NCC SWEEP? No. 11 Lynx look to add league dual title to haul

WEBSTER CITY – Wrestling is often thought of as an individual sport, but to watch Dylan Fielder at Saturday’s North Central Conference tournament it was quite evident that not everyone believes in that theory.

Less than five minutes after his hopes of winning a second league title were dashed, 7-5, in an instant-classic match against Humboldt’s fourth-ranked Reed Dreyer, Webster City’s No. 2 195-pounder was playing the role of the most vocal cheerleader as he sat matside watching heavyweight teammate Gavin Dinsdale win a consolation match.

He could have sulked. He could have pouted. Instead, he chose to buy into every coach’s mantra – team first.

“If you do everything on an individual basis I don’t think you’re going to get very far in life,” Fielder explained. “We wanted to win this as a team … we just wanted to go out with a bang.”

Consider it done.

Fresh off its third NCC tournament championship in four years, the Lynx will attempt to get back into the team spirit tonight when they finish out the league dual schedule at home against Clarion-Goldfield. The varsity dual is expected to begin at approximately 7:30 p.m. following the completion of Senior Night activities.

WCHS (16-3, 6-1 NCC), the 11th-ranked (Class 2A) dual team according to the Iowa Wrestling Coaches Association, can claim a share of the NCC dual crown with a win. The Lynx will most likely share the top prize with No. 4 (2A) Clear Lake and No. 7 (2A) Humboldt.

Clarion-Goldfield (12-2, 5-2 NCC), No. 6 (1A) by the IWCOA, won’t exactly be an easy mark though.

“It’s going to come down to extra points and it always does,” WCHS head coach Ted Larson said. “I sound like a broken record, but we can’t give up the falls.”

The Cowboys finished second to the Lynx at the conference tournament, just five points back. They sent seven wrestlers to the finals and they boast five ranked individuals, highlighted by the Portillo twins, Justin and Josh, who are No. 2 at 106 and 113 pounds. They transferred into the school district from Toledo, Ohio earlier this month.

Potential feature bouts include a rematch of the NCC 145-pound title clash between WCHS senior gold medalist Jacob Powers and the Cowboys’ Brady Brott, as well as at heavyweight where Dinsdale, ranked third, will be out to knock off No. 5 and NCC champion Mitch Gambrill.

On paper, WCHS is favored in eight of the 14 matches if the lineups remain the same as they were on Saturday. But Larson thinks the Cowboys could tinker with their 14 weights.

“I expect the unexpected,” he said. “They’ve had so many guys in and out of their lineup that I don’t know what to expect. All I know is that Gambrill will be at heavyweight.”

WCHS will close out its regular season on Saturday when it takes part in the Norsemen Duals, hosted by Roland-Story High School in Story City. In addition to the host school and Lynx, OA-BCIG, Davis County, Hampton-Dumont and the Johnston JV will also compete.

Tanner Hild, the Lynx senior 152-pounder, enters tonight sitting on 96 career victories and he could reach 100 by the end of the weekend. Fielder and sixth-ranked 170-pounder Connor Larson joined the 100-win club earlier this season.