By Jon Gremmels Herald Sports Editor
The Clinton Herald
---- — CLINTON — Jared Redman set the tone for Clinton High to win its first wrestling dual meet of the season, and his dramatic win in the final match allowed the River Kings to end their second dual on a positive note.
In between, returning state placewinners Hunter Genco and Alex Caldwell pinned all four of their opponents as Clinton defeated East Moline (Ill.) United Township 45-27 and lost to Moline 40-27 in a double dual at W.J. Yourd Gymnasium. North Scott also took part and beat both Illinois schools: 34-24 over Moline and 50-21 over United Township.
While he certainly would have preferred a sweep, Clinton coach J.D. Lueders saw many positives on the night.
“We can take away that the kids were enthused by Jared’s match,” Lueders said of the upbeat finish to the night.
“You can either set the tempo or end on a good note,” Redman said. “If you can set the tempo and make it a good night and everybody happy, you can get inspired by that. But, if you can end the night on a good note, even if you’re down, it kind of just picked the team up from down in the dumps.”
After getting caught for a four-point move by Moline’s Prince Karpeh with just under a minute left in regulation, Redman trailed 4-1 in the 145-pound match. He escaped with 34 seconds left to make it 4-2, then quickly made a blast move on Karpeh’s hips, picked him up and took him down for a takedown that forced overtime.
Shortly after scrambling away from Karpeh in sudden death, Redman recorded the winning takedown.
“It’s a really great feeling watching Jared Redman win. Even though we lost the dual, Jared fought,” Caldwell said.
“Even though you’re down by a lot, if you’ve got a family like we have at Clinton wrestling, they’re going to pick you up either way,” Redman said. “They make you want to work harder.”
Redman had a similar match in the first bout of the night. He trailed 3-2 in the second period before pulling even with an escape. He earned a point to start the third period when UT’s Galloh Gwensinie elected to start the period on his feet, then added a clinching takedown with 38 seconds left.
“It’s always a good experience to be able to start your team off on a good note,” Redman said. “I feel like we set the tempo well and kept it going.”
Caldwell followed Redman’s opening win against United Township with a first-period pin against Alex Hubbard at 152 pounds. It was the 100th career victory for Caldwell, a Class 3A state placewinner in 2012.
“It’s a pretty elite group if you win 100 matches in your high school career, and getting it in my first win of my senior year, and it’s a pretty good feeling seeing the crowd raise the little signs that say congratulations really means a lot and shows the support of the community,” Caldwell said.
United Township chipped away at Clinton’s lead, and it was down to 30-27 when Genco stepped on the mat for the first time this season. The three-time state placewinner wasn’t on the mat long, either, pinning Esteban Maldonado in 20 seconds and starting a closing string of three straight wins.
“Mainly, I just want to end my matches as soon as possible to show I’m not scared of anything and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to become a champion,” Genco said. “I’m just trying to make a statement to the city to show everyone what Clinton used to be and what it should be and what it’s going to be.”
“Tonight we definitely had a gap where our fans lost hope every once in awhile, and I was the one match that really tried to pull it together,” Genco said. “I wanted to be the person to get the fans going and the wrestlers going and swing the momentum back around to our side and get everyone elevated out of their seats.”
Genco was put in a similar situation against Moline after five consecutive wins had turned a 12-10 Clinton lead into a 34-12 deficit.
Once again he made quick work of his opponent — pinning Omar Morales in 28 seconds — but this time the hole was too deep for Clinton to escape.
The River Kings wrestled without returning starters Curtis Ilg, who hasn’t recovered from a shoulder injury, at 138 and state placewinner Dillion Chase, who didn’t make weight, at 170. Although their replacements — along with the other newcomers to the lineup — had mixed success, Lueders saw positives there, too.
• Luke Larkin used an escape and takedown in the final 10 seconds to beat United Township’s Preston Swanson 8-6 at 170.
• Freshman Mitch Dann reversed UT’s El Moo to his back for a pin in their match at 138.
• Freshman 285-pounder Tyler Clark limited Northern Iowa recruit Adarios Jones of Moline to a pair of takedowns for the first two-plus periods before Jones put the River King on his back for a fall with just 18 seconds left in their bout.
“It was Luke’s first match. He runs all day and makes weight and doesn’t quit. The same with Mitch Dann,” Lueders said. “And I told Tyler, ‘I don’t know if you realize it, but you were going 4-0 with the number two guy in the nation. That’s a bright spot.”
Their teammates were impressed.
“There’s definitely a difference between the guys who stepped in tonight, but the thing is they all battled,” Caldwell said. “Luke Larkin comes up with a big win in the first dual. He just had some guts. Mitch Dann stepping in, being a freshman, he comes out and gets a win. It’s a really good feeling seeing younger kids stepping up and filling the shoes of some other kids.
Matches like those, along with the successes by his established wrestlers, left Lueders feeling pretty good about Clinton’s chances this weekend at the Dubuque Senior Invitational.
CLINTON 45, UNITED TOWNSHIP 27
145 — Jared Redman (C) dec. Galloh Gwensinie 6-4; 152 — Alex Caldwell (C) pinned Alex Hubbard 1:53; 160 — Dustin Caldwell (C) wbf; 170 — Luke Larkin (C) dec. Preston Swanson 8-6; 182 — Tate Buller (UT) dec. Darean Witt 5-4; 195 — Justin Guilliams (C) pinned Anthony Gomez :41; 220 — Travis Miller (UT) dec. Evan Gerdes 4-0; 285 — Tyler Clark (C) wbf; 106 — Marques Harrison (UT) pinned Sam Cruthis 5:42; 113 — Jeronnie Steward (UT) pinned Amani Larson 1:38; 120 — Frederic Niyongabo (UT) pinned Damon Dann 2:54; 126 — Hunter Genco (C) pinned Esteban Maldonado :20; 132 — Riley Chapman (C) dec. Tyvan Workheiser 5-0; 138 — Mitch Dann (C) pinned El Moo 2:52.
MOLINE 40, CLINTON 27
152 — A. Caldwell (C) pinned Austin Ventris 1:23; 160 — D. Caldwell (C) dec. Daltyn Dodd 6-4; 170 — Abe Driscal (M) pinned Larkin 1:03; 182 — Austin Vanscoy (M) m. dec. Witt 14-6; 195 — Guilliams (C) dec. Quesean Ford 3-2; 220 — Dalton Stracner (M) dec. Gerdes 2-1; 285 — Adarios Jones (M) pinned Clark 5:42; 106 — Trenton Jackson (M) pinned Cruthis 2:12; 113 — Paladin Martinez (M) dec. Larson 6-0; 120 — Caleb Schnell (M) pinned D. Dann 3:53; 126 — Genco (C) pinned Omar Morales :28; 132 — Chapman (C) inj. def. Will Seaman 2:37; 138 — Daniel Terronez (M) pinned M. Dann 1:09; 145 — Redman (C) dec. Prince Karpeh 6-4 sv.