The Albia Blue Demons took six freshmen to the Pekin Tournament and they wound up scoring 39 points to fuel a 161-point explosion by the Blue Demons and a tournament championship.
Albia scored 161 followed by Pekin 150, Davis County 140, Iowa City Regina 91, Moravia 62, Van Buren 53 and Cardinal 48.
“Going into the day, we weren’t real sure how we would fare,” said Coach Dave Wenger. “You’d like to think that your guys are ready to go to kick off a new season, but you never really know for sure until you get them into the real-time, competitive situations that practice just doesn’t provide. With 6 of our 14 wrestlers being freshman, I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to score enough team points to secure the team title.”
Wenger said the freshman surge gave the team enough points to outdistance two really tough and markedly improved Pekin and Davis County teams.
“It really gives us quite a bit of optimism moving forward,” said Coach Wenger. “Having eight kids in the finals with five others earning individual championships to start the year doesn’t hurt anything either.”
At 106, Wyatt Stewart placed third losing by fall to Albia’s Carter Anderson by pin in 1:26 and by pin to Dawson Townsend of Davis County in 1:40.
Also at 106, Carter Anderson was champion pinning Stewart and beating Townsend 4-2. Townsend was 6-1 going into the match.
At 113 Brodie Conner finished first pinning Bruce Claman of Van Buren in 1:34, beating Drake Hamm of Davis County 7-2 and scoring a major decision over Gavyn Brown of Pekin 12-0.
At 120 Dawson Bonnett finished second. He pinned Morgan VanHermert in :53, pinned Jayden Ball of Davis County in 4:52, lost a major decision to Taylor Huggins of Davis County 8-1 and scored a medical forfeit over Logan Baker of Pekin.
At 132, Joey Pearson finished fourth, pinning Chloe Curtis of Van Buren in 1:28, losing by fall in 4:26 to Carter Rios of Iowa City Regina, losing by fall in :29 to Bailey Frescoln of Pekin and losing by fall to Marcus Elam of Davis County in :31.
Eli Zanoni was champion at 138, pinning Sam Aitchison of Regina in 1:18, scoring a 5-1 decision over Michael Jones of Pekin, losing by pin over Adrian Gomez of Davis County in 1:39 and pinning Jacxon Behrle of Cardinal in 3:21.
Michael Thomas was champion at 145, pinning Tristin Cloke of Cardinal in 2:00 and beating Cael Baker of Pekin 3-1.
Barrett Bonnett continued Albia’s dominance in the middle weights, scoring a championship at 152. He pinned Darrin Coffman of Van Buren in 1:06 and Ethan Martin of Moravia in 3:09.
Stephen Conley finished second at 160, scoring a 4-1 decision over Will Bobst of Regina, pinning Will Freeman of Regina in 1:04 and losing by fall to Aiden Udel of Regina in 3:57.
At 170 Gage Oddo finished fifth, losing by all to Danny Gavin of Regina in 5:33 and scoring a medical forfeit over Dylan Krueger of Pekin.
At 182 Joe Meyers was sixth, losing by fall to Quenton Kopp of Pekin in 5:12 and to Donovan Babcock of Cardial in 4:37.
Devin Kimball finished third at 195. He lost by pin to Rowan Udell of Regina in 1:16, lost by fall to Kolton Stremler of Davis County in :47 and pinned Cain Ehret of Van Buren in 1:18.
Montez Ellis picked up second place points at 220. He pinned Clayton Garmon of Davis County in 1:21 and lost by pin to Mason Juhl of Pekin in :31.
At 285 Kaleb Sample finished sixth, losing by fall to Caden Shetler of Regina in 1:15 and to Josh Keith of Pekin in :58.
Up next for the Blue Demons is the South Central Conference Tournament at Centerville on Dec. 12 with the Dan Christensen Invitational at Central Decatur on Dec. 13.