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Wild finishes send three wrestlers to districts

Clarke and Central Decatur keep three wrestlers season alive with top-2 finishes at Sectionals

Clarke's Will Smith (right) goes for a takedown against Chariton's Nicholas Wood. Smith and Wood wrestled twice this season before Smith won the third match by disqualification, moving on to districts with a first-place finish.
Clarke's Will Smith (right) goes for a takedown against Chariton's Nicholas Wood. Smith and Wood wrestled twice this season before Smith won the third match by disqualification, moving on to districts with a first-place finish.

ALBIA – Clarke and Central Decatur’s dual seasons came to an end at the Class 2A Sectional 9 Saturday, but both teams send wrestlers to the next step, district.

The Indians finished 6 of 7 with 101 total points. Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont (218 points) and Knoxville (184.5) were the two teams from the sectional to move on, finishing in first and second, respectively.

Clarke finished the day with one wrestler moving on, Will Smith, who took first place at 285.

Smith didn’t wrestle until after the first break of the day, taking on EBF’s Skyler Young. Smith scored a near fall following a takedown to take a 4-2 lead in the first period. Starting the second period at neutral, Smith scored a reversal after being taken down, resulting in a pin at 3:59 to advance to the first-place match.

After falling to Chariton’s Nicholas Wood at the Southern Iowa Classic and SCC Tournament in the first period, Smith faced him for the third time this year.

This match was different, however. Smith took away a win based off of disqualification.

“I think he showed today that anything is possible,” Reece said. “He got pinned every time, and he decided that he was going to battle and keep good position and keep going and keep going.”

Wood, spending most of the match with top control, locked his hands and had three full nelsons. After the second, the referee stopped the match, explaining to Wood the situation, but the fourth full nelson gave Smith the victory with stoppage.

“I don’t even think Will really knew what was going on,” Reece said with a smile. “He went back to get down, and the officials sharing with the other guy (Wood) what’s going on, and Will gets up. I don’t think he had any clue he had won the match.

With the win and advancement to district, Reece said the expectations are going to be open for the remainder of Smith’s matches.

“We’re not going to set any firm expectations for him,” said Reece. “He’s going to be happy being there, obviously, but what I’m going to point out to him is that when you get to the district meet anything can happen.

“One guy could step wrong and break his ankle, you never know. You’ve just got to keep yourself in the match, and we’ll prepare this week to wrestle the best we can. If he can do that, you can’t really control anything else,” Reece said.

As a team, Clarke was young and injuries plagued the Indians all season. Clarke was finally able to keep wrestlers on the mat during the latter part of the season, but illness hit another potential wrestler to advance, Jake Smith (220).

“Just when we’re getting some guys back in the lineup, Jake Smith comes down with the flu at the beginning of the week,” Reece said. “He’s been battling the flu all week, and I think you probably saw that today (Saturday), but we got some guys back in the lineup and were able to fill some holes.”

Jake Smith finished third after losing a 5-3 decision in the semifinals and beating EBF’s Colton Champoux for a chance at a wrestle back.

Centerville’s Cruise Flanders defeated Jake Smith in the semis and took second place on a no contest.

Central Decatur advances two

The Cardinals finished just above Clarke for fifth place with 113 points.

Teagan Carson (195) took first place and Dakota Boswell (182) finished second, finishing as the top-2 placewinners for Central Decatur, and are the lone Cardinals to advance to districts at Center Point-Urbana.

Carson’s route saw a first-round bye before record a pin at 2:34 over Knoxville’s Jared Landsperger to advance to the finals. EBF’s Conner Reed was the matchup.

A first period takedown gave Carson the lead, but he quickly lost that after penalties, an escape and takedown put Reed in the lead at the end of the second period. Carson scored a takedown midway through the period and was awarded a reversal at the end of the period.

With the match happening in front of the EBF section, the crowd was in an uproar after the points were awarded after the period ended.

Carson started the third period with an escape from bottom and takedown before Reed scored an escape and takedown of his own. After being called for stalling, the wrestlers made their way to the edge of the mat as the crowd noise rose objecting the stalling call.

With seconds left on the clock, Carson rolled out of Reed’s top control and fought for position. CD’s coaches called for a reversal, yelling that he took control and the timer ran out.

With two referees on the mat, they had a discussion and awarded Carson the points after the match ended to give him the first-place finish and cause a mass reaction from the crowd.

In a less dramatic end, Boswell recorded a pin with 21 seconds left in the first period during the semifinal match to face EBF’s Sage Walker.

Ending the final match with 35 seconds remaining, Walker overpowered Boswell and recorded a pin to take first.

Boswell’s semifinal win over Logan Demichelis proved worthwhile, not having a wrestle back and taking the win from a no contest.

Intersate 35 team moves on

Coming out of the Class 1A Sectional 7, Interstate 35 took home first place with 224 points and placing five wrestlers in the top-2.

Sam Vonnhame (220) and Ryley Snell (285) took first place for the Roadrunners. Ryan Steinglage (132), Chase Baker (138) and Curtis Jacobe (170) all took second place.

I-35 will advance to Tuesday night’s Class 1A regional dual at Logan-Magnolia.

UP NEXT – Clarke and Central Decatur travel to Knoxville to compete in the Class 2A District 5 tournament.

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