Up and down Lynx finish mid-pack at Kennedy Duals

Somber. Frustrated. Maybe even a little bit angry.

Choose a mood and the odds are good it was felt inside the Webster City wrestling room yesterday evening after the Lynx struggled at times and placed third at their own Dick Kennedy Duals.

WCHS claimed victories over Waukee (45-22), Waterloo West (45-25) and Ankeny (54-21), but were unable to capture the momentum in losses to North Central Conference rival Clear Lake (33-27) and Dallas Center-Grimes (41-21).

“To be honest, the boys and the coaches know what needs to be done and we’ll just leave it at that,” WCHS head coach Ted Larson said after his grapplers combined to post a 39-28 record. “We didn’t finish hard and we didn’t wrestle well, but it’s all fixable.

“It would have been nice to win the Kennedy Duals with this group because it’s probably the last group that remembers (former longtime Lynx head coach Dick Kennedy) in the room, but we’ll move forward from here.”

Clear Lake and Dallas Center-Grimes both went 4-1; the team title went to the Lions on the strength of their head-to-head victory over the Mustangs.

WCHS throttled Waukee and built an early 19-0 lead on Clear Lake, but the Lions answered the challenge once the battle moved to the lightweights. Down 27-3, they won the final six weights, four coming by fall, to prevail.

“You have to hand it to Clear Lake because they know how to win and we’ve got to know that we can compete with anybody,” Larson said. “It’s always a bad taste when we don’t come out on top.”

Also against Clear Lake, fifth-ranked (Class 2A) 195-pounder Dylan Fielder was ejected from the tournament following a 19-6 major decision victory over Ace Walton. Frustrated with the match, Fielder threw his headgear to the ground near the edge of the mat and was immediately ejected, much to the surprise of the Lynx coaches.

“I think the official in this case got too emotionally involved in the situation,” Larson said. “He allowed his emotions to have an influence on what he saw and called. But whether we agree with this official or not, it doesn’t matter. It’s like I’ve told the boys over and over again, you can never let an official decide a match for you and that’s exactly what happened. It wasn’t a decision in the match, but it was a decision that affected the team the rest of the day.”

WCHS was docked three teams points against Clear Lake and was forced to forfeit at 195 in its final three duals.

The tournament did have its bright spots though. Senior middleweights Jacob Powers (145), Tanner Hild (152) and Alex Oswald (160) all dominated the opposition and combined to pile up a 15-0 record with seven pins.

Powers – the last of the unbeaten grapplers on the roster – was forced to go six minutes for the first time and he thrived despite still battling with asthma.

“It was a huge hurdle that Jake got over (on Saturday) because he wrestled a whole match and wrestled well all day long,” Larson said. “He’s wrestling really well even not at 100 percent.”

A shoulder injury kept Hild on the questionable list until early Saturday morning, yet he went out and was never threatened.

“I didn’t think Tanner was going to wrestle and then he goes out and does that,” Larson said, “and Ozzie had a great day as well. He wrestled in control.”

Fourth-ranked Connor Larson (170) and Gavin Dinsdale (285) both went 4-1.

Larson piled up three falls in under a minute and a fourth that took only 1:23; his lone loss was a 5-4 decision to Dallas Center-Grimes’ fifth-ranked (3A) Blake Wolinski. Larson beat Wolinski in another close match just seven days earlier at the DC-G Invite.

Dinsdale’s only setback came at the hands of Waterloo West’s Kyler Mathews, who moved up from 220 where he’s ranked second (3A).

Ryan Ferrari (138), Brandon Patten (182) and Gus Gasca (220) were all 3-2 for the Lynx.

WCHS will go back to the dual mat on Thursday when it travels to Algona for a triangular with the Bulldogs and Fort Dodge Senior.