Trojans sweep duals at Benton, Belle Plaine

Team finishes third at Gary Curtis Invite, Arp 138 champion

South Tama senior Boden Koehler ties up East Marshall/GMG’s Johnathan Edel as the whistle sounds signaling victory. Koehler earned two wins by fall at South Tama’s double-dual meet at Benton last Thursday. — Photo by Darvin Graham

The new year kicked off with a bang for the South Tama wrestling program. Through three outings over the past week the Trojans are 6-0 in team dual competition and also made a strong showing at the 15-team Gary Curtis Invitational tournament in Riverside last Saturday.

On Jan. 6 the Trojans traveled to Van Horne for a double-dual with Benton Community and the East Marshall/GMG Mustangs.

The Trojans began the night with a 45-21 win over East Marshall/GMG and ended the night with a slugfest against the Benton Bobcats that ended with South Tama on top 36-32.

Leading scorers for South Tama last Thursday were Boden Koehler (170) Dayton Filloon (285), Rudy Papakee (195) and Amare Chavez (120).

Koehler came out aggressive against his opponents and wound up with pins over Johnathan Edel of EM/GMG and Carson Bruns of Benton.

Eligh Brannan works against East Marshall/GMG’s Wyatt Benson during South Tama’s road dual meet on Jan. 6. Brannan took the loss by a 7-0 decision. The sophomore 113-pounder has been a contributor for the varsity squad since getting his first action last week. — Photo by Darvin Graham

Papakee brought down Troy Kupka of Benton by fall and earned a 15-3 major decision win over Xander Bowers of EM/GMG.

Both Filloon and Chavez took decision wins in their matches against Benton, Filloon 8-4 over Brennen Blegen and Chavez 9-3 over Jordan Thys.

Against East Marshall/GMG Filloon scored a quick fall over Chandler Simatovich and Chavez ground out a technical fall over Xavier Slifer that was interrupted several times for blood timeouts.

In their match with Benton the win could be at least partially attributed to the efforts of a few STC wrestlers that didn’t even end up winning their matches.

With a tight score the decision losses by Ryne Kesl, Cyrus Mathes, Jacob Youngbear and Eligh Branan and their efforts to prevent six-point wins by fall against their performance helped South Tama keep the margin close enough to pull ahead at the end.

STC’s Logan Arp square’s off with 2021 State Runner-Up Dominik Ridout of East Marshall/GMG on Jan. 6 at Benton Community. Ridout won the first encounter between the two grapplers this season by a 5-2 decision. Should the two continue on at 138 they would project to face each other at the sectional and district tournaments in late January and February. — Photo by Darvin Graham

In the marquee match of the night, two of the top-ranked 138-pounders in the state took the mat in what looks to be an early preview of postseason bouts to come.

Second-ranked Dominik Ridout of EM/GMG fought off an early attack from third-ranked Logan Arp to come away with a 5-2 decision win.

Through the first two periods of the match, Ridout was able to counter Arp’s offense while scoring two takedowns of his own.

Arp got on the board with an escape late in the second period followed by another escape in the third after beginning from the bottom position.

But Ridout’s speed and length were too much to overcome and a late-match comeback was not in the cards for the senior Trojan.

Amare Chavez sets in a hook against EM/GMG’s Xavier Slifer during South Tama’s double-dual meet on Jan. 6. Chavez won by technical fall 15-0 and has 16 wins headed into the back half of the season. — Photo by Darvin Graham

The two project to see each other again at the 2A Sectional 6 tournament on Feb. 5 in Grinnell and would be the heavy favorites to advance on to the District 3 tournament in Knoxville the following weekend.

On the opposite side of the District 3 bracket is Davis County and fourth-ranked Taylor Huggins who could make for a logjam headed to the state tournament should all three wrestlers remain healthy and wrestle at 138. It appears unlikely however that Huggins would drop down to 138 as he’s been consistently wrestling at 145 pounds since early December.

Gary Curtis Invite

At the annual Gary Curtis Invitational tournament hosted by Highland High School last Saturday, South Tama placed third out of 15 teams with a score of 148.5. Winner of the team points race was Alburnett (172.5) followed by runner-up Wilton (159.5).

The top finisher for the Trojans was Arp at 138 who ended as the tournament champion, defeating Lane Schrock of Washington by fall, Bowen Davis of Mount Pleasant by 15-6 major decision and Owen Milder of Wilton by fall in the championship match.

South Tama also got a trio of third-place finishes from Amare Chavez, Boden Koehler and Rudy Papakee.

Chavez, who is ranked 10th in Class 2A, fell in the semifinals to 1A seventh-ranked Preston Klostermann of Alburnett but came back to defeat 1A eighth-ranked Jordan Dusenberry of Wilton by an 8-7 decision for the third place finish.

Further down the roster, South Tama saw fifth-place finishes from Gavin Bridgewater and Andres Lugo Jr. and sixth-place finishes from Cyrus Mathes, Jacob Youngbear and Keinzer Jaennette.

Trojans 4-0 at Belle Plaine

South Tama was back in action Tuesday night for a five-team dual meet at Belle Plaine with the Plainsmen, BGM, North Tama and Grinnell.

The Trojans swept the team competition, with wins over BGM (37-30), Grinnell (49-22), North Tama (48-25) and Belle Plaine (61-18).

Eligh Brannan earned three wins with a decision over BGM’s Briar Kriegel (11-2), a win by fall over Grinnell’s Brayden Graff and a win by fall over Belle Plaine’s Brayden Peterson.

Logan Arp went undefeated on the night with pins over BGM’s Mason Maschmann, Grinnell’s Teylor Doty and North Tama’s Nathan Kucera.

At 170 Boden Koehler earned wins by fall over BGM’s Brock Bellenger and Belle Plaine’s Mason Ward. Against Grinnell Koehler fought off Josh Osborne and came away with a 9-2 decision victory.

In a ranked matchup, North Tama’s seventh-ranked Aiden Zook got the better of 10th-ranked Boden Koehler at 170-pounds. Zook scored takedowns in each of the first two periods while Koehler was unable to get his offense going.

Trailing 4-0 going into the third period, Koehler was overtaken by a flurry of action late in the match. Zook tacked on the final six points in the third with an escape to start the period, followed by two takedowns and a one-point penalty called against Koehler for an illegal hold/unnecessary roughness.

Five other Trojans earned multiple wins on the night including Jacob Youngbear, Gavin Bridgewater, Clayton Babinat, Cyrus Mathes and Keinzer Jaennette.

Dayton Filloon, Maeley Elsbury, Ryne Kesl and Cale Graff each had one win Tuesday.