STC grapplers hold strong at home

South Tama’s Cyrus Mathes celebrates a win after getting a pin over Clear Creek-Amana’s Samuel Schneider on Dec. 9 at home. Mathes is in his first year wrestling at the 152-pound class in the STC varsity lineup. – Photo by Darvin Graham

With a week to enjoy the friendly confines of the STC Roundhouse, the Trojan wrestlers got the most out of their home court advantage.

On Dec. 9 the team hosted Clear Creek-Amana for a WaMaC conference dual that the Trojans won handily, 58-24.

The evening was also the kickoff to the South Tama County Activity Boosters winter programming with the annual Pin the Gym promo night filled with raffles, prizes and fun.

On the mats South Tama got wins by Cyrus Mathes (152), Boden Koehler (170), Gavin Bridgewater (220), Clayton Babinat (113), Amare Chavez (120), MaCael Bear (126) and Logan Arp (138).

The Trojans also received forfeit wins at 182, 195 and 285.

Boden Koehler dumps over CC-A’s Kaden Phan in what ended up being the night’s quickest victory on Dec. 9. South Tama scored a pile of pins against the Clippers, with MaCael Bear also clocking one in under the one-minute mark. – Photo by Darvin Graham

It was a quick night at the office for South Tama as all but one of the varsity matches ended by fall, several in the opening period.

Last Saturday the team hosted their annual duals tournament with five other schools including Independence, Vinton-Shellsburg, Pella, Des Moines East and Regina Catholic.

The Trojans secured victories in the first four rounds, each by a comfortable margin.

The championship dual matchup set up South Tama against third-ranked Independence. The Mustangs got the better of the Trojans, winning the dual 58-21.

South Tama’s highlight bouts came in the final round against Independence.

Working from the top position against Clear Creek-Amana’s Nolan Howell is STC’s Amare Chavez. The 120-pound sophomore was a district qualifier for the Trojans last year and has been an anchor at the light end of the STC roster so far this season. On Thursday Chavez wound up with a win by fall late in the match against Howell. – Photo by Darvin Graham

South Tama’s twelfth-ranked Rudy Papakee earned a 10-8 decision win over third-ranked Marcus Beatty at 195. Papakee came out guns blazing in the first two periods.

In the first, the South Tama junior scored two takedowns while only allowing Beatty a one-point escape.

Beatty was able to escape from the bottom starting position in the second period and quickly converted that into a takedown.

Papakee responded soon after with an escape, a takedown and a two-point nearfall to jump out to a 9-4 lead heading into the third and final period.

Beatty got aggressive in the third, scoring two more takedowns but the comeback fell short.

Gavin Bridgewater gets physical with his opponent, Tyler Steines of Clear Creek-Amana, during STC’s Pin the Gym Night on Dec. 9. Bridgewater stuck to the theme of the night, scoring one of the team’s six pins over Steines. – Photo by Darvin Graham

Right after the win by Papakee, teammate Gavin Bridgewater earned his own upset with a pin over eleventh-ranked Brady McDonald at the 220-pound class.

Bridgewater, who is in his first year of high school wrestling, dominated the mat through the first period and a half, scoring two unanswered takedowns before securing the fall.

Bridgewater was a scoring leader for the Trojans Saturday, going undefeated in four matches with three pins and a tech fall.

Papakee and 170-pounder Boden Koehler each won three matches and lost one. Papakee got a pin over Noah Parsons of Pella but was upset 9-0 in a major decision by Curtis Erickson of Vinton-Shellsburg.

Koehler meanwhile got wins over Cayden Kelley of V-S, Demetrious Hinton of DM East and Caden Larson of Independence.

The senior’s only loss on the day came against Logan Bruxvoort who scored a quick pin in the opening minute of the first period.

South Tama’s second-ranked senior Logan Arp also went undefeated on the day but was limited to only one match and four forfeit wins. Arp’s win came at the end of the day in a pin over Luke Johnson of Independence.

Quite possibly the match of the day was at the 145-pound class between top-ranked Isaiah Weber of Independence and third-ranked Cooper Sanders of Vinton-Shellsburg.

Weber, a defending state champion, opened with a takedown but was quickly dispatched by Sanders who scored a reversal followed by a pin roughly 15 seconds later.

This Saturday South Tama will take their talents to Pella for the annual Bill Van Horn Invite.

The tournament will feature many of the usual cast of characters including Pella, Oskaloosa, Norwalk, Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont, Moravia, along with Benton Community and North Mahaska.