BIG 3 COLLIDE: Ranked Lynx, Lions, Wildcats go to battle tonight

WEBSTER CITY – So, you’re saying this is kind of a big deal?

That would be the understatement of the season.

Three of the premier Class 2A dual teams in the state will collide tonight when No. 14 Webster City (14-2) hosts No. 6 Humboldt (13-0) and No. 8 Clear Lake (16-3) in a North Central Conference triangular that will, in all likelihood, decide which program hoists the league dual championship trophy at the end of the month.

Webster City and Clear Lake will meet at 6 p.m. The Lions and Wildcats will square off in the second dual, and the Lynx and Humboldt will battle in the finale.

“This is a big ticket right here,” WCHS head coach Ted Larson said. “You’ve got arguably the three best teams in the conference, so this is huge.”

A total of nine ranked individuals will step onto the mat, and there’s the potential for several of them to collide.

Humboldt possesses No. 3 Nikko Wheeler and No. 2 Reed Dreyer at 170 and 195; Webster City counters with No. 5 Connor Larson and No. 5 Dylan Fielder at the same weights.

The Wildcats will also bring No. 2 heavyweight Dylan Hendricks into the WCHS gymnasium. Lynx sophomore 285-pounder Gavin Dinsdale is unranked, but potentially not for long after a handful of quality wins, including decisions over two ranked competitors at last weekend’s Lynx Duals.

“We really want to get after both duals,” Ted Larson said. “It’s all about pairings and how we match up, and every match is so big. Every match that we can win is big, every match that we don’t give up bonus points is big and every match where we can get bonus points is big.”

But first things first; Ted Larson says his squad has a little bit of redemption to seek against Clear Lake, which handed the Lynx one of their two losses – a highly-contentious 33-27 outcome at the Dick Kennedy Duals last month. The two teams each won seven matches, but the Lions earned more bonus points.

“We let that (dual) slip away because we got distracted and we can’t let that happen again,” Ted Larson said. “So, yeah, we want some revenge back on Clear Lake.”

The Lions are loaded at the lower weights, highlighted by ranked grapplers Brennan Doebel (No. 2 at 106), Ryan Leisure (No. 7 at 113) and Andres Gonzalez (No. 2 at 138). Connor Nosbisch (No. 5 at 182) gives them a weapon up top.

Humboldt is arguably the most balanced of the three teams with 10 individuals that own double-digit win totals. But the Wildcats have not faced the daunting schedules that WCHS and Clear Lake have already tackled and Ted Larson hopes his team’s past battles prove to be a benefit tonight.

“Every dual we’ve wrestled it seems like we’ve been pushed just because of our schedule,” he said. “I want us to go out and push people because that’s what we’ve been doing from the start.”

WCHS is expected to be back at full strength; Ryan Ferrari (138) and Alex Oswald (160) will both return to the lineup. Ferrari was absent from Saturday’s Lynx Duals with the stomach flu and Oswald left after just two rounds with the same ailment.