WATERLOO—In its 2017-18 season opener, the Waterloo West wrestling squad was able to find a few bright spots on an otherwise dark night, in a 54-13 loss to Dubuque Senior Thursday.
The Wahawks fell into an early 15-0 hole early as they suffered pins in their first two matches.
“I am a little upset about this because we have kids with talent,” Wahawks coach Alex Dolly said. “The problem is we have very little experience with just two kids that have club experience. Tonight was a full reflection of who we are right now. Some guys are ready and others just don’t have that shark in them yet.”
Junior Noah Susong stopped the feeding frenzy at 195 for the Wahawks as he battled Hunter Thoma in a close match.
Susong, who took the mat with his first varsity match, turned his hard work into a pin, at 3:50, keeping his team’s head above water.
“Being my first high school match, my nerves were running high,” said Susong. “I was really antsy coming into tonight, but I knew I wanted to just go out and get my team some points. I got out there with the idea of beating him, and my experience level was all brand new.”
Unfortunately for the Wahawks, the pin was only good for five points due to an unsportsmanlike call in the previous match that took a point off the board.
Losing their next two matches by fall, the Wahawks were looking for another momentum changer, as they trailed 27-5.
Class 3A’s fifth ranked 106-pounder Teme Larson took the charge.
Larson dominated Sebastian Sorando, but could not put the finishing touches on two near falls.
“I got pretty much what I wanted tonight,” Larson said. “I found out that I need to condition more and learn to move around more. I thought I worked him really hard but he is a tough kid.”
Larson went into the final period with a 9-2 advantage and was able to turn Sorando over, but not enough to get him to touch the mat for the pin.
“That part was a little frustrating,” Larson said. “That is where my conditioning comes in. Other than that I thought things went well, and now with a young team, we need to learn our way and work hard every day in practice.”
The victory closed the deficit to 27-9 with seven bouts remaining.
One of the more exciting matches of the night was at 120, where West’s Brenton Rodriguez squared off against Devon Brehm.
Rodriguez trailed 2-0 in the second frame when he came up with four unanswered points, before an escape by Brehm set up and exciting final minute of action.
Rodriguez was able to get Behm down with 36 seconds remaining and looked to hold on for the decision. Locked in the middle of the mat, Brehm suddenly cut low and took Rodriguez down with one tick left on the clock for a come-from-behind 7-6 win.
“We have some big things ready to happen and I saw some guys that were definitely ready to go,” Dolly said. “(Brenden) Burton, (Roger) Guinta and Rodriguez went after it right from the whistle. I saw 38 kids giving us a shot tonight and that’s a big deal. We are ready to turn this thing around.”
Dubuque Sr. 54, West 13
106—Teme Larson (W) major dec. Sebastian Sorando 12-2, 113—Isaac Cretsinger (D) dec. Kaden Karns 15-9, 120—Devon Brehm (D) dec. Brenton Rodriguez 7-6, 126—Gavyn Schumacher (D) pinned Cole Knight 1:54, 132—Roger Giunta (W) major dec. Logan Dzaboff 16-3, 138—Carter Elliott (D) pinned Eddie Lanier Jr. 2:52, 145—Alex Richard (D) dec. Richardson Gbeynie 7-0, 152—Matt Connolly (D) pinned Sam Wright :28, 160—Nathan Seigworth (D) pinned Jacob Oliver 3:25, 170—Deshawn Tigges (D) pinned Evan Baker 3:52, 182—Jon Flanagan (D) dec. Brenden Burton 7-6, 195—Noah Susong (W) pinned Hunter Thoma 3:50, 220—Declan Sisler (D) pinned Javarious Burris 2:42, 285—Michael Welborn (D) pinned Malvin Lokeijak :54.