ANAMOSA - The Anamosa wrestling team hasn’t had too many opportunities to wrestle on the home mat this season.
Amazingly, that hasn’t seemed to hinder the Raiders as they continue to produce dual triumphs at a dizzying, dare I say school-record pace.
The winning ways continued at home Thursday, Jan. 23, much like they have everywhere else this winter, with Anamosa dominating visiting Bellevue, Clayton Ridge and Davenport Central.
“It was Senior Night and what a way to send out a great class of kids than with a perfect night of winning,” said Raider wrestling coach Trever Greene, as his team opened the night with a lopsided 61-12 rout over the Comets.
“Mitch got things going celebrating his 100th career win with a hard-fought match. We had a big crowd on hand and it was a great night for Mitch, not only getting his 100th win, but also being a senior and celebrating it all with his home fans is a great way to go out.”
Engelbart battled his way to a 9-7 decision over Bellevue’s TyQuan Strowder at 138-pounds, while teammates Aaron Casey (1:38), Tysen Gravel (1:40), Nathan Keating (2:30) and Alex Shover (2:54) all added pin wins for the home team.
Alex Casey came through with a 14-6 major decision win for Anamosa while Dalton Soper, Connor Andresen, Sam Norris and Jordan Brown all scored forfeit triumphs for the Raiders in the big opening match blowout.
The continued to lopsided victories with another against Clayton Ridge, using seven forfeits to roll to a 53-18 win.
Bowser (20-3) and Shover (53-seconds) scored the lone two wins on the mat for the Raiders as Clayton Ridge claimed three of the five total bouts that played out on the mat.
Anamosa completed the sweep with a 51-24 triumph against Davenport Central.
After falling into a 12-0 hole, the hosts answered with Aaron Casey coming through with a 2:37 pin win over Mason Padgett and Engelbart were handed forfeit wins to give the Raiders an 18-12 lead.
After the Blue Devils scored at pin win at 145-pounds, Anamosa took control of the match as Alex Casey (3:36), Keating (1:44) and Brown (3:36) all posted huge pin wins and the hosts never looked back winning six of the final seven bouts.
Shover (4:57), Cole Sigler (2-1) and Andresen (3:42) closed out the match with victories and sent the seniors home winners once again.
“It was a special night for our seniors,” said Greene, as the team not only honored Engelbart, Norris, Cameron Breashears and Coleman Dimmer, but also girls’ wrestlers Jordyn Erickson and Serina Norte and managers Kaylyn Bonney and Autumn Kirby.
“This class has helped turn the Anamosa wrestling program around the last few years. We went from a program that wasn’t used to winning a lot of dual events, to one that expects to win every night. It started with this class and we’re all going to miss them.”
While the team celebrated their seniors on Thursday, the group was back on the home mat on Saturday, Jan. 25, taking part at the annual Denny Christenson tournament, where once again the hosts turned in an outstanding performance.
“We had three first-place finishes and two seconds, not too bad,” said Greene. “We finished second in the team standings to Columbus and overall had guys stepping up to score us team points from up and down the roster. That’s the kind of depth I like to see from our team, not just have a few guys we have to count on for fall the wins and scoring, but everyone getting involved.”
Aaron Casey, Keating and Andresen all came through with individual championships for the Raiders at the round-robin event while Engelbart and Alex Casey scored runner-up finishes.
Aaron Casey cruised through his 120-pound bracket posting wins over Iowa City Liberty’s Ian Brownsberger (8-2), Northwood-Kensett’s Monte Sims (5:12), Columbus’ Brody Barton (2:53) and finally Starmont’s Dawson Zobac (7-5).
Keating did the same at 170, pinning Columbus’ Noah Freeman (2:39) and Starmont’s Eli Elledge (48-seconds).
Andersen also only wrestled twice, but like Keating, also dominated pinning Northwood-Kensett’s Ethan Thofson (38-seconds) and Starmont’s Ricky Garcia (1:10) at heavyweight.
Alex Casey just missed a title at 152-pounds, dropping a hard-fought 8-7 decision against Columbus’ sixth-ranked Cameron Rice before opening with pin wins over Northwood-Kensett’s Brandon Varner (1:57) and Iowa City Liberty’s Elijah Terwilliger (1:51).
Engelbart scored Anamosa’s other runner-up performance, going 3-1 at the tournament dropping only a 3:11 pin setback against Northwood-Kensett’s Drake Tiedermann in the final. Engelbart started his 138-pound tournament with three straight wins against Starmont’s Hayden Becker (1:12), Iowa City Liberty’s Ethan Armstrong (53-seconds) and Starmont’s Bowen Munger (5-3).
Norris came through with a 3-2 overall record and placed third on the day at 145 while Bowser was also third after finishing with a 2-2 mark at 126.
Austin Kirby and Shover posted wins on the day to take third at 182 and 195, respectively while Carson Andresen tallied an 0-2 mark at 160 to take third in the class.
Gravel (106), Sigler (195) and Soper (220) all placed fourth at the event while Breashears (138) and Mark Hanson (182) scored wins and added fifth-place points for the hosts.
Columbus Community claimed the Denny Christenson tourney team title scoring 127.5 points while Anamosa defeated Northwood-Kensett (116 points), Starmont (88.5), North Cedar (77.5), Iowa City Liberty (72) and Central City (43).
The Raiders’ extremely busy week started with an extremely tough test at class 1A second-ranked Lisbon Monday, Jan. 20.
“This was an eye-opener for us,” said Greene, as Anamosa opened the night with a lopsided 78-0 loss at the hands of the host Lions.
“It was fun to see how some of our guys responded in this dual with a team like Lisbon, and so many state-ranked wrestlers. Some of our guys did go out there and fight hard. Others were kind of shell-shocked, but this was a good dual. Lisbon is a team we would like to become someday.”
Going against a Lisbon team that includes nine state-ranked wrestlers, including four at No. 1, the Raiders went winless, though the dual wasn’t without some highlights.
“Alex Casey, Nathan and Connor all fought hard and pushed their opponents,” Greene said. “Alex Casey’s and Nathan’s matches were the only ones that ended end in a pin, but Connor still wrestled really tough against the Lisbon (fourth-ranked Brant Baltes) kid.”
Anamosa bounced back and defeated Maquoketa 42-33 as Gravel, Alex Casey, Keating and Kirby all posted wins on the mat while Bowser, Engelbart and Norris scored forfeit wins.
The Raiders closed the night with a tough 46-34 loss against Cedar Rapids Xavier, winning four (Aaron Casey, Norris, Alex Casey and Keating) of the seven bouts on the mat while Andresen and Gravel added forfeit points.
“Not a good way to close the night,” Greene said. “We beat this team at Xavier’s dual tournament a month ago but this time came out flat and just not ready to wrestle.”