Rader has chance at gold dashed early, rebounds

DES MOINES – It’s not always easy to reset a life’s worth of goals in an hour, but a little bit of anger helped JD Rader to do just that yesterday morning inside Wells Fargo Arena.

A first-round loss washed away any chance the South Hamilton sophomore had of winning a 120-pound state championship, but Rader quickly refocused and dominated in the consolation round to stay alive for a second consecutive medal during the opening Class 1A session of the traditional state tournament.

“I really thought this was my year that I’d win that title that I’ve been chasing … but that’s the way it goes sometimes I guess,” the sixth-ranked Rader said following a 17-2 technical fall victory in 4 minutes, 28 seconds over Harley Janssen of Manson-Northwest Webster in the consolation round. “Now (placing) third is what’s on my mind. It still kind of hurts, but I just have to put that behind me.”

Tenth-ranked Jared Coyle (42-6), a Maquoketa Valley junior and three-time state qualifier, controlled the temp throughout his 5-3 victory over Rader (34-6) in the first round.

Coyle hit a double-leg takedown in the first period and never trailed.

“That first shot (by Coyle) was a good shot and it rocked (Rader) a little bit,” South Hamilton head coach Dan Brodie said. “He never seemed to get comfortable.”

Coyle scored again on a runaround off a poor shot by Rader in the second period, and then pushed his cushion to two points with an escape early in the third period.

“That first match I struggled getting in my offense and he caught me flat-footed a couple of times,” Rader said.

An aggressive, even a little bit angry, Rader returned to the mat to pummel Janssen (35-11).

Rader tossed Janssen to his back in the opening minute of the bout and nearly got the fall, but settled for a 7-1 lead after 2 minutes.

The second period was much of the same, as Rader chucked Janssen again and showed him the lights for six near-fall points to build a 15-2 advantage. He added a third takedown in the final period to end it.

“Everything he was hitting was working and he looked like a whole different wrestler,” Brodie said of the consolation match. “He went back to the stuff that he’s been doing since he was a little kid – the blast doubles, the duck unders and working hard on top. It was a good confidence booster.”

Rader will now wait until after this morning’s quarterfinal round to find out who he’ll face in the consolation second round. He’ll take on the loser of the bout between fourth-ranked Gable Verschoor (44-4) of Woodbury Central and third-ranked Brady Ruden (38-6) of Wilton.

Rader needs one more victory to assure him of a top-eight finish and spot on the medal podium.

“We’ve wrestled in the consolation before and we know every match is do or die from here on out,” Brodie said.

Top-ranked Alburnett – the small-class dual champion on Wednesday – leads the 1A field with 28 points. Woodbury Central (18.5) sits in second, while Emmetsburg (17) and West Marshall (17) share third.

Shoving last week’s media nightmare aside, West Marshall went 4-1 on the front side of the bracket and kept all five wrestlers alive. The Trojans received first-round falls from top-ranked Kyle Blocker (138), No. 5 Dale Hilleman (160) and No. 7 Devin Chesler (170).