MANCHESTER - It wasn’t something Anamosa wrestling coach Trever Greene was necessarily thinking of coming into the class 2A sectional tournament at West Delaware Saturday, Feb. 8, but it was something he did have an idea about based on the teams that were there and the success the Raiders had against many of them earlier this season.
Could the Raiders actually qualify for the regional team dual tournament for the first time since 1997?
The answer? Yes!
“We had an idea we could make the regional team duals coming in, but really we were just focused on getting as many kids to the district round as we could,” said Greene, has his team turned in a huge day scoring 160 points to place second to champion and class 2A No. 1 ranked West Delaware and secured their berth to the regional team duals back in Manchester Tuesday, Feb. 11 where they will face the powerful Hawks.
“Being able to accomplish something like this just shows how hard the guys have been working and how serious they’re taking this sport. You don’t get to the regional team duals without having talent on your roster, and we’ve proved this season with the dual success we’ve had that we have a lot of talented kids here, and we’re only going to get better. I hope this is just the beginning for this program and making it to the regional team duals is something we expect to accomplish, but be surprised about. Right now, though, I’m super excited.”
Anamosa’s sectional performance was led by the threesome of Mitch Engelbart, Alex Casey and Nathan Keating, who all earned berths to the class 2A district round at Center Point-Urbana Saturday, Feb. 15, by placing second at their respective weights in Manchester.
“I’m extremely proud of all three of those guys, but we were hoping they’d have a little more company with them,” Greene said. “We came up short in a few weight classes, but this was a loaded district, one of the toughest in the state just due to the fact that No. 1 West Delaware was here knowing that a lot of the district spots were probably going to go to them.
“Our guys battled though, and showed a lot of fight and everyone who was here helped us to get to that regional dual tournament. That’s the cool thing about that. Saturday wasn’t the end of the season for most of our team, everyone gets to wrestle again.”
Keating (39-8 record) was the first to clinch a district berth for the Raiders after being handed a hard-fought 8-1 loss against West Delaware’s fifth-ranked Cael Meyer in the 160-pound championship match. Keating didn’t have to wrestle back securing second and the trip to Center Point-Urbana and the district round for the third straight year.
“Nate didn’t quite wrestle his match in the finals, but he gave that state-ranked West Delaware kid a run for his money though,” Green said. “Nate had an exciting semi-final match, too, coming back to get the pin. That’s what is so great about Nate, he’s always under control no matter the situation. Thing got a little crazy in that semi-final match but Nate did his thing and got the win.”
Keating opened his tournament with a wild 5:20 semi-final pin win over Jesup’s Keaton Roscovius in a match where Keating was briefly on his back before quickly turning Roscovius around and sticking him five-seconds later.
Keating will open his district journey against Williamsburg’s Riley Holt (24-8) in Center Point on Saturday.
Engelbart was next to clinch for the Raiders, using a 2:53 pin win over Monticello’s Ty Jesenovec in the 138-pound wrestle-back to advance to districts for the third straight season.
“Mitch was right there in the 138-pound finals with a chance to win but couldn’t quite get the reversal at the end,” Greene said. “He sure came back and took care of business in the wrestle-back though, he was a man possessed.”
Engelbart (34-12) opened his tournament with a quick 1:52 pin win over Maquoketa’s Gabe Gardner before being edged by West Delaware’s ninth-ranked Logan Peyton in the 138-pound championship match.
Engelbart will face Williamsburg’s top-ranked and undefeated Jalen Schropp (48-0) in the opening round at districts.
Casey also had a wild day at sectionals, battling back to get second at 152-pounds after pinning Jesup’s Izak Krueger in the pressure-filled winner-take-all wrestle-back in 5:59.
“Alex had his back against the wall losing his semi-final match, and got a little help along the way and took advantage,” Greene said. “The West Delaware kid he wrestled first had missed most of the season with an injury and was a tough kid who wound up winning the 152-pound title. That allowed Alex to get his shot at second and he made sure he was not going to miss out of making districts for a third year in a row. He took care of business.”
Casey (38-5) opened with a tough 5-3 loss against West Delaware’s Kyle Coyle which dropped him to the consolation round where he rallied to pin Monticello’s Bo Kramer in 4:53 setting up the all-important wrestle-back opportunity.
Casey will start his district journey on Saturday against Mid-Prairie’s Vinnie Bowlin (27-6).
Anamosa had a couple of wrestlers just miss advancing as Robert Scranton (10-7) and Caleb Bowser (22-21) placed third at 106 and 126, respectively, while Tysen Gravel (23-21), Sam Norris (12-17), Dominic Haas (19-13), Jordan Brown (12-20), Alex Shover (22-27), Cole Sigler (13-13) and Connor Andresen (38-8) all scored fourth-place finishes at 106, 113, 145, 170, 182, 195, 220 and heavyweight, respectively, for the Raider team.
Aaron Casey (30-12) was fifth at 120 while Mason Padgett (12-14) was sixth at 132.
“I’m proud of all of our guys,” Greene said. “We did something today that hasn’t been accomplished at Anamosa in a long time. It’s already been an exciting season, now it gets to last a little longer.”
West Delaware dominated the 2A sectional winning the team title scoring 305 points and advancing all 14 of their wrestlers to districts while the Raiders defeated Monticello (140.5), Maquoketa (138), Jesup (125.5) and Dubuque Wahlert (109).