons are sending three freshmen to the state tournament - Kraft, Cullen and Carson Lynott.
“I think that’s pretty exciting. Those three guys will make their first trip and all three are going as runners-up so that means we have some things to clean up,” Van Oort said. “We have to evaluate the points scoring strategies that we took into those matches. But the future is bright at West Sioux.”
It was the senior group that impressed Van Oort the most on Saturday and made his job a bit easier. Neddy Montes didn’t qualify for the district tournament but we there for support and he helped prep Kraft and Schuller for their wrestleback matches to get to state. Kory Van Oort and Logan Koedam was also coaching both Kraft and Schuller before their matches.
“They were out here talking to them and making sure they were getting fluids and good nutrition. You can’t say enough good things about Neddy and Kory and Logan as they were out here getting them ready for those matches to make sure we did advance eight,” Mark Van Oort said. “Brandon Schuller wrestled one of his best matches and finished third. I am just so proud of these wrestlers and I am excited about next week. I think it’s going to be a big week for us.”
For Woodbury Central, Beau Klingensmith (113), Nate Monahan (138), Wade Mitchell (145) won district titles and Tristen Jessen (126) and Arment were runners-up.
At 106 pounds, Akron-Westfield’s Jader Briggs won the district title.
Also for the Westerners, John Henrich’s quest for a third state title and undefeated record in Iowa stays intact as he won the 160-pound title.
At 120, Hinton’s Aiden Christiansen was the runner-up.
Sibley-Ocheyedan’s Trey Schuck won the 126-pound title and qualified for state for the third time. He’s now 43-2 on the season and ranked No. 6.
At 170 pounds, East Sac County’s Garret Bruce upset Western Christian’s Tristan Mulder, who is ranked No. 7, with a 7-6 decision. Mulder wound up as the runner-up. East Sac County’s Kipp Corbin was the runner-up at 285.
At 182, Alta-Aurelia’s Alex De Roos won the title, his first time qualifying for state. Teammate Nick Gaes had a dominating day as the second-ranked 220-pounder won the title in 2:42. Gaes is 37-0 on the season.
Westwood’s Zach Adams was the runner-up at 195 pounds and teammate Trenton Dirks, ranked No. 10, won the 285-pound by fall in 1:08.
West Lyon’s Easton Fleshman was the runner-up at 220.