SOLON - Over much of the past two decades, the Anamosa wrestling team has been known more for its individual talent rather than team accolades and dual meet triumphs.

      Over the last couple of years however, all of that has changed, as the Raiders’ success on the mat Friday, Jan. 3, at Maquoketa Valley and Saturday, Jan. 4, at Solon only confirmed.

      “We won seven dual meets in two days, not too bad for a couple days work,” said Anamosa wrestling coach Trever Greene, as his team played on back-to-back days and still went 7-1 overall.

      “It sure helps that we’ve finally got a full line-up. Over the last few years we always had to give away forfeit points and in close duals that would cost us wins. Now, we’re not doing that anymore and we’re winning on the mat with the talented guys we have on this team. It’s sure a lot more fun this way.”

      Anamosa was one of the most impressive teams at a loaded Solon dual tournament Saturday rolling to a 4-1 overall record on the day dropping their lone match to the host and class 2A fourth-ranked Spartans in the final dual of the evening that saw both teams come in with undefeated 4-0 records.

      “As well as we wrestled all day long, this was the one match I was pretty disappointed with,” said Greene, as the Raiders were handed a tough 59-24 setback. “We came into this match with a ton of momentum after coming back to beat Muscatine in a great match, probably one of the most exciting since I’ve been here. But then we lost it all against a really good Solon team that I thought we matched up pretty well with.”

      After dropping the first two bouts, Mitch Engelbart got Anamosa on the board defeating Solon’s Ethan Swan posting a 1:22 pin triumph but things swung right back to the Spartans who claimed the next seven matches to take complete control of the dual.

      Connor Andresen picked up a win at heavyweight to snap the Solon streak pinning Nash Altman in 2:20 before Tysen Gravel was handed a forfeit win and Aaron Casey ended the night with a 2:50 fall over Solon’s Kaden Lamm.

      Just a dual earlier Raider fans erupted after watching their team rally from a 38-24 deficit to defeat Muscatine 42-38.

      “It just doesn’t get any better than this,” Greene said. “Alex Shover, Cameron Hansen and Connor Andresen all needed to get pins in our final three bouts for to win the match, and they all did it. This was one none of us will ever forget.”

      Shover got the pin streak started at 195-pounds posting a 1:36 fall over Muscatine’s Nathan Beatty before Hanson added a 1:03 pin over Bob Carver at 220. The Raiders now needed Andresen to complete the trifecta, and the 10th-ranked junior heavyweight delivered once again pinning Togeh Deseh in 3:51.

      The dual already had a highlight moment when Anamosa’s class 2A 10th-ranked Nathan Keating brought Raider fans to their feet with a thrilling 5:58 pin victory over Muscatine class 3A ninth-ranked Tim Nimley.

      “I think Nate’s match really got our guys going and believing that we could come back and win that dual,” Greene said. “What a great win, and what a great night.”

      The Solon Dual tournament opened with a 56-18 rout over Keokuk as Andresen (1:55), Tysen Gravel (23-seconds), Engelbart (2:46), Keating (1:26), Shover (1:27) and Hansen (2:16) all posted pin wins.

      Alex Casey (19-3) added a technical fall triumph while Sam Norris picked up a 6-2 decision win. Aaron Casey scored team points for the Raiders with a forfeit.

      Anamosa followed that win with another over Vinton-Shellsburg, taking a 51-24 blowout.

      Only six matches played out on the mat with the Raiders winning four (Engelbart, Alex Casey, Keating and Shover). Gravel, Aaron Casey, Keating, Austin Kirby, Hansen and Andresen were all handed forfeit wins.

      Anamosa rolled to a 3-0 record after a 45-27 victory over Midland.

      Gravel (1:49), Alex Casey (1:07), Kirby (43-seconds), Shover (34-seconds) and Andresen (46-seconds) all posted impressive pin wins while Aaron Casey added a 6-4 decision. Keating and Hansen scored forfeit triumphs for the Raiders.

      Anamosa was in Delhi Friday, Jan. 3, where they opened with a 66-12 rout against host Maquoketa Valley.

      Only five matches played out on the mat with the Raiders winning four (Engelbart, Keating, Jordan Brown and Hansen) while Norris, Alex Casey, Dominic Haas, Andresen, Gravel, Aaron Casey and Gage Engelbart all picked up forfeit triumphs.

      Anamosa continued the blowout wins with another over Dubuque Wahlert in the second dual of the night, taking a 57-27 final.

      Gage Engelbart (20-seconds), Mitch Engelbart (1:16), Alex Casey (4:49), Shover (5:34), Hansen (2:30) and Andresen (5:16) all rolled to pin wins for the Raiders while Keating added an injury default victory while Gravel scored a forfeit.

      Anamosa completed the sweep going a perfect 3-0 on the night after a 54-25 triumph over Center Point-Urbana.

      Being able to field a full team allowed the Raiders to collect three forfeits (Haas, Keating and Kirby) against the Pointers while Alex Casey (1:02), Shover (4:34), Hansen (56-seconds), Andresen (1:31) and Gage Engelbart (1:44) all score pin wins.

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