CLINTON — With the majority of its top wrestlers sick or injured, the Clinton wrestling team had an additional challenge Saturday when it hosted he annual Bob Lueders Invitational wrestling tournament at W.J. Yourd Gymnasium.
The River Kings still came away with one top-three finish and claimed 17th place in the 24-team event with 38 points.
Ethan Barry led the Kings with a third-place finish at 195 pounds. He pinned Wilton’s Cameron Reddick in 1:25 to improve his season record to 24-4. Barry got caught flat-footed trying for a lateral drop in the semifinals and gave up a five-point move in a 6-1 loss to eventual champion Jerry Lipke of Milton (Wisconsin) in the semifinals.
“We’ve been working on mental focus with him all year, and he kind of lost that mental focus for about 30 seconds, and that cost him a match, but he wrestled great,” Clinton Coach Eric Lueders said.
Dawson Troxel also placed for Clinton, beating Davenport Assumption’s Henry Martens 8-1 in the fifth-place match at 220.
But the lineup was missing seniors Jess Chapman (145 pounds), Ben Chapman (160) and Clem Butler (170), along with juniors Isaac Larkin (138) and Lane Smalley (126). Each has at least a .500 record this season, and they are a combined 88-37.
“We weren’t the only team that had injuries and sickness going around,” said Lueders, the first-year Clinton coach who is the grandson of the man the tournament is named for. “We’re in the prime season for flu, and you’d rather have them sit out now than districts.
“We definitely have a lot of guys out, but the guys who stepped in definitely stepped up. This tournament is one of the toughest in the state, so it’s not anything you can take lightly.”
Zeimet, Passmoreclaim hardware
Two area wrestlers won titles and also picked up trophies as the top wrestlers in their age groups.
Erie/Prophetstown senior Garrett Passmore was voted Outstanding Senior after winning the title at 160 pounds, and Central DeWitt freshman Keaton Zeimet was voted the top underclassmen after taking first at 106.
Zeimet (30-1) needed just one minute to flatten Norwalk freshman Grant Harbour (26-2).
“I just remembered what my coaches say, ‘Trust in training and everything should work out,” Zeimet said. “I managed to snap him down and do a quick cradle and pinned him.”
Zeimet said the title served as a nice stepping stone for the rest of the season.
“This tournament kind of showed me what’s going to happen at state,” he said. “It’s a pretty big deal for a freshman, and it’s a big step.”
Passmore, a two-time state placewinner who is ranked second in Class 1A, dominated Mount Vernon Paul Ryan (31-6) in a 12-4 win to improve to 39-0.
“I like it a lot,” Passmore said of his team coming to the first time this season. “I’ve been looking for that match right there to be able to push myself and see where I’m at. ... Earlier in the day I told my coaches I was not wrestling up to my par; I knew I could do a lot better. In that match I was able to pick it up.”
Panthers Coach Tod McCullough said Passmore’s performance was just the reason he decided to have his team come to the Clinton tournament this year instead of going to Orion, which also hosts a tough tournament, but one that includes many teams the Panthers see on multiple occasions during the season.
“It was a good learning experience where we get to see a little diversity,” McCullough said. “I think we competed well.”
Passmore was one of three Erie/Prophetstown wrestlers to reach the semifinals, and the Panthers got fourth-place finishes from Chris Bonnell at 120 and Lucas Carey at 220.
Central DeWitt had one other placewinner. Senior Nick Smith suffered his first loss of the season in the quarterfinals but came back to place fifth at 195.
Indians ninthin team race
Camanche had the highest finish among the area teams. The Indians placed ninth with 79 points.
Baylor Crigger led the Indians with a second-place finish at 152 against a frequently seen rival.
Wilton senior Trey Brisker (36-1) flipped the script from last year’s final against Crigger (37-2) and dethroned the Camanche junior with an 8-5 decision in the finals.
“I think we both are tired of seeing each other, and we’ll see each other two more times in the next week,” Crigger said. He said the loss did serve as a learning experience.
“I need to get better on my feet,” he said. “I need to get my knee stronger and get more aggressive on my feet.”
Despite a loss in the semifinals, Kolby Snodgrass continued his strong senior season with a third-place finish at 220.
“Actually it was great; I know what I need to work on,” he said.
Eric Campie also placed third at 145 for Camanche; while Cade Everson placed fifth at 132, a weight class that featured three 2017 Lueders champions; and Ben Vogel was sixth at 105
As for the other area schools, Erie/Prophetstown was 12th (66), Central DeWitt was 14th (53), West Carroll claimed 18th (33.5), Morrison took 19th (33), Northeast was 22nd (18.5) and the Clinton Junior Varsity failed to score.
Ethen Doty, a freshman with a 26-2 record, led West Carroll with a third-place finish at 120. He lost 3-0 to Iowa state champion Cael Happel of Lisbon in the semifinals.
“I need to improve my conditioning,” Doty said. “I got a little gassed in the third period, and I need to improve on that.”
Trapper Hartman was sixth at 113 for the Thunder.
Morrison had a pair of placewinners: Augustus Linke, fifth at 138, and Reilly Dolan, sixth at 145.
“I like where we’re at and how hard we are wrestling,” Morrison Coach Tony Wright said. “It (the Lueders tournament) is a test. It’s kind of our end-of-the-season challenge to see where we are at.”
Lisbon winsteam title
Led by champions Cael Happel, Cobe Siebrecht and Cooper Siebrecht, Lisbon scored 167 points to capture the team title, beating runner-up Cedar Rapids Prairie by 5.5 points. Lena-Winslow, the third-ranked small school in Illinois, took third with 139.5, with Norwalk (130.5) and defending champion Davenport Assumption (106.5) rounding out the top five.
“Both Siebrechts are looking good, and Happel is consistent, too,” Lisbon Coach Brad Smith said. “We don’t see a lot of these teams, so it’s a confidence booster for the team, too.”
Happel, who won a state title last year as a freshman, led off the finals for Lisbon with a 12-9 win against Cedar Rapids Prairie junior Conrad Braswell at 120 pounds.
“I’m happy right now,” Happel said. “There are things to work on, obviously. I’m not scoring as much as I’d like.”
He also liked a final chance to tune up against larger schools and individuals he won’t see the rest of the year. The Lions take on No. 2 Don Bosco in a dual Thursday, then compete in the Tri-Rivers Conference Tournament next Saturday before the postseason starts the following week.
“It’s a perfect time,” Happel said. “After this it’s just 1A. It was a good time for this.
Junior Cobe Siebrecht followed with a dominating performance at 126. He recorded an 18-3 technical fall win against Johnny Washburn (20-10) of Cedar Rapids Prairie.
Cooper Siebrecht (38-4), a senior, claimed Lisbon’s third title with a 14-4 win against Dubuque Senior senior Matt Connolly at 145.
O’Connor (34-9), a senior, was pinned in 5:16 by Norwalk senior Drake Leek (26-1) at 220.
Happel and Cobe Siebrecht were two of nine returning champions in the field. Only three others joined them in repeating, however.
The 170 final matched returning champions Jacob Wempen (30-1) of Marion Linn-Mar and Rahveon Valentine (33-2) of Lena-Winslow. Wempen, a junior, won by injury default after Valentine, a senior, spent much of the first period bridging to stay off his back.
Assumption senior Matt Robertson knocked off two of his fellow returning champs on his way to winning the title at 132 pounds.
First, he defeated Cedar Rapids Washington’s Will Foreman 11-5 in the semifinals. Foreman (24-5) wound up third.
“I think I probably could have spread the gap a little more,” Robertson (33-3) said.
In the final, Robertson hit a late five-point move to score a 14-6 major decision against Pleasant Valley sophomore Eli Loyd (34-5).
“Honestly, it’s kind of fun,” Robertson, the defending Class 2A state champion said of taking on Loyd, his Mississippi Athletic Conference rival. “I’ve known him since I was 7 years old. I enjoy it.”
He admitted, though, that it isn’t easy to compete when opponents know each other so well. Loyd had just beaten Robertson 10-6 in a dual meet Thursday.
“If anything, you throw strategy out the window,” he said. “He’s funky and unpredictable, so you have to be unpredictable, too.”
Assumption junior Julien Broderson remained unbeaten in 24 matches and successfully defended his Lueders title by pinning Devin Ludwig (33-5) of Western Dubuque in 2:51 at 182.
Also winning a title was Prairie senior Trenten Wennermark at 138. Wennermark improved to 30-5 when he built up a double-digit lead before sticking Lena-Winslow senior Hunter Luke (31-2), ranked second in 1A, in 5:04.
Lena-Winslow, the two-time defending Illinois Class 1A team champion, had one individual champion Saturday, and he has Iowa ties.
Ira Kuehl, who transferred out of the DeWitt school system before ninth grade, scored a takedown in sudden victory to defeat Fairfield’s Brendon Lunsford 3-1 at 285. Kuehl (34-0) is ranked first in Class 1A in Illinois.
The other two champions were from Milton High School in Wisconsin.
Junior Mason Dutcher (27-7) broke a 3-3 tie with a second-period takedown and edged Mount Vernon junior Ryan Clark (31-4) 5-4 in the 113 final, and senior Jerry Lipke (31-8) pinned Prairie sophomore Ashton Stoner-Degroot (28-8) in 4:51 at 195.