By Kurt Ritzman
Assistant Sports Editor
Clinton swept a pair of dual meets Thursday night from Davenport North and Davenport West as the River Kings celebrated Senior Night.
“Being a senior and this being one of my last home dual meets, it was great to get two wins,” Clinton’s Raf Ramirez said.
At 220 pounds, Ramirez was the only Clinton senior to wrestle and win two matches. Senior Josiah Molina won by forfeit twice at 182 pounds and did not get to wrestle on Senior Night.
“It sucked that every senior didn’t get two matches,” Ramirez said. “I was lucky enough to get two matches. I felt I did really good. What we worked on in the practice room, I put it all on the mat today.”
After a 79-0 win over North to open the night, the River Kings took a break while West defeated North 66-12. Clinton came back out to the mat to beat West 50-19, led off by a Ramirez victory by 8-2 decision.
“That sets the momentum for everybody else,” Ramirez said. “Getting that first win is important for the team. It gets us in the mood to win.”
Senior Jake Oldaker won the next match by forfeit, but West came back with back-to-back technical falls to take a 10-9 lead. Then third-ranked Hunter Genco got a pin at 120 pounds to start a run of three consecutive wins for Clinton.
The River Kings got to their next ranked wrestler — No. 3 Alex Caldwell at 145 pounds — with a 25-16 lead. Caldwell won by major decision 15-2 to stretch the lead before his brother Dustin, ranked fourth at 152, took the mat.
Dustin Caldwell got three quick takedowns and let his opponent up each time. After his fourth takedown, Caldwell finished the match with a pin in 1:10.
“I was just going after it and trying to be aggressive,” Dustin Caldwell said. “Finally, he pretty much quit, so I just ended it.
“It was there, so I took it.”
Dillion Chase followed that with a 12-7 win by decision. The dual meet started at 5:30 p.m., but after winning by forfeit in the first dual, both Caldwells and Chase didn’t take the mat for the first time until after 8 p.m.
“It was a long day,” Dustin Caldwell said. “But once that spotlight comes on, you’re in the zone. My song came on while I was coming out and I couldn’t focus on anything but winning.”
Justin Guilliams finished off the dominant sweep for Clinton with a pin in 1:33 at 195 pounds.
Molina started the match against North with a win by forfeit. Guilliams won by major decision and then Ramirez won by pin in 4:23.
“I was trying to look for a half-(nelson), but he wouldn’t let me,” Ramirez said. “He was kind of stalling. But once I got it in, I just cranked it and held on to it. That’s what (assistant) coach (Don) LeRoux taught me, and that’s what I did today.”
Oldaker won by pin and Clinton cruised along to a 49-0 lead when Dillon Gonyier took the mat at 138 pounds.
Gonyier got a quick takedown and three near-fall points for a 5-0 lead but gave up a reverse late in the first period. Gonyier started the second period in down position, and North’s Bobby Arensdorf scored three back points. Gonyier bridged up, flipped Arensdorf and went from on his back to win by pin in a matter of seconds. The pin came in 2:46.
“I didn’t want to let the team down,” Gonyier said. “It was just mental toughness and bridging.”
Clinton’s fourth senior, Nick Hatheway, finished the shutout in emphatic fashion with a pin in 11 seconds.
CLINTON 79, DAVENPORT NORTH 0
182 — Josiah Molina (C) wbf; 195 — Justin Guilliams (C) major dec. Jordan Trowers, 15-3; 220 — Raf Ramirez (C) pinned Devon Clark, 4:23; 285 — Jake Oldaker (C) pinned Cedric Jakson, 1:07; 106 — Amani Larson (C) wbf; 113 — Craig Harlock (C) pinned Dylan Swinney, 3:07; 120 — Hunter Genco (C) wbf; 126 — Curtis Ilg (C) dec. Austin Claussen, 4-2; 132 — Riley Chapman (C) pinned Braden Shipman, 1:14; 138 — Dillon Gonyier (C) pinned Bobby Arensdorf, 2:46; 145 — Alex Caldwell (C) wbf; 152 — Dustin Caldwell (C) wbf; 160 — Dillion Chase (C) wbf; 170 — Nick Hatheway (C) pinned Jose Bacerra, 0:11.
CLINTON 50, DAVENPORT WEST 19
220 — Ramirez (C) dec. Kyle Verdon, 8-2; 285 — Oldaker (C) wbf; 106 — Travis Pulse (DW) tech. fall Larson, 19-1, 6:00; 113 — Zach Blizzard (DW) tech. fall Harlock, 15-0, 3:33; 120 — Genco (C) pinned Gabriel Groom, 3:44; 126 — Ilg (C) major dec. Tyler Lightner, 10-0; 132 — Chapman (C) pinned Austin McCarty 1:08; 138 — Colton Paustian (DW) pinned Gonyier, 4:48; 145 — A. Caldwell (C) major dec. Jason Bowman, 15-2; 152 — D. Caldwell (C) pinned Harrison Slagle, 1:10; 160 — Chase (C) dec. Khamani McQueen, 12-7; 170 — Nick Ramey (DW) dec. Hatheway, 3-1; 182 — Molina (C) wbf; 195 — Guilliams (C) pinned Tony Nguyen, 1:33.