LE GRAND - After four exhausting duals and hours of sitting in a gymnasium, South Tama's wrestling team found the energy to finish with a bang Saturday.
STC lost its championship semifinal dual to Independence, but it didn't hang its head. Instead, the Trojans crushed Washington by a score of 57-18 to place third with a 3-2 record in the East Marshall Duals
"We wrestled about average," coach Nate Van Dyke said. "I kind of expected to get some wins here. I'm kind of glad we got Washington there, especially in the fashion that we did. Union and Independence are pretty tough. There were some matches that we could have turned around, but to be in the top three isn't a bad day."
South Tama junior Dylan Kalinay pins his opponent from West Branch on Saturday. Kalinay won four matches last week, which was one more than he had all season.
South Tama won 11 of the 14 matches in the final dual of the day. STC won 11 of the first 12 matches against a Washington squad that entered Saturday with a 15-1 dual record this season.
"We talked about how these Saturday meets are long and you have to get up for every match," Van Dyke said. "Some teams kids don't do that, so you have to take advantage of that late in the day. You have to get up emotionally and mentally for every match, but that can be draining. We talked about finishing the day right."
The Trojans began the final dual with four-straight wins. Sophomore Kade Steuhm won by pin in 1:04, senior Lucas Shope won by forfeit, freshman Bailey Chyma won 6-3 and junior Dylan Kalinay won by pin in 3:50 to start the dual. After a loss, the Trojans won the next seven matches. Winning for the Trojans were junior Kolton Smith by pin in 1:07, senior Erik Lux 15-9, sophomore Kyle Llewellyn 7-1, sophomore Bryce Climer by pin in 1:42, junior Dalton Vest by pin in 1:34, junior Garrett Hoskey by forfeit and freshman Jaret Probasco by pin in 3:49.
"Our goal was to get 20 wins at the beginning of the season," Van Dyke said. "We hit 20 today. At Christmas, we re-evaluated it and thought 22 was a better goal for us. We are still looking for two more and I think we can do that."
South Tama began the day with a loss to Union. STC lost 53-24 to the same squad that it fell to the previous week. Winning matches for the Trojans were Probasco, Lux, Vest and junior Jake Thiessen.
The Trojans responded with a convincing win over Des Moines Lincoln, winning 66-12. They lost only two matches during the dual, but six of the 12 wins came from forfeit. The Trojans who actually wrestled and won were Probasco (pin 4:27), Steuhm (pin 0:30), Smith (pin 4:22), Climer (pin 1:15), Vest (pin 1:29) and Hoskey (pin 4:31).
"We did all right, but we're missing (Levi) Kaufman in a spot," Smith said. "He could have helped us."
South Tama beat West Branch for its final pool play dual. STC won 47-29 by winning eight of the 14 matches, including two forfeits for freshman Bryce Ellenbecker and Probasco. Also winning for STC was Steuhm (pin 1:54), Shope (pin 1:44), Chyma (pin 2:29), Kalinay (pin 0:54), Lux (21-6), and Vest (pin 4:06).
"We wrestled pretty well today," Lux said. "There were a couple spots we could have done better, but nothing you can do about it sometimes. We need to keep working on fighting off of our backs. We also have to fight the whole match. It will come. We are a young team."
STC lost to Independence in the semifinal round by a score of 57-17. Shope, Smith, Lux and Vest won their matches for the Trojans. Lux defeated a ranked Independence wrestler 16-5.
"I could have done better in some places," Lux said. "It's the same old, same old as far as that. But it was a pretty good day. I beat the No. 5 kid in my weight class from Independence."
Van Dyke was proud of several wrestlers for their performances Saturday.
"Kade wrestled well," Van Dyke said. "The only kid that's beaten him in the past couple weeks is that Max Thompson from Union and he beat him again today, but Kade is wrestling tough. He's wrestling the best he's ever had. Dalton also had a good day He beat a tough kid from Union.
"Dylan got four wins this week," he said. "He had three wins all of this season prior to this week. He's looking good."
On Thursday, South Tama traveled to Oskaloosa for two duals. STC beat Oskaloosa and Eddyville-Blakesburg, who entered the night 16-0 and ranked third in Class 1A.
"It was tied 37-37 at the end and it came down to criteria," Van Dyke said of the match against E-B. "We took a forfeit from them, so we won."
South Tama will compete at Gladbrook-Reinbeck on Thursday. Then STC will host the NICL meet on Saturday.