Arp, Smith make podium at State tourney
South Tama sent three Trojan wrestlers to represent the wrestling team at the traditional state tournament last weekend. Two came home as podium place finishers.
Sophomore Logan Arp finished third in Class 2A at 132 pounds and senior Brayden Smith finished 6th at 195 pounds. Rudy Papakee who also qualified for the state tournament wrestled two matches Thursday and unfortunately fell in both ending his state bid.
Arp and Smith had a long weekend of wrestling which began Thursday evening.
Arp wrestled once Thursday evening, defeating Decorah’s Brady Still 4-2 to move forward in his bracket.
Smith lost his first match in a nail biter to Mason Akelsen of Ballard. Akelsen was undefeated at the time of the match. Akelsen ended up finishing seventh in the tournament just behind Smith.
In a consolation match later Thursday evening, Smith defeated Landen Schemmel of Crestwood 11-5 to move forward on the consolation side of the bracket.
Papakee who wrestled heavyweight for the Trojans was pinned in both of his matches opening night of the tournament first to Jordan Vermeer of West Lyon and then by Nick Bronstad of Okoboji.
Papakee is anticipated to return next season for his junior year.
Arp ended up finishing his junior season with an impressive display Saturday, winning with a pin in his consolation semifinal against ninth-ranked Reily Dolan of West Delaware and taking less than three minutes to do it.
He then faced off against fifth-ranked Brock Moore of Forest City in the third-place match. There was no pin, but Arp (22-7) put on a clinical performance to score first and then pace the match on his way to a 7-4 decision and a third-place finish in his weight class. He ended the year ranked No. 4 at 132 pounds in Class 2A and with just one loss over state tournament weekend.
Arp said his strategy at the beginning of each match is to be aggressive and get on the board first,
“It was tough, I tried to stay on my offense,” Arp said. “Control the pace and just wrestle smart and I knew I could win. I just love scoring first, I love getting the first points. It puts the match in my pace and how I want to do it, so I love scoring points and scoring fast.”
Smith went 0-2 on Saturday, losing in the consolation semifinals to fourth-ranked Reese Moore of Forest City via a 6-4 decision.
In the fifth-place match, Smith went up against seventh-ranked Matthew Wirtz of Emmetsburg. Fighting hard throughout the match, neither opponent was able to take a commanding lead on the board or on the mat. Smith was one point behind with less than 10 seconds left and was close to making a move to get the takedown needed to win before time ran out.
Smith (28-9) was frustrated with the defeat but was happy to find his way to the medal stand in what was his final wrestling competition.
“I was just happy to be on the podium this year since last year I didn’t win a match down here,” Smith said. “It didn’t really go my way, but I think I should have probably turned him in the first when I had a chance. I came a long way.”