ANAMOSA - It used to come as a bit of a surprise when the Anamosa wrestling team knocked off a state-ranked opponent in a dual meet.
That doesn’t appear to be the case anymore.
After having so much success a year ago in both dual meet and tournament settings, the Raiders have raised their game to another level already in 2018-19, as the team proved with an impressive 42-39 over class 2A fifth-ranked Monticello, the second of three duals Anamosa hosted in the season-openers Thursday, Nov. 29.
“This was an awesome win for us,” said Raider wrestling coach Trever Greene. “Monticello has some really good guys and from top-to-bottom they have a solid team.
“I was very happy with the way our guys fought and didn’t give up. The dual was a very exciting one and it will be fun competing against them throughout the season.”
The Raiders built a big 42-16 lead thanks to pin wins from Hank Smith (29-seconds), Dominic Haas (1:29) and Nathan Keating (48-seconds). Anamosa’s Joel Ellis, Wes Minnaert and Cameron Hanson picked up forfeit triumphs while Connor Andersen claimed an injury default victory at heavyweight that gave the hosts their 26-point advantage.
The Panthers closed the match win give up. The dual was a very exciting one and it will be fun competing against them throughout the season.”
The Raiders built a big 42-16 lead thanks to pin wins from Hank Smith (29-seconds), Dominic Haas (1:29) and Nathan Keating (48-seconds). Anamosa’s Joel Ellis, Wes Minnaert and Cameron Hanson picked up forfeit triumphs while Connor Andersen claimed a injury default victory at heavyweight that gave the hosts their 26-point advantage.
The Panthers closed the match winning the final four bouts, three by fall, but came up three points shy of the win.
Anamosa opened the evening, and their 2018-19 season with a dominating 63-16 rout over Durant.
Alex Casey picked up the first win on the mat for the Raiders posting a 48-second pin triumph at 145-pounds before Keating followed with an 11-4 decision at 160-pounds.
Smith, Haas, Ellis, Minnaert, Hanson, Alex Shover, Andresen, Gage Engelbart and Josiah Sims were all handed forfeit victories.
“This was a great way to start the year,” Greene said. “Durant did not have a full line-up, however the match did give our guys chances to compete and get the first dual win of the season.
“We could have done better (Anamosa lost three of the five matches played out on the mat), but it was a great start.”
The final dual of the night saw the hosts succumb to a 52-27 loss against Camanche, who posted a perfect 3-0 dual record on the evening.
“I was very impressed with Camanche’s class and toughness,” Greene said. “You can tell they are doing things the right way. I think overall we will learn from this dual and get better from it.”
Smith got the Raiders off to a quick start winning the opener at 138-pounds taking an 8-2 decision while Casey followed with a 1:04 pin triumph, and just like that Anamosa led 9-0.
The Indians came right back winning the next eight bouts on the mat while the Raiders scored wins with forfeits to Hanson, Andresen and Dustin Smith.
“The biggest takeaway from Thursday was our team chemistry,” Greene said. “All night we were right along the mat cheering our guys on and having a good time.”
Anamosa competed in their first tournament of the season Saturday, Dec. 1, making their way to the BGM Chris Davis Invitational where they finished seventh at the 12-team event scoring 69 points claiming one individual champion in Keating.
“Nate wrestled extremely well,” said Greene, as Keating posted a perfect 3-0 record at the tournament coming through with a 6-2 decision over Wapsie Valley’s Nathan Hyde in the 160-pound championship match.
“We have worked a lot with him on his feet and you can tell he’s improved. Nate’s going to be a tough kid for us this year and I’m excited to see how it pans out for him.”
Keating opened his tournament with pin wins over North Linn’s Dawson Sanderson (2:25) and Tripoli’s Alexander Nation (3:34).
Engelbart also reached a championship match, falling to South Winneshiek’s Ethan Malonado 14-6 in the 106-pound final.
Andresen was third at heavyweight while Sims placed fifth at 120 and Haas sixth at 152.
The Raiders also had 12 wrestlers competing in BGM’s JV tournament, with Dalton Lovell claiming the team’s lone title.
Jordan Brown (2nd), Ellis (2nd), Shover (2nd), Hanson (3rd), Walker Seehusen (3rd), Dustin Starn (3rd), Cameron Breashears (3rd), Levi Ehresman (3rd), Austin Kirby (3rd), Milton Moctezuma (4th) and Sam Norris (4th) also competed at the JV event.
“Extremely impressed with our JV guys,” Greene said. “They have been putting in a lot of work and they were excited to get out on the mat.
“Every single one of them went out with a lot of energy and didn’t back down. They were wrestling in the style we are trying to instill in all of our kids, and that it to be relentless. I want them to never give up and push the pace. There were a few guys who could have jumped into the varsity tournament, but I wanted everyone to shake off the rust so they will be ready to go next week.”