Lynx fight off illness, opposition to claim two more dual wins

ALGONA – With nearly half of its varsity regulars battling illness, the Webster City wrestling team went out and did exactly what head coach Ted Larson demanded here last night.

The Lynx sucked it up.

It wasn’t always pretty, but Webster City pulled away from both Algona and Fort Dodge late to pick up two more dual-meet victories and improve to 9-2 on the season.

The Lynx got by Algona, 43-24, and then held off Fort Dodge, 39-29.

“These are big wins for how we’re feeling right now,” Larson said. “We’ve got kids not feeling well that are on the team, we’ve got kids that are home … we gutted it out and won some matches that could have gone the other way real easy.”

WCHS competed without fifth-ranked (Class 2A) 170-pounder Connor Larson; he stayed home with the flu. Tanner Hoveland (132), Tanner Hild (152) and fifth-ranked Dylan Fielder (195) were in the lineup while their bodies revolted.

“We’re not using (illness) as an excuse, but it’s just a fact right now,” Ted Larson said. “We did what we needed to do is pretty much what this was (last night).”

WCHS – now 4-0 in the North Central Conference – and Algona (1-3, 1-3 NCC) were tied at 21-21 before the Lynx won four of the final five matches. WCHS trailed Fort Dodge 26-21, but rallied with a 4-1

record to close out the night.

Hoveland and 138-pounder Ryan Ferrari were instrumental to the late-dual heroics. They combined to go 4-0 and Ferrari decked a pair of foes in the first period.

“There was a point in (Hoveland’s) match (an 8-4 win over the Dodgers’ Keenan Cook) when he was in trouble to lose, but in the last 30 seconds he sucked it up and got a takedown,” Larson said. “So it was a big night for Tanner and he’s just coming off having pneumonia.

“Ryan had a really good night and he needed that really bad. He went out there and was intense like we’re after.”

Jacob Powers (145), Alex Oswald (160), Fielder, Gus Gasca (220) and Gavin Dinsdale (285) all went 2-0 as well.

Powers remained unbeaten on the season. He beat Algona’s Austin Long by major decision, 17-9, and Fort Dodge’s Logan Kipfmiller by decision, 12-8.

WCHS held a 34-29 lead on the Dodgers when Oswald took the mat to face Bryce Huebsch in the dual’s final match. Oswald asserted his dominance quickly and won by fall in 3:52.

“Alex is pretty consistent and he’s one that doesn’t get in bad position,” Larson said. “He’s got that knack and that’s what you need.”

Fielder earned a pair of tough decisions against quality opposition. He fended off Algona’s Jeff Buchanan, 3-2, and then got a takedown in the third period to break a 1-1 tie en route to a 3-1 win over Fort Dodge’s No. 8-ranked (3A) Riley Prescott.

“I knew those two matches would be close if Dylan was 100 percent, but he just battled,” Larson said. “He dug down deep and won.”

WCHS won nine of the 14 weights against Algona – three of the wins came by forfeit – and held an 8-6 edge on Fort Dodge. Larson says his team’s depth played a pivotal role in both battles.

“We’ve got depth where we can move our lineup around and we’ve got guys that can step in when somebody is sick,” he said. “Did those guys always win? No, but at least we didn’t give up forfeits like the other teams. We weren’t giving up six points all the time.”

WCHS will finish off the pre-holiday portion of its schedule on Saturday at the Don Miller Invitational in Fort Dodge. Wrestling will get underway at 10 a.m.