As if a pair of opening night dual wins wasn't a good enough start for the South Tama wrestling team, a second-place tournament finish was the icing on the cake.
On Thursday, the Trojans kicked off their season by hosting East Marshall, Wapsie Valley and Hudson. The Trojans competed against East Marshall and Wapsie Valley and came away with a pair of easy victories on Thursday night. South Tama first beat North Iowa Cedar League rival East Marshall 60-21 and then took care of Wapsie Valley by a score of 57-21.
"I thought it was a big night for us," coach Nate Van Dyke said. "East Marshall is one of our rivals now and we haven't beaten them that badly in a while. I thought it was going to be close and it could have been decided by four points or so either way. I counted about six swing matches and we won all of those matches."
South Tama freshman Bailey Chyma left, rolls his East Marshall opponent on to his head before pinning him Thursday night. Chyma won the match to start the season, helping South Tama defeat East Marshall 60-21. STC also beat Wapsie Valley 57-21 on the first night of the wrestling season.
Eight South Tama wrestlers won both of their matches on the night. Freshman Jaret Probasco jumped up to the 113-pound weight class and won both matches by pin. He started each dual with a victory for the Trojans.
"I was really pleased with Probasco," Van Dyke said. "He weighed in at 106, but bumped up to 113 for both duals and he got two wins."
Junior Jake Thiessen also went 2-0 Thursday night. He won both 120-pound matches, winning 9-2 and by pin. Senior Levi Kaufman (152 pounds) also went 2-0 with two pins on opening night. Four Trojans went 2-0, with one pin and one forfeit. They were senior Lucas Shope (138 pounds), junior Kolton Smith (170), senior Erik Lux (182) and junior Dalton Vest (220).
Sophomore Kade Steuhm and freshman Bailey Chyma each won their match against East Marshall. Steuhm was leading 5-4 when he pinned his opponent in the first round. Chyma also pinned his opponent in the first round of the match.
"You can go up and down the roster and we wrestled well," Van Dyke said. "I thought our young guys wrestled well. Our freshman wrestled well for their first action.
"It's a great way to start the season," he said. "I'm not satisfied everywhere. We have guys who weren't satisfied and want to keep getting better. This was a good place for us to start."
The STC junior varsity wrestlers also competed at the home duals. Several Trojans won matches for the team. Van Dyke was proud of his team, especially some of the new wrestlers.
"The JV guys also wrestled well," Van Dyke said. "We have a second-year guy in Daniel Garcia, who went and pinned a kid that he never should have been on the mat with last year. You could see that improvement all the way through the line up. Some guys like Jerry Lowe, Garrett Hoskey and Zach Morris won their first matches ever. We had several other guys who wrestled well for us."
On Saturday, South Tama traveled to Bondurant for a 12-team tournament. The Trojans placed second overall as a team behind Eddyville Blakesburg, who won the tournament.
"This is the first time we've placed this high in a tournament in the last five or six years," Van Dyke said. "It was a total team effort."
Kaufman and Lux each won their weight classes. Kaufman went 4-0 at 152 pounds, defeating two ranked opponents during the tournament. Lux finished the day 3-0 at 170 and he defeated one ranked opponent Saturday.
Other top performances came from Smith, Vest, Shope and Chyma. Smith finished runner-up at 182 with a 2-1 record. Vest (220) placed third and finished the day 4-1, defeating one ranked opponent. Shope (138) and Chyma (145) each finished in fourth place in their weight classes.
On the JV level, freshman Jerry Lowe, junior Trent Banes, freshman Peyton Craun and sophomore Kyle Llewellyn each won their weight classes. Junior Zach Morris placed second for the Trojans.
South Tama will travel to South Hardin on Thursday for a double dual. The Trojans are back at home Saturday for the STC Duals.