South Tama's wrestling squad was two points away from sweeping its home invitational dual tournament on Dec. 8.
The Trojans convincingly won three of their five duals and won another by eight points. However, it was their second dual of the day that kept them from a perfect record Saturday. With the four wins, the Trojans improved to 7-2 on duals this season, after splitting duals at South Hardin earlier in the week.
"We have a pretty good dual team," coach Nate Van Dyke said. "We are solid all the way around. You also get more matches this way. You're guaranteed five matches in a six-team dual tournament."
South Tama’s Lucas Shope attempts to pin his opponent during the Trojans home dual invitational on Dec. 8. Shope won the match 13-2 against his Mount Pleasant opponent. STC narrowly lost the dual, 36-34, but it won its other four duals on the day.
South Tama began its home dual tournament against Vinton-Shellsburg. STC easily won the dual by a score of 51-24. STC faced Mount Pleasant in its next dual. The Trojans fought hard and nearly pulled off the victory. They won the last match and almost recorded a pin to tie the dual. However, Mount Pleasant won it 36-34.
"We moved guys around a lot," Van Dyke said. "We bumped about seven guys and we thought that was the only chance we had to win it. For the most part, it worked. We just needed a few more bonus points."
The Trojans rebounded from the close loss by winning its final three duals. First, the Trojans defeated rival Grinnell 42-34. Then they took care of West Marshall by a score of 45-30. Finally, Nevada fell victim to the Trojans, 60-21.
"We beat Grinnell for the first time in quite a while," Van Dyke said. "We haven't beat them in three or four years. West Marshall is always tough and they went to state duals last year, so it was nice to beat them.
"It was a pretty good day," he Dyke said. "We had some guys sick and a couple of them wrestled anyway. We lost by two to Mount Pleasant and if we could have got a pin in the last match, that would have tied it. After that it goes down to criteria and I think we would have won on criteria. So, we lost once to a decent 3A school by two points. So, it was a good day."
A trio of STC wrestlers went undefeated during the day. They were Kade Steuhm, Levi Kaufman and Erik Lux. Jaret Probasco, Jake Thiessen, Kolton Smith and Dalton Vest also went 4-1 at the Trojans tournament.
"We wrestled pretty well today," Lux said. "Everybody was getting their bonus points and kept wrestling all three periods. Our only loss was a close one to Mount Pleasant and if we could redo it, I think we could beat them. It's fun to wrestle at home, too.
"We're gaining more experience every day, especially our younger guys," he added. "We are also starting to get down to our weights that we want to be at this year. Once we do that, we'll be a pretty good dual team."
On Dec. 6, South Tama traveled to Eldora to compete against BCLUW and AGWSR. STC crushed BCLUW, winning 54-17, but lost 45-28 to AGWSR.
"We have some freshmen in our lineup," Van Dyke said. "They are pretty good right now, but they will be really good by the end of the year, if not the next couple of years."
Five Trojans went 2-0 that night. They were Lucas Shope, Kaufman, Lux, Smith and Vest.
"It's my senior year," Lux said. "I got a state championship last year and I know I'm headed to UNI, so I'm just using that as motivation for this year."
The junior varsity Trojans competed in the Vinton JV Invitational on Dec. 10. They had three champions - Dakota Vodochodsky, Zach Morris and Peyton Craun. Probasco, Jerry Lowe and Garrett Hoskey each finished as runner-ups in their weight classes.
South Tama competed at Pella on Saturday. Those results will be in this week's Tama News-Herald.