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Ready to go

2020-2021 CCA wrestling preview
CCA’s Kalvin Mendieta puts East Marshall-GMG’s Xander Bowers in a headlock in a 170-pound match Thursday, Jan. 9, at CCA. Mendieta returns to the Clipper lineup as a junior at either 182 or 195 pounds.

TIFFIN– Due to the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Community School District returning to all-online learning, extracurricular activities, including athletic practices, are on hold until the students return to in-person/onsite learning on Monday, Nov. 30. However, the Clipper wrestlers aren’t just sitting around biding their time.
“The kids are running, working out and practicing individually,” said Coach Kyle Forness.
It’s Forness’ sixth season with the Clippers and it is already shaping up to be a challenging one. Formal practice starts on Wednesday, Nov. 25, thanks to a waiver, and barring any extension of the district’s online learning or further COVID-19 restrictions from the governor’s office, the first meet, the Cliff Keen Invitational, is set for Friday and Saturday, Dec. 4 and 5, at Independence.
The Boats return at least five experienced wrestlers to the mats.
Senior Nate Beckman is back at 152 pounds although, Forness said, he could go at 145. Beckman was out for part of last season due to an injury but returned to action for a fifth-place finish in the 3A District 6 Tournament.
Sophomore Beck Arant hits the mats at 113 or 106 pounds and was sixth in last year’s district tournament. Sophomore Caden Baxter took some lumps last season as a freshman, Coach Forness said, noting Baxter wrestled eight ranked opponents in a row. But he’s bigger this year and takes experience to the mat at 145 or 138 pounds.
Sophomore Kelvin Mendieta made noise on the gridiron this year after a tough outing last year as a freshman. But Forness expects a better season at 182 or 195 pounds. Jayden Massey took second place at last year’s WaMaC Conference Tournament and brought home a fourth-place showing in the district tournament with over 20 wins. The junior, in his third year of varsity wrestling, competes at 120 pounds.
The Clippers will also make use of “one of the better freshman classes,” the coach said, including Jack Stevens, little brother to CCA grad Sam Stevens, competing at 113 pounds.
In addition, CCA has a girl’s squad this season, with 13 currently on the roster. Girls’ wrestling is not yet an Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union-sanctioned sport, but increasingly, schools are fielding girls’ teams in the sport. Forness noted the Creek’s mat girls are all beginners who have never wrestled before.
“We are running as one team,” he emphasized, pointing out the girls will only wrestle other girls with the hope of getting them at least two or three competitions this season. Mid Prairie, he added, has a girls’ team, for example, and CCA is scheduled to wrestle in its tournament on Saturday, Dec. 12.
Current guidelines from the state limit spectators at all high school events to only two tickets per participant, but the district plans to live stream events. The Clippers only have two home meets on the 2020-2021 schedule, a double dual meet on Thursday, Jan. 28, and a regular season ending double dual on Thursday, Feb. 4.
Looking at an uncertain season Coach Forness said, “Our kids are planning for a season, and are going to continue to prepare until they’re told there isn’t, and if there is, we’ll see where we end up.”

Clear Creek Amana 2020-2021 varsity wrestling schedule (subject to change)
Friday, Dec. 4 AT Independence Tournament 2 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 5 AT Independence Tournament 7 a.m.
Thursday, Dec. 10 AT South Tama (double dual) 6 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 12 AT Mid-Prairie Tournament 10 a.m.
Thursday, Dec. 17 AT Williamsburg (double dual) 6 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 18 AT Fort Madison Tournament 5 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 7 AT Benton Community (double dual) 6 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 9 AT Linn-Mar (duals) 9 a.m.
Thursday, Jan. 14 AT Beckman Catholic (double dual) 6 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 16 AT Solon Tournament 9:30 a.m.
Thursday, Jan. 19 AT East Buchanan 6 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 23 AT Iowa City, City High Tournament 9 a.m.
Thursday, Jan. 28 HOME double dual meet 6 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 30 WaMaC Tournament (Marion HS) 10 a.m.
Thursday, Feb. 4 HOME double dual meet 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 10 Class 3A Dual Team Tournaments
Saturday, Feb. 13 District Tournament AT Cedar Rapids Prairie
Wednesday, Feb. 17 State Dual Team Tournament, Des Moines
Thursday, Feb. 18 State Wresting Tournament, Des Moines
Friday, Feb. 19 State Wrestling Tournament, Des Moines
Saturday, Feb. 20 State Wrestling Tournament, Des Moines