Scouts win seven titles, send nine to state
David City wrestling won seven championships, went perfect in championship matches and sent nine total wrestlers on to the state tournament while blowing out the rest of the field for a district team title on Saturday at Boone Central/Newman Grove.
The Scouts were 39 points ahead of Logan View and qualified their highest contingent to state since three years ago when David City was on a run of sending 10 to state for three years in a row.
Champions included Jacson Valentine at 132 pounds, Justin White (145), Noah Styskal (152), Dylan Vodicka (160), Spencer Allen (182), James Escamilla (195) and Jake Ingwersen (285).
Joining that group for a trip to the CHI Health Center in Omaha was Zackary Barlean (138) in fourth and Wayne Moore (220) in third.
“You always want to get more, and you always hope you can get more in, but for a long time, the school record at David City was 10 state qualifiers, and I was hoping we would break that record,” coach Tahner Thiem said. “But we didn’t get it done. There were a lot of tough brackets. We didn’t get the qualifier record, but we did set a record as far as the most district champions David City has ever had.”
Valentine put the party in motion with three pins en route to an 8-6 win over No. 5 Hunter McNulty of Logan View.
Two matches later, White started a run of three in a row on three pins and a 10-2 major decision win over 42-4 Joseph Hinrichs of Sutton.
Styskal won by technical fall over all three opponents, 22-6, 23-8 and 19-4. Vodicka, ranked No. 3 by NEwrestle.com, pinned two foes then won a major over No. 2 Brady Hull of Logan View.
Allen pinned three of his four opponents and won 3-2 in the semifinals on his way to a title. Escamilla was a perfect 4 for 4 with two first-period pins and two in the second.
Ingwersen completed the title run with wins of 4-1, 3-2 and 9-6. His finals win came over No. 6 Tyler Ohrman of Sutton.
“Basically, you could look at that and say the rest of the 15 teams there could put an all-star team together against our team, and we’d still come out on top,” Thiem said. “That’s pretty impressive.”
Joining those seven was Barlean who had to fight back from a quarterfinal loss and win three straight to get to state, and Moore who lost 10-2 in the semifinals but bounced back with two pins.
“The NSAA lets us set our schedule. With that leeway, I try to find the toughest competition I can week in and week out. It makes it kind of tough on the guys, but Spencer Allen’s 26-13 record compared to the kid he was going against, it’s not even a comparison,” Thiem said. “Some people may look at it on paper as an upset, but I don’t.”
On a sour note, though, the five Scouts who came up short all did so in the consolation semifinals. Wins in that round advance a wrestler to the third-place match and guarantee a spot a state - earned by the top four.
Zach Bongers (106) lost 4-0 after coming back from a quarterfinal loss. Ethan Underwood (113) also lost in the quarterfinals then was pinned early in the second period in consolation semis.
Ethan Zegers (120) worked his way through the consolation round then was pinned in the third round. Clayton Harris (126) gave himself a chance with a pinfall win in consolation third round then lost 6-2 to No. 3 Brandon Schram of Tekamah-Herman.
All four of those wrestlers will return next year.
The one Scout who saw his David City career come to a close was Carlos Chavez (170) who suffered his loss in the most heartbreaking fashion - a 12-10 sudden victory after fighting back from a loss in his first match.
“It’s tough for me as a coach. I watch what these guys go through day in and day out in the practice room. It’s a bit emotional for me after a match. I find myself holding back tears, to be honest, when these guys don’t make it through the heartbreak round because these guys have done everything I’ve asked of them. They’ve poured their hearts and soul into this,” Thiem said.
“Carlos is a kid who would give you everything he has, every single day. He’s a phenomenal kid, and you just feel for him. You just feel for a kid like that and how it went down, coming up just a little short.”
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net