The South Tama County wrestling team's 2011-2012 season came to a formal close March 11 with a banquet at the elementary school.
Trojan head coach Nate Van Dyke recognized and thanked a number of people for their contributions to the wrestling program. After going through a ten-point list of season highlights, Van Dyke called the wrestlers the "hardest workers" in the school, pointing out the "blood, sweat and tears" it takes to be a wrestler.
"You don't really understand," said Van Dyke, "what wrestling is about unless you've wrestled or been around it for a long time."
The South Tama wrestling team held its end of season banquet March 11. Receiving awards starting in front are Shellene Lacina, Sarah Holtz, Samantha Frundle, Kylynn Steuhm, Natasha Musgrave and Erik Lux. Back, Tyler Walz, Kolton Smith, Jake Thiessen, Miguel Guzman, Ben Packer, Kyle Llewellyn and Levi Kaufman.
The assistant coaches followed. Scott Bolen covered the JV season, Steve Chyma talked about the middle school program and Travis Smith discussed the youth program, its direction and recent tournament results. Dale Cruikshank and Brandon Dunning are also assistant coaches.
Award winners were announced. "Most Improved" went to Kolton Smith and Miguel Guzman. The "Young Buck" award goes to a freshman MVP and this year went to Kyle Llewellyn. The "Sacrifice" award was taken home by senior Ben Packer.
The "Toughness" award, which is given to a wrestler with an aggressive style which intimidates opponents, went to senior Tyler Walz. The "Dedication" award, given to the wrestler who does not miss lifting sessions to practices and gives extra, was awarded to Jake Thiessen. The "Most Valuable Wrestler" went to Erik Lux, and the final award, "Leadership" award, went to Levi Kaufman.
The team managers were also recognized. Present were Sierra Kaufman, Tessla Calvert and Elysiana Gonzalez.
The team captains were also recognized. This season they were Levi Kaufman, Erik Lux, Joe Shope and Tyler Walz. Erik Lux also received an academic all-conference award.
Cheerleading coach Emily Chyma gave out her "Mat Queen" awards to the wrestling cheerleaders. Shellene Lacina, Sarah Holtz, Tasha Musgrave, Samantha Frundle and Kylynn Steuhm were on hand to receive their awards.
In her remarks, coach Chyma took note of the familial relationship of wrestlers, parents and cheerleaders involved in the South Tama "wrestling family," and how that made the cheerleaders' job easier and more meaningful.
The banquet closed with a highlight video produced by coach Dunning. The project ended with a dedication to the late Charley Townsley, former sports editor for The Chronicle and News Herald.