TIPTON - Having already produced one of the greatest dual meet campaigns in school history this winter, Anamosa wrestling coach Trever Greene wanted to see his team continue to rise up the ladder competing at the River Valley Conference tournament Saturday, Feb. 1, in Tipton.
“Overall, I thought we wrestled extremely well,” said Greene, as his team not only claimed to individual championships, but also scored an impressive 149.5 points to place fifth against the talented 14-team field.
“We’re making progress as a program, and that’s what we want to see every year. Last year as were ninth and this year we finished fifth. We’re moving up and we’re going to continue to move up. For a while we were in the tournament top-3, but just couldn’t quite hang on to that at the end. We needed to score a few more points from out backside guys and we just didn’t get that done, but overall we’re a program on the rise and that’s right where we want to be.”
Alex Casey (152-pounds) and Connor Andresen (heavyweight) scored individual championships for the Raiders while Dominic Haas (170) also advanced to the finals.
“Alex is really clicking right now and wrestling really well,” Greene said. “He dominated his bracket as a No. 1 seed should and he took care of business and did what we all knew he could do.”
Casey (33-5 record), after receiving a first-round bye, opened with a 1:46 pin win over Camanche’s Nolyn Johnson in the 152-pound quarterfinals before cruising past Monticello’s Bo Kramer posting an 18-3 technical fall.
In the finals Casey continued to roll pinning Wilton’s Kaden Shirk in a mere 3:13 for the title.
Andresen (34-6) was equally as impressive pinning his way to the top spot closing with a quick 49-second rout over Mid-Prairie’s Gannon Callahan in the heavyweight championship round.
Andresen opened with a 1:45 quarterfinal fall over West Liberty’s Ramon Martinez before defeating Wilton’s Briggs Hartley with a 1:21 pin in the semis.
“Connor wrestled for a little over three minutes total in this tournament,” Greene said. “That was one impressive performance, he simply dominated, and did it coming into the tournament as the No. 3 seed, too.
“That didn’t matter to Connor though, he just went out and took care of business showing who was the real No. 1 heavyweight wrestler.”
Haas (18-11) made a somewhat surprising run to the championship round at 170 before being handed a 1:31 pin loss against Northeast’s Ty Schmidy. Haas opened with a 1:14 pin win over Tipton’s Carson Charves before pulling a huge upset pinning Cascade’s Cade Rausch with an impressive 1:56 fall in the semi-final round.
“Dominic kind of came out of nowhere and really made a name for himself at this tournament,” said Greene, as Haas finished third overall. “I’m not too sure too many people saw that coming, but it sure didn’t surprise us. We knew what he was capable of and when he goes out and has confidence in himself, he can accomplish anything.”
Mitch Engelbart was busy on the mat wrestling five times at the tournament, going 4-1 overall at 138-pounds to place third for the Anamosa team.
“Mitch got off to a great start with a couple of pins and made it to the semis before being handed a pin loss,” Greene said. “Mitch didn’t let that affect him though, coming back to get third.”
Engelbart (29-11) was impressive in pin wins over Durant’s Nathan Moomey (3:18) and Tipton’s Brandon Hines (3:28) to get his first round and quarterfinal rounds started, but was handed a 2:23 pin loss against Camanche’s Brennan Kramer in the semi-finals.
Engelbart came right back, and in the consolation rounds pinned Bellevue’s TyQuan Strowder (1:56) and Cascade’s Hunter Vogel (5:28) to scored third-place points for the Anamosa team.
Aaron Casey (29-9) placed fourth at 120 picking up wins over West Liberty’s Joe Barten (5:53) and Wilton’s Lucas Dora (12-4) before being handed a semi-final setback against Camanche Ben Vogel (1:35) and a third-place match 1:00 loss against Monticello’s Owen Ray.
Nathan Keating had an historic start to his tournament, as his quarterfinal 13-4 triumph at 160-pounds over Camanche’s Cade Everson was the 100th of his brilliant career on his way to a fourth-place finish in the class.
“Nate was wrestling in a stacked 160-pound class,” Greene said. “In the semi-final Esmoil got Nate on his back and he got stuck, but it was a great day for him getting his 100th win as a junior. That’s pretty impressive.”
West Liberty’s Will Esmoil, ranked No. 1 in the state, handed Keating (36-6) a 3:52 pin loss before the Raider junior bounced back to pin Tipton’s Skylar Schmidt in a mere 1:21 in the consolation semi-final.
In the 160 third-place match, Everson handed Keating a 37-second pin setback.
Cole Sigler gave the Anamosa team a seventh member to stand on the podium at the end of the tournament, finishing fifth at 220.
Sigler (10-11) opened with a 3:01 pin loss against Tipton’s Nile Schuett before coming back to pin Camanche’s Ethan Middendorp in 1:07. After being handed a 9-3 loss against Northeast’s Peyton McLane Sigler closed his day with a 3-2 decision over Cascade’s Kodey Miles in the fifth-place match.
Tysen Gravel (22-17), Caleb Bowser (18-17), Sam Norris (11-12), Jordan Brown (12-18) and Alex Shover (20-24) all took to the mats at the conference tournament as well helping the Raiders defeat Mid-Prairie (127 points), Monticello (118.5), Cascade (92), North Cedar (78), Iowa City Regina (53), Northeast (42), Bellevue (31), Durant (24) and West Branch (10).
West Liberty claimed the River Valley Conference team title scoring 211.5 points while Camanche was runner-up with a 200.5-point total. Host Tipton was third (165) while Wilton was fourth (158.5).
Anamosa opened their week picking up a pair of dual meet triumphs at Midland Tuesday, Jan. 28.
The Raiders opened with a 59-20 victory over the host Eagles as Robert Scranton, Mason Padgett, Alex Casey, Haas and Andresen all posted wins on the mat while Bowser, Engelbart, Coleman Dimmer, Shover and Sigler were all handed forfeit wins.
Anamosa looked to keep their dual meet winning ways going against Waterloo West, but were edged in a narrow 41-39 final.
“We just seemed to be off our game a little and it cost us,” Greene said. “I’m not sure what it was either, but we just seemed a little flat. We did have a few good matches in the dual, but just not enough to be able to get the win I thought we should have had.”
Haas, Sigler, Andresen, Casey and Keating all came through with pin wins while Engelbart added a decision triumph and Gravel a forfeit.
The final dual of the night saw the Raiders rally for a 52-30 triumph over Cascade, though the Cougars did win five of the seven bouts that took place on the mat.
“Again, we did not wrestle well even though we got the win,” Greene said. “We need to show up with the right mindset every time out, and we didn’t have it in this one.”
Keating and Haas came through with the lone wins on the mat for the Raiders while Shover, Andresen, Scranton, Aaron Casey, Engelbart and Alex Casey were all handed forfeit victories.
The win over Cascade allowed Anamosa to close their conference dual record at 10-1, tying with Monticello and Camanche for the North division title.