NEW HAMPTON — Noah Fye’s senior-season reboot went off without a hitch during Saturday afternoon’s Class 2A sectional wrestling tournament inside a familiar and packed New Hampton gymnasium.
A three-time state semifinalist, Fye advanced one step closer to a fourth trip to Des Moines as he worked a pair of cradles for pins in the first period en route to a 145-pound championship. It marked Fye’s first matches since partially tearing his MCL on Jan. 12.
The talented senior may be the final piece of the puzzle for The Predicament’s top-ranked New Hampton/Turkey Valley team. The Chickasaws look to upgrade their traditional state trophy after finishing one point back of Solon in second place a year ago.
NH/TV won nine sectional championship matches by pin and advanced 12 wrestlers into next week’s district meet in Parkersburg.
Saturday’s postseason victory came one week removed from a three-way battle NH/TV survived to bring a Northeast Iowa Conference crown back to New Hampton for the first time since 2004. Fye tested his knee out the Friday prior to that conference tournament, but opted to play it safe.
It took Fye seven seconds to pin his sectional semifinal opponent. And while he would have preferred to get into his attacks quicker in the finals, he said it felt good to finish once he did.
“I didn’t wrestle at conference because it wasn’t 100 percent,” Fye said. “Bigger picture is sectionals, districts.
“This week I pretty much took it full-speed ahead the whole week. I rode the bike and was in pretty good shape so I didn’t have to worry about that. ... I’ve just got to go out there and wrestle. If I think about trying to avoid a certain position, then I’m not going to wrestle like I can. I felt good.”
Practice partner Michael Blockhus feels Fye completes his team’s talented arsenal.
“It’s huge for us as a whole,” said Blockhus, a three-time state finalist and two-time champion. “We love having all our guys all together. It really sets a tone and brings our mood up. He (Fye) is going to make some noise.”
New Hampton/Turkey Valley coach Nick Hemann added that time away from competition has helped Fye develop a stronger voice.
“He’s a huge leader so when he wasn’t out there wrestling the last three weeks, he’s been a great teammate coaching guys up,” Hemann said. “It’s probably made him better, honestly, sitting out and having to talk to guys. It’s a true testament to Noah.”
In addition to Fye, 170-pound senior Cale Reicks — one of four additions from Turkey Valley — has been another valuable leader during the first season of this merged program. Reicks was among the large NH/TV contingent who pinned their way on to districts.
“Cale is just an exceptional kid, very highly regarded at Turkey Valley, so having him on board as coachable as he is has really helped us encompass everyone else,” Hemann said. “It’s been a great relationship.”
Wrestlers from the two schools have quickly become a united team.
“At the beginning of the year with those guys, it was a whole new start because we didn’t really know them that much,” Fye said “I feel like the whole team is coming together at the right time, so it should be fun to get together and make a run.”
Added Blockhus, “I think this is the best team I’ve ever been a part of. We’re closer together than we ever have been. I’m excited for the state tournament because this team — once they get rolling — you can’t stop them.”
In addition to NH/TV’s big day, Charles City’s Dylan Koresh (152) and Tylor Zuspan (heavyweight) secured championship pins. Aplington-Parkersburg senior Hunter Maitland reached his first district tournament with a championship at 182.
HOW THEY FINISHED
Team Pts. Adv.
N. Hamp./Turk. Vall. 289 12
Charles City 170.5 7
South Hardin/BCLUW 166 4
Hampton-Dumont 152 2
Apl.-P’burg/Grundy Ctr. 127 3
Glad.-Reinbeck/N. Tama 94 0
CHAMPIONSHIP — Johnny Dreckman (NHTV) pinned Abe Scheideman (HD), 3:14.
SECOND — Scheideman.
CHAMPIONSHIP — Taylor Kolthoff (SHBC) dec. Bronson Forsyth (CC), 5-0.
SECOND — Forsyth.
CHAMPIONSHIP — Carson Babcock (NHTV) pinned Alec Staudt (CC), 1:24.
SECOND — Staudt tech fall over Jaycob Martzahn (HD), 17-2.
CHAMPIONSHIP — Mason Cleveland (NHTV) pinned Shadner Anderson (SHBC), 0:27.
SECOND — Nathan Klahsen (APGC) pinned Anderson, 0:25.
CHAMPIONSHIP — Max Babcock (NHTV) pinned Coby Willett (SHBC), 3:14.
SECOND — Willett pinned Parker Allen (HD), 2:26.
CHAMPIONSHIP — Michael Blockhus (NHTV) pinned Neifer Ralston (SHBC), 0:31
SECOND — Brier Uhlenhoop (APGC) pinned Ralston, 1:04.
CHAMPIONSHIP — Noah Fye (NHTV) pinned Koty Kruse (SHBC), 0:56
SECOND — Kruse dec. Cole Reams (CC), 3-1
CHAMPIONSHIP — Dylan Koresh (CC) pinned Clayton Taylor (NHTV), 1:55.
SECOND — Taylor.
CHAMPIONSHIP — Cale Reicks (NHTV) pinned Elliott Sinnwell (CC), 2:54.
SECOND — Sinnwell dec. Josh Kew (HD), 14-2
CHAMPIONSHIP — Noah Glaser (NHTV) pinned Jack Sindlinger (CC), 1:27.
SECOND — Sindlinger dec. Trey Barz (HD), 18-6.
CHAMPIONSHIP — Hunter Maitland (APGC) dec. Evan Rosonke (NHTV), 9-3.
SECOND — Rosonke.
CHAMPIONSHIP — Dalton Chipp (HD) dec. Max Schwickerath (NHTV), 3-0.
SECOND — Schwickerath.
CHAMPIONSHIP — Areon Day (NHTV) pinned Josh Halligan (CC), 1:06.
SECOND — Halligan.
CHAMPIONSHIP — Tylor Zuspan (CC) pinned Ryne Fuller (SHBC), 0:40.
SECOND — Fuller pinned Tom Clark (NHTV), 2:12.