The Albia wrestling team competed in the state regional duals competition prior to sending seven wrestlers into district competition. The Blue Demons beat Burlington, Notre Dame 48-27 in the semi-finals, then lost to a powerful Davenport Assumption team, 53-21 in the finals. Davenport will advance to the first round of state duals.
“Our guys were really excited to have the opportunity to wrestle in a big time dual environment. For the majority of them, they haven't had the chance to wrestle in Regional Duals in their high school careers, so we welcomed the experience,” said Coach Dave Wenger. “Any time you get the opportunity to compete with a state berth on the line, it can only help, especially when we have so many kids returning next year.”
In the Notre Dame meet, competition started at 120 where Dawson Bonnett was pinned in 1:30 by Blaine Frazier. Logan Carter at 126 tied the meet by pinning Kynnick Christofferson in 25 seconds. Justin Keller scored a pin in 3:40 over Lyblie Christofferson at 138. The meet fell into a 12-12 tie when Bode Thompson lost by fall in 44 sections at 138.
Albia jumped to a 24-12 lead with forfeits to Eli Zanoni at 145 and Stephen Conley at 152. Lance Helm lost an 8-2 decision to River Belger at 160, Devin Kimball won by forfeit at 170 and both teams forfeited at 182.
After Carter Kamerick lost by fall at 195 in :34, the meet turned into forfeits. Paul Ballard won by forfeit for Albia at 220, Albia forfeited 285 and Carter Anderson, 106 and Brodie Conner, 113, won by forfeits.
Going head-to-head against Assumption, the Blue Demons managed wins in just four of 14 matches. Second ranked Carter Anderson, giving way to teammate Wyatt Stewart and district bound Paul Ballard, did not wrestle at 220.
Dawson Bonnett started Albia out right with a 7-0 win over Mike Kersten, but Assumption won the next four matches. TJ Fitzpartick beat Logan Carter 8-5 at 126, Colton Pilgrim pinned Justin Keller in 3:12 at 132, Michael Macias pinned Joey Pearson in :26 at 138 and Eli Zanoni lost a razor-thin 5-3 decision at 145.
Stephen Conley broke through at 152 with a pin over Parker Terronez in 3:41. At 160 Lance Helm lost a 15-0 tech fall in 4:00 to Allen Catour. At 170 Logan Schimanski pinned Devin Kimball in 3:41. Albia forfeited 182 before Chase Diaz pinned Carter Kamerick in 2:26 at 195. Albia forfeited 220 and 285 and then Wyatt Stewart at 106 and Brodie Conner at 113 won by forfeits.
“We found out pretty quickly in the second dual of the evening that we can wrestle with highly ranked kids, although not all of the matches turned out the way we had hoped they would,” said Coach Wenger. “We are not quite where we need to be as a State Duals team, and the kids know it. Experiencing defeat with a young group isn't all bad. From here, we will just have to wait and see how they respond. If they want different results, we will have to close the gap over the course of the next 364 days. We are right there. It's just a matter of how badly they want to take that next step.”