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Spartans wrestlers go 6-0 in dual action

Solon ups record to 15-3 with wins over Vinton-Shellsburg, Marion

SOLON– The Solon varsity wrestling squad has been taking care of business when it comes to its dual meet schedule.
The Spartans notched dual wins over Waco, Cardinal Community, Maquoketa, Woodward-Granger, Vinton-Shellsburg and Marion in a series of double duals stretching back to Jan. 12.
The Jan. 12 dual with Cardinal Community and Waco wasn’t on the schedule originally, but due to the funeral for Solon senior Tanner Wymer, the Spartans bowed out of participating in a Marshalltown tournament Jan. 9.
“There were not many meets around the area,” explained head coach Blake Williams. “We ended up finding a meet at Waco with Cardinal.”
That may not have been the greatest news for the other teams involved.
Solon steamrolled both teams, winning every match.
The Spartans defeated Waco 81-0, and Cardinal Community 84-0.
Every Spartan that wrestled against Cardinal Community earned a pin, although the opposing team also had to forfeit at four weight classes. The quickest fall belonged to Dillon Diltz at 182 pounds, pinning Cardinal’s Joseph Reaves in 38 seconds.
Waco ended up forfeiting in six weight classes, and Solon wrestlers recorded seven pins and a decision. Andy Brokaw (120 pounds) took down Waco’s Cheyenne Sedlacek in 34 seconds.
“Our goal for the night was to get a couple of duals that we lost on Saturday,” Williams said, dismissing the blowout. “Although the scores were very lopsided, it was more important to get some competition in.”
Williams said he was impressed with the improvement of some of the more inexperienced wrestlers on the team.
“Our goal is to get better every day. For the most part, I think we have done that,” he noted. “We stress taking care of the things you can control, like your attitude and your effort. If the guys do this, wins and losses will take care of themselves.”
The Spartans returned home Jan. 1 for a match-up against Woodward-Granger and Maquoketa, and upped their dual record to 13-3 with a pair of wins.
Solon defeated Woodward-Granger, 46-22, and Maquoketa, 42-29.
The matches featured a couple of quick-as-lightning pins for the Spartans. Bo Black (220) bested Woodward-Granger’s Jacob Kepford in 11 seconds, while Trevor Nelson (160) took Maquoketa’s Chad Hunt to the mat in 20 seconds.
“Bo’s pin was very fast,” Williams said. “That is a result of being aggressive right from the first whistle. Even though we came away with two wins, I didn’t feel we wrestled like we are capable of as a team. We lost some matches we should not have lost. It is important that those guys learn from it and not make the same mistakes.”
Against Maquoketa, Aidan Dall’s (106) major decision against Justin Holst and a forfeit for Christian Haight (113) gave Solon an early lead it would not relinquish. Pins by Ben Carr (126) and Zack Bevans (132) provided a 22-6 lead heading into the middle weights.
After Maquoketa’s Zach Koppes earned a technical fall over Solon’s Mike Hoyle at 138 pounds, Solon rattled off three straight wins, including a 9-5 decision for Cole Fritz (145), a technical fall for Graeson Dall (152) and Nelson’s quick fall at 160 to build a 36-11 margin. Zach Wegmann (195) provided the final points with a pin over Shawn Solomon.
The Woodward-Granger match was close half the way.
Woodward-Granger took an early 12-3 lead, and the teams were tied at 19 heading into the final six weights.
The Spartans rallied, taking five of the last six, including pins by Carr, Bevans, Fritz and Nelson, and a 12-6 decision for Hoyle.
“Momentum is huge,” Williams said. “A lot of people think wrestling is an individual sport. The great thing about this sport is it is both a team sport and individual sport.
“In a dual, when guys see their teammates going out there and fighting, they feed off that and want to do the same thing,” he continued. “Sometimes once we get on a roll, that gets each and every wrestler on the team more excited to go out and keep it going.”
The Spartans kept that momentum going in road meets against Vinton-Shellsburg and Marion Jan. 21.
Marion’s Indians were tough nuts to crack, but bonus points kept Solon in control. The Spartans won, 48-24, winning seven matches by fall while limiting Marion to only two pins.
Solon was trailing Vinton-Shellsburg for a good portion of that match-up, but the Spartans benefitted from 24 points off four forfeits to close the deal and turn a 31-18 advantage into a 54-18 win.
The Spartans travel to Mount Vernon Jan. 28 for the last dual meet of the season, and head to Vinton Jan. 30 for the WaMaC Tournament.
“As the tournament series approaches, we want the guys to be at their best both physically and mentally,” Williams said. “We focus more on little things specific to each wrestler. Having the right mindset is crucial in the sport of wrestling especially towards the end of the season.”