Team Theme Leads Solon to First State Title in Program History
By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – All season Solon stressed its goal of winning a state duals title because of how much emphasis the Spartans placed on the team aspect of wrestling.
The Spartans didn’t get their title on Wednesday at the 2A state dual meet but still left Des Moines with a title and it was definitely a team effort.
Solon had five medalists and all eight state qualifiers scored points as the Spartans claimed the first team title in program history by half a point over top-ranked New Hampton on Saturday at a sold-out Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
“Every one of the eight guys that were down here scored points, even (Graeson Dall) with a broken leg scored four points, it was a total team effort,” Williams said. “It’s not just those eight guys it’s everybody.”
Senior Bryce West won his third consecutive state title at 120 pounds and four other Spartans finished in the top six as Solon finished with 96.5 points to hold off New Hampton.
By winning by half a point Solon matched the slimmest margin of victory in state meet history and avenged a 45-23 loss to New Hampton in the finals of the Class 2A state dual meet on Wednesday.
“It’s been a goal all year long,” Solon senior Ben Carr said. “We wanted to get the dual team title but we came up short in that so we wanted to finish strong out here.”
A senior 138-pounder, Carr was at the center of a Saturday morning Solon surge in the consolation round that gave the Spartans the lead entering the finals.
Carr finished third with a second-period pin of Tanner Abbas of Clarion-Goldfield-Dows.
“We had kind of a disappointing semifinal round and we said ‘hey we can win this thing still, just take care of what you can control in that consolation round,’ and they did,” Williams said. “You go through the lineup and think of points that we got, we left some points out there which everybody does in a tournament like this but Ben Carr getting that fall in the third-place match, huge, absolutely huge.”
Carr rebounded from a loss to New Hampton state champion Keaton Geerts in the semifinals to close his career with back-to-back wins and eventually a team title.
“Coaches told me just to forget about it and try to get as many team points as I could,” Carr said. “Those were the last two matches of my career so I wanted to finish it strong.”
Junior Tyler Linderbaum added a fifth-place finish at 285 pounds with a 1-0 win over Brendon Lunsford of Fairfield and Trevor Nelson placed sixth at 160.
Nelson, who lost a one-point match to eventual champion Julie Broderson of Davenport Assumption in the semifinals on Friday was all smiles Saturday night.
“It means absolutely everything,” Nelson said. “For me not going out the way that I wanted to it really hurt, and it’s been hurting me all night but seeing that it makes me feel a lot better.”
Bryce West claimed his third straight state title at 120 pounds with a 15-5 win over Blake Steege of Denver-Tripoli to push Solon to 96.5 points.
A 3-2 win by New Hampton junior Michael Millage over Solon’s Drew West at 126 points gave the Chickasaws a chance.
Keaton Geerts’ 6-2 win over Skyler Noftsger of Ballard for the 138-pound title pulled New Hampton to within 96.5 to 96.
However, Solon clinched the title when Broderson held on for a 4-2 win over New Hampton senior Ryan Gorman in the 160-pound title match.
“Obviously, you want it under your control, having it not in your control is something that is pretty hard to do but hey a state championship for Solon that is awesome,” Williams said. “It’s awesome for the community, it’s awesome for the school and I’m so happy for these guys.”
Solon got a win and at least two team points from all eight qualifiers.
Even 152-pound senior Graeson Dall who qualified while wrestling on a broken leg scored four points with a first-round pin before being forced to injury default out of the tournament.
“I knew that going into tonight I felt something special in my stomach,” Dall said. “I knew that something special was going to happen.”
Class 2A State Meet
Team Scores – 1. Solon 96.5; 2. New Hampton 96; 3. Davenport Assumption 83; 4. Creston/Orient-Macksburg 79.5; 5. West Liberty 66.5; 6. Ballard 66; 7. Denver-Tripoli 53; 8. Atlantic 52; 9. Osage 50; 10. Clear Lake 46.
Class 2A Championship Results
106 – Grayson Kesterson (Williamsburg) dec. Jarod Kadel (Columbus) 4-0
113 – Aden Reeves (Albia) dec. Drake Doolittle (Webster City) 8-7
120 – Bryce West (Solon) major dec. Blake Steege (Denver-Tripoli) 15-5
126 – Michael Millage (New Hampton) dec. Drew West (Solon) 3-2
132 – Matt Robertson (Davenport Assumption) dec. Brant O’Shea (Keokuk) 3-2
138 – Keaton Geerts (New Hampton) dec. Skyler Noftsger (Ballard) 6-2
145 – Ryan Leisure (Clear Lake) dec. Xavier Miller (PCM) 5-0
152 – Isaac Judge (South Tama) dec. Trey Van Weelden (Washington) 7-0
160 – Julien Broderson (Davenport Assumption) dec. Ryan Gorman (New Hampton) 4-2
170 – Brock Jennings (Osage) pinned Kyler Fisher (Southeast Valley) 1:43
182 – Chase Shiltz (Creston/Orient-Macksburg) major dec. Ben Lee (Ballard) 11-3
195 – Bryce Esmoil (West Liberty) tech. fall Cody Fisher (WOGR) 15-0
220 – Jordan Baumler (North Fayette Valley) dec. Kadon Hulett (Creston/Orient-Macksburg) 6-5
285 – Tristan Wirfs (Mount Vernon) dec. John McConkey (Atlantic) 3-2
Solon Results Saturday
138 – Ben Carr (Solon) dec. Nate Thoms (Camanche) 5-2
160 – Thomas Bentley (Red Oak) pinned Trevor Nelson (Solon) 5:14
285 – Spencer Trenary (Clarion-Goldfield-Dows) pinned Tyler Linderbaum (Solon) 2:59
138 – Ben Carr (Solon) pinned Tanner Abbas (Clarion-Goldfield-Dows) 2:25
160 – Lucas Roland (PCM) pinned Trevor Nelson (Solon) 1:32
285 – Tyler Linderbaum (Solon) dec. Brendon Lunsford (Fairfield) 1-0