By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – Cory Connell saw improvement from his City High wrestling team on a daily basis over the duration of the three-month season.
Over the final three days of the season the Little Hawks showed everyone else just how far they have come.
City High posted its best state finish in a decade on Saturday, earning 46 points to place 11th at the Class 3A state meet at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
Senior Jordain Buckland placed fourth to lead a trio of City High placewinners as City High had multiple wrestlers place for the first time since 2011.
“We took a lot of steps this year to get where we ultimately want to be,” Connell said. “Obviously, we want to ultimately be number one, we want to be the best program in the state, it’s hard to get there but we took a lot of steps to eventually get to that point.”
City High showed improvement at every turn this season.
The Little Hawks finished second at both the Mississippi Valley Conference Super Meet and the district meet, the best finishes for a Connell-coach City High team at either meet.
City High continued its improvement this week with its best state meet showing in five years under Connell.
“Coach Connell is doing a great job with the program, he has turned it around completely from where it was three years ago,” Buckland said. “It shows the steps that we are taking, we aren’t where we want to be yet but it shows where we are headed.”
The six state qualifiers for City High were the most under Connell and the 46 team points were more than the Little Hawks put up in the previous five state meets combined.
“Hopefully this makes the kids believe,” Connell said. “Last year they still didn’t believe they were a good team even though they were a good team and this year they came into the year believing they were a good team but I want them to be a great team and we got closer to doing that.”
Juniors Jacob Dykes and Lance Bormann each collected the first state medals of their careers to help City High finish 3.5 points away from a top-10 finish.
Dykes pinned Isaac Balkes of Glenwood in 1:52 in the fifth-place match to finish the season 47-2, the second most wins for an individual in program history.
“Jacob took a big step this season and he had a great year,” Connell said. “We need guys like him to pick it up this offseason and keep leading the guys.”
Buckland (32-4) capped his career with a fourth-place finish at 220 pounds.
The senior won an 8-4 decision over Sam Gerst of Waterloo West in the consolation semifinals on Saturday before falling 4-1 to Glenwood senior Zach Haggstrom in the third-place match.
“I’m proud of Jordain and all these kids, I’m proud of who they are and what they have done,” Connell said. “Jordain has done a great job the last three years, I’m really proud of that kid.”
Bormann (35-17) added an eighth-place finish at 126 pounds, falling to Shadrach Zarwie of Des Moines North/Hoover 15-7 in the seventh-place match.
“I’m proud of all those kids,” Connell said. “I don’t think any of them got exactly what they wanted but I’m proud of those kids and how they battled and how they competed.”
Class 3A State Meet
Team scores (Top 10; Area Teams) – 1. Southeast Polk 158.5; 2. Fort Dodge 123.5; 3. West Des Moines Valley 112; 4. Western Dubuque 97; 5. Indianola 72; 6. Glenwood 69.5; 7. North Scott 63.5; 8. Waukee 63; 9. Waverly-Shell Rock 61.5; 10. Mason City 49.5; 11. City High 46; 12. West High 45.
Saturday’s Championship Matches
106 – Cullan Schriever (Mason City) dec. Ben Monroe (Ankeny Centennial) 9-5
113 – Kyle Biscoglia (Waukee) pinned Jacob Schipper (North Scott) 3:44
120 – Brody Teske (Fort Dodge) tech. fall Gage Perrien (Southeast Polk) 20-5
126 – McGwire Midkiff (Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson) dec. Adam Brown (Southeast Polk) 3-1 SV-1
132 – Bradan Birt (Western Dubuque) dec. Cade DeVos (Southeast Polk) 14-10
138 – Triston Lara (Fort Dodge) Nathan Lendt (Southeast Polk)
145 – Zach Barnes (Southeast Polk) dec. Grant Stotts (West Des Moines Valley) 5-1
152 – Nelson Brands (West High) dec. Cayd Lara (Fort Dodge) 11-9
160 – Joel Shapiro (West Des Moines Valley) dec. Mac Southard (Lewis Central) 5-3
170 – Marcus Coleman (Ames) tech. fall Gavin Babcock (Southeast Polk) 22-7
182 – Max Lyon (Western Dubuque) dec. Anthony Sherry (Glenwood) 7-0
195 – Isaac Bartel (Mason City) dec. Kaden Sauer (West Des Moines Dowling) 5-4 UTB
220 – Wyatt Wriedt (North Scott) dec. Rocky Lombardi (West Des Moines Valley) 5-3 SV-1
285 – Aaron Costello (Western Dubuque) pinned Eagan Lickiss (Indianola) 2:19
City High Results Saturday
195 – Connor Corbin (West Des Moines Valley) dec. Jacob Dykes (City High) 3-2
220 – Jordain Buckland (City High) dec. Sam Gerst (Waterloo West) 8-4
220 – Zach Haggstrom (Glenwood) dec. Jordain Buckland (City High) 4-1
195 – Jacob Dykes (City High) pinned Isaac Balkes Glenwood) 1:52
126 – Shadrach Zarwie (Des Moines North/Hoover) major dec. Lance Bormann (City High) 15-7