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DES MOINES — New Hampton celebrated a little Wednesday following its Class 2A State Duals championship.

By Thursday afternoon, the Chickasaws went back to work and won all six of their first-round matches in the Class 2A traditional state tournament at Wells Fargo Arena.

New Hampton trails first-day lead Solon by 8 1/2 points with Ballard of Huxley sitting in second one point ahead of the Chickasaws.

“The message was, enjoy this for a while so we went to Olive Garden, got fueled up and had some fun,” New Hampton head coach Nick Hemann said. “These guys are warriors. To come back after a good high like that and compete, I wasn’t too worried. They are wired the right way.”

The Chickasaws got a pin from Michael Millage at 120, a major decision from Noah Fye at 132, and a pin from Keaton Geerts to get things rolling. Ryan Gorman and Noah Glaser had back-to-back wins at 160 and 170, before Noah Hopp capped the perfect first-round with a 5:24 pin.

Gorman, who is ranked second at 160, topped No. 6 Tristin Westphal-Edwards of Washington, 5-1, in one of several top 10 first-round showdowns.

“Coach told me nobody can handle my pace in the state,” Gorman said. “It is kind of my deal when I want to push the pace, which is all the time, nobody is going to be able to stop me.

“Perfect six for six,” continued Gorman of the Chickasaws’ day. “We are working Thursday to get to Friday and Friday to get to Saturday. We are going to be locked and loaded come Saturday.”

Hemann said it is too early in the tournament to get overly excited, especially considering Solon, which produced four pins and a technical fall among five first-round wins that gave the Spartans 9 1/2 bonus points.

Solon added five more bonus points in the consolation round.

“I really don’t care other than the fact we need to move on to the next round every guy,” Hemann said. “That is the message I’m sending them. The next round gets tougher ... but my message is get to the next day and get to the next day and we will take it from there.”

There are no easy matches at the state tournament and Denver-Tripoli’s Riley Wright needed no further reminder when he first saw his opening-round draw.

Wright, third-ranked at 126, drew fourth-ranked Dante Tacchia of Iowa Falls-Alden, a three-time state placewinner. But Wright entered with confidence he could beat the Cadet senior, and in fact he already had.

Wright handed Tacchia his only loss of the season, 1-0, in a tournament on Jan. 14, and Thursday he handed Tacchia his second with a 3-0 victory in one of the marquee matches of the 2A session.

“It was nuts. We met earlier in the season, 1-0,” Wright said. “I knew it was going to be a good match, but felt confident coming in doing what I do and I’d get it done.”

Wright scored a reversal with 28 seconds left in the second period to take a 2-0 lead and was awarded a penalty point late in the match for the final score. Wright’s victory was part of a performance that also saw first-round wins by teammates Blake Steege and Cael Krueger.

Jack Thomsen has a familiar last name to state tournament fans. The Union of La Porte City freshman knows that and his sole focus is continuing the family tradition older brothers Logan and Max started.

Thomsen, ranked second at 106, made a strong debut with a 7-1 victory.

“There is a lot of pressure,” Thomsen said of carrying on the legacy. “If you think about it you are going to lose, but I’ve got to keep the family tradition going.”

Several other area wrestlers scored first-round wins.

Philip Ihde of Decorah won a 9-7 decision at 120, Nate Lasher of Charles City won 11-9 at 132, Ryan Steffen of Crestwood won 3-2 at 132, Carter Block of Oelwein won 4-0 at 145, and Derek Fox of Osage posted a pin at 152.

In addition, Brock Jennings of Osage got a pin at 170, Michael Kent of Iowa Falls-Alden posted a 9-6 decision at 170, Alex Koehler of Charles City advanced with a 9-3 win at 182, Jordan Baumler of North Fayette-Valley won 8-1 at 220, Caleb Ring of Osage scored a first-period pin and Ethan Lape of North Fayette-Valley was a 9-3 winner at 285 pounds.


Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for The Courier

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