Comet wrestlers host top-ranked Devils during ‘Senior Night’
By John Burbridge
CHARLES CITY — Wrestling, especially these days, is not the easiest sport to attract and/or recruit athletes for.
Thus, it’s hard for some teams to fill all weights for meets and tournaments.
The Osage Green Devils are a glaring exception. Not only do they have no trouble filling weight classes with their vast roster, they have nine ranked wrestlers listed amid the 14 classes.
On Tuesday, the Class 2A No. 1-ranked Green Devils came to Comet Gym for Charles City’s “Senior Night” which also represented the Comets’ final home meet of the season ahead of the forthcoming conference, district and state tournaments.
Giving up four forfeits to the top-ranked Devils going into the meet, wins were going to be hard to come by for the hosting Comets. But Charles City finally got one in the 182-pound bout when senior Kayden Blunt got a fall victory over Ledger Nehls at the 1:33 mark.
Blunt is one of four returning Comet wrestlers who was a district qualifier last season — others include Nathan Lopez, Trevor Peterson and Talan Weber.
(To note: this wrestling season individual regional tournaments to qualify for districts have been nullified — teams may appoint their district wrestlers — and the state-tournament brackets have expanded from 16 to 24.)
Blunt, Lopez, Trevor Peterson, Ethan Peterson, Gage Kilby and Blake Wilson were the Comet seniors honored on Tuesday.
Lopez had the honor of taking on No. 1-ranked 145-pounder Tucker Stangel. Nearing 20 wins his senior season, Lopez was able to take Stangel to the third period and was still in the match score before Stangel pinned him at the 4:41 mark.
Trevor Peterson lost a 13-4 major decision to Cole Jeffries in the 195-pound match.
Ethan Peterson faced No. 1-ranked 220-pounder Barett Muller, who got the fall victory at the 1:33 match.
Osage’s resident 2022 state champion and No. 1-ranked 170-pounder Nick Fox, who is due to continue his career at the University of Northern Iowa, was able to pin Comet junior Carter Burkhardt 38 seconds into their match.
In the previous match, Osage 160-pounder Max Gast also wasted little time when he disposed of Colton Anderegg in 36 seconds — for Gast it was his 100th varsity win.
In the first varsity match of the evening, Osage’s 106-pounder Tysen Stangel was able to defeat a stubborn Carter Haberkorn with a 7-3 decision.
Three forfeits later, Osage’s No. 2-ranked 132-pounder Anders Kittelson put on a takedown clinic before earning a 21-6 technical-fall victory over Dylan LaPolice in a match stopped at the 3:11 mark.
Other Green Devil victories included Darren Adams’s 10-1 major decision over Jacob Vance in the 138-pound match, and Mac Muller’s 42-second fall victory over Wilson in the 285-pound match.