LISBON - It had already been a successful 2020-21 season for the Midland wrestling team no matter what happened at the pressure-filled class 1A sectional tournament in Lisbon Saturday, Feb. 6.
Then the Eagles went out and added yet another amazing chapter to what has been a phenomenal story with a performance for the ages.
“We took 11 wrestlers to sectionals and six advanced onto districts (Saturday, Feb. 13) in Wapello,” said Midland wrestling coach Casey Huston, as his team scored a whopping 175 points at the tournament to place second to the class 1A second-ranked Lions, the host school.
“We crowned four sectional champs and we had two runner-up finishes. All-in-all we had a great day on the mats. Our boys are healthy and are peaking at the right time.”
The Eagles showed all seven teams competing at the sectional that Lisbon wasn’t the only dominant team competing on the day, and that they’ve got a pretty strong program themselves led by championship performances from Coy Petersen (106-pounds), Damon Huston (126), Caden Ballou (160) and Cayden Miller (182). Jared Crock (145) and Carson Hunter (152) also kept their season’s alive with runner-up efforts.
Petersen (13-21 record) had just one match in the two-man 106 bracket, and pinned Lisbon’s Teague Krob in 2:57 to claim the title.
At districts in Wapello, Petersen will open with a semi-final contest against Highland-Riverside’s Easton Schlabaugh (38-5) while Wilton’s 10th-ranked Brody Brisker (43-4) is also in the field.
Huston (35-1), ranked sixth in class 1A, had the match of the tournament at 126 facing Lisbon’s Cade Siebrecht in the finals with the Midland senior avenging his only loss of the campaign taking a tight 3-2 thriller over the fifth-ranked Lion standout.
Trailing 2-0 after Siebrecht scored a first period takedown, Huston battled back recording a second period escape before adding a huge takedown of his own in the period to lead 3-2 heading into the third. Huston would hang on over the match’s final two-minutes to claim the championship.
Huston opened his tournament with a quick 1:10 pin win over Durant’s Noah Grage in the semi-final round.
Huston will face Wilton’s Trae Hagen (22-5) in the opening round at districts while Highland-Riverside’s Carlos Valenzuela (29-8) is also in the bracket.
Ballou (36-6), ranked 10th, was completely dominant at 160 pinning West Branch’s Joe Seydel (37-seconds) and Durant’s Cameron Ruggiero (1:57) to win his title while Miller (33-5), ranked ninth in class 1A, did the same at 182 posting incredibly quick falls over Durant’s Dylan Grage (19-seconds) and Lisbon’s 10th-ranked Jamien Moore (1:11).
Ballou faces Louisa-Muscatine’s Kendal Pugh (30-10) in the opening-round at districts while Wilton’s Kaden Shirk (36-13) also awaits in the bracket.
Miller’s first match in Wapello will be against Wilton’s Karson Willey (20-22) while Iowa City Regina’s Christopher Waikel (18-10) in also in the field.
Hunter (22-19), in his huge 152 semi-final bout against Bellevue’s Casey Tath, avenged an early season loss posting a thrilling 7-6 victory to advance to the final against Lisbon’s seventh-ranked Lincoln Holub, who handed the Eagle senior a 2:20 pin setback.
Hunter gets a district-opening date against Wilton’s Colton Cruse (41-9) while Wapello’s Evan Ross (22-12) also advanced into the bracket.
Crock (21-10), in a two-man 145 bracket, wrestled just once and was handed a 26-11 technical fall setback against Lisbon’s top-ranked Robert Avila Jr.
Crock will open his district journey against Wapello’s Christopher Ewart (35-5) with Iowa City Regina’s Sam Aitchison (17-8) also in the 145-pound field.
Keegan Rushford just missed making in seven Eagles advancing to districts after placing third at 220.
Rushford (11-17) opened his tournament with a 43-second pin loss against Bellevue’s Ryder Michels before coming back to post a 1:43 fall over West Branch’s Dylan Butler. Rushford did not get a wrestle-back opportunity however.
Jordan Buford (12-18) and Cael Eganhouse (7-19) both came through with wins on the mat as each placed fourth at 132 and 195, respectively, while Shayden Hansen (25-16) was also fourth at 120.
Lucas Ervin (3-25) also competed at the tournament for the Midland team where he placed fifth overall at 132.
The host Lions dominated the sectional pouring in 273.5 points to win the event going away while the Eagles defeated Bellevue (94 points), North Cedar (92.5), Durant (86), West Branch (78) and Northeast (28).