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Comets wrestle with the best in Cedar Falls

Comets wrestle with the best in Cedar Falls

Austin Staudt finds his way into 138-pound finals

The competition couldn’t have gotten much more tougher for the Comets on Dec. 5 when they went up against 15 other teams at the Keith Young Invitational in Cedar Falls.

Head coach Kevin Wedeking said wrestlers, coaches and spectators look at the Keith Young Invitational every year as a “mini state tournament.” The Comets placed fourth overall, the highest of any Class 2A team at the meet.

Other teams that the Comets went head to head with included: Class 3A, No. 2 West Des Monies Valley, No. 8 Cedar Rapids Kennedy and No. 10 Bettendorf.

Wedeking said looking back at the weekend, he is extremely pleased with what his wrestlers were able to accomplish.

Despite the stout field of competition, the Comets were still able to put Austin Staudt into the 138-pound finals. He fell to Jackson Gallagher in the first-place match.

“I think we had a great weekend,” Wedeking said. “We were outnumbered and we still finished fourth out of 16 teams. That just goes to show you that Charles City can wrestle with anybody.”

Senior Max Forsyth emerged with a third place finish, defeating Caleb Wilson of Denver-Tripoli. But almost as equally as important, Wedeking said Forsyth is emerging as a leader.

“He’s really filling into that leadership role nicely,” Wedeking said. “This is a guy who’s got his sights set on returning to the state tournament again this year, and he’s wrestling his way toward that.”

In the 160-pound weight class, Brandon Childs showed he could wrestle with the best. Although he finished fifth place in the 16-man bracket, Childs was able to defeat No. 7, Class 1A Chris Paulsen to get into the fifth-place meet.

“As they say, nobody is anybody in wrestling until you beat somebody you’re not supposed to beat,” Wedeking said.

Rounding out the biggest weight class was senior Brody Tupy in the 285-pound category. Tupy is Wedeking’s most focused wrestler, he said, and is well on his way to making big gains this season.

Tupy was voted the most improved wrestler at the end of last season, and has picked right back up where he left off.

“He’s very focused, always lifting, he’s running, always getting better,” Wedeking said. “He’s just got an awesome attitude.”

By the end of the afternoon, the Comets were able to finish so high in the team rankings, Wedeking said, because of the extra points wrestlers got from major decisions and falls.

Looking ahead to what the rest of the season has in store, Wedeking is confident that the Comets have already set an expectation and tone for what needs to be accomplish to achieve satisfaction.

“This really sets a benchmark; it shows we can compete at the highest level,” Wedeking said. “But what we’ve got to do is perform consistently. We’ve already set our intensity level pretty high, we’ve just got to keep it there.”

Wedeking added that with the kind of competition the Comets expect to face throughout the season, there can’t be any lulls in the year. The hope is to avoid any drags or “slow parts” to the year, and just remain consistently high in all aspects of the sport.

Up next for Charles City is the first of only four home meets this season. They’ll host a dual with Forest City on Dec. 10, starting at 6 p.m. The weekend will wrap up with a quad at Western Dubuque on Dec. 12, beginning at 10 a.m.

By Stephen Koenigsfeld [email protected]

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