DES MOINES --- Things could not have started out better for South Tama's two wrestlers at the state tournament in Des Moines. Both Tyler Walz (152) and Erik Lux (160) decisioned their first round opponents to move into the quarterfinals Feb. 17.
"Can't complain. Go 2-0 at the state tournament. Good Day," said SouthTama head coach Nate Van Dyke.
It may have taken the boys a period to get into their wrestling mode, but when they did, they took care of both opponents.
Trojan junior Erik Lux works for an escape in the first round of the state tournament Feb. 16. Lux won, 6-0, and advanced to the quarterfinals Feb. 17.
Chronicle photos/Jeff Barker
Walz was taken down right away in the first period by Jake Voss (39-3) of West Delaware. But after the wake-up call, Walz took charge of the match, getting a penalty point and a reversal to lead 3-2. Walz ended up winning, 8-4.
Van Dyke was impressed with his senior's start at the 93rd state tournament.
"He got taken down right away, but he kept his composure. He's a senior, you can tell he's been here before. He got to where he's good at and schooled him (Voss) on his feet."
Lux faced Josh King (39-8) of Sgt Bluff in his opening match. Lux and King went scoreless in the first period with neither being able to get a takedown. Lux eventually would score and later turned the senior on his back for points before the match ended, 6-0.
"Good, strong kid in that match," noted Van Dyke. "I think it was our shape in that match. I think that's what we saw in districts and I think he's going to be in better shape than anybody he wrestles. He's going to win a lot of matches in the third period."
The tournament continued for both wrestlers as they participated in the quarterfinals Feb. 17. The path got a lot tougher for the Trojans. Walz was scheduled to wrestle 2nd-ranked Keegan Mumma (47-3) of ADM and Lux faced undefeated and top-ranked Adam Drain (49-0) Friday morning.
In a tough, controversial match, Walz lost to Mumma on a takedown late in the third, 3-2. Walz took the lead with a first round takedown, 2-0. Mumma rode out Walz in the second period. Mumma got an escape and then scored the questionable takedown after it appeared Walz still had neutral position.
Lux was even with Drain into the third period, 4-4. From the bottom position with under 20 seconds to go, Lux reversed and turned the undefeated Drain to win, 8-4.
Walz was scheduled to face Weston Shaw (31-17) of Algona/NSK in the consolation bracket. Lux wrestled Ryan Randall (44-1) of Osage in the semi-final round.