Warrior wrestlers continue to improve and win matches

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Daniel Royer placed third at 138 pounds at the Central Invitational. (Photos by Bev Hamann)

Nick Deitchler wrestled his way to second place in the 132-pound bracket at the Central Invitational.

Sean Wilwert (170 pounds) was one of two Central wrestlers who placed second at the team's home invite.

Nate Shirbroun finished third in the 195-pound bracket at the Central Invitational.

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register


The Central wrestling program continues to make strides with every meet, and this past week was no different. 


First up was the Anamosa Girls Tournament, where the Warriors performed very well. In the 116- to 120-pound division, Tori Sylvester finished in fourth place, losing all three of her matches. Rebecca Suhr (145-149) and Reese Berns (99-107) both finished third and went 1-2. Brandy Beatty (122-127) finished second, taking two decision wins before losing via fall, but it was Kimberly Suhr (120-122) who took home first place, winning all three matches with two falls and one decision. 


“They are all getting better by the day and it’s awesome to see. We’ve been changing a lot of how we drill and work our moves and it’s been showing on the mat. Very exciting watching this team grow,” coach Joe Koehn said. 


The following event was the Upper Iowa Conference Dual Tournament at Clayton Ridge, where the Warriors lost all four duals. 


“We just can’t fill all the weights and that’s hurting us big time,” Koehn explained. 


This inability to fill weight classes leads to the team taking an excessive amount of forfeits, and that was evident in the dual against MFL MarMac, where, despite going 2-2 in matches, the Warriors lost 66-18 due to nine forfeits. Nate Shirbroun (182 pounds) took home a fall victory, and so did Nick Deitchler at 132 pounds. 


The dual against North Fayette Valley saw the Warriors go 1-2 in matches, while giving up seven forfeits, and losing the dual 54-18. The lone win came from Berns (106), who earned a pin in less than two minutes. 


It was more of the same against Postville, where Central won all four matches but lost 48-28 due to eight forfeits. Sean Wilwert (170) won via fall at 3:32, while Shirbroun (182) won an 18-2 technical fall. Deitchler (132) also won by technical fall, 15-0, while Daniel Royer (138) earned a pin in 1:36. 


Against Tripoli, the Warriors went 4-2 in matches but lost 41-36 overall due to five forfeits. Berns (106) secured a fall in less than a minute, as did Royer (145), while Beatty (132) and Deitchler (138) each won via fall in about 90 seconds. 


Koehn was asked about the team’s performance at the tournament and the ongoing forfeit issue. 


“It’s very nice to see that we’re winning matches. Everybody is doing what they can do to help the team be successful. And it gets frustrating because, obviously, we want to be a great team with great athletes, but that’s not in the cards right now,” he said. “So, we just worry about what we can worry about and stay focused on getting our individuals to the next level by getting them the most matches that we can.”


The next event was the Central Girls Invitational, where Berns (106) was the champ, Tori Sylvester (120) was third, Beatty (126) placed fourth and Kimberly Suhr (120) placed eighth. 


Apart from Berns winning the championship, the Warriors also finished eighth of 27 teams with just four wrestlers. 


“The Central Girls Invite went very well, as a team and individually,” said Koehn. “All battled hard and pushed themselves to get better. They all saw some tough girls there and some good competition, which is exactly what we need going into Girls State in a couple weeks. The biggest thing is just fixing silly mistakes before we get down to Coralville.” 


The final event of the week was the boys Central Invitational, where Wilwert (170) and Deitchler (132) both placed second, while Shirbroun (195) and Royer (138) finished third. As a team, the Warriors finished seventh of 11 teams. 


“We wrestled pretty well at our home boys tournament as well…We finished in seventh as a team out of 11, but we’re a few points away from being in the top five with only four kids. So, the quality is there, but we just need the quantity now. Very excited for this group and the road to the postseason these next few weeks,” Koehn said. 


The Central wrestling season continues this week with several meets. First, the Warriors go to New Hampton on Jan. 11, followed by a UIC quad at South Winneshiek on Jan. 13. The team finishes with a Jan. 14 home meet.

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