OAKLAND, Iowa – It doesn’t matter if the high school was named AvoHa, AvoHa-Shelby-Tennant, A-H-S-T or AHSTW.
None of the wrestling programs associated with Avoca as its home base had won a sectional wrestling championship until Saturday.
AHSTW — the joint effort of Avoca, Hancock, Shelby, Tennant and Walnut — had six individual champions and eight district qualifiers in all, outpointing Riverside 240-205.5 for team honors in the Iowa Class 1-A sectional at Riverside High.
“It’s something that I think the guys are really proud of, and as a staff we’re really proud of them,” fifth-year coach Evan McCarthy said. “We came in maybe as the favorite. I didn’t know how close it was going to be, but we took care of business and it was just great to see the guys wrestle hard all day.”
AHSTW also qualified for its second regional dual Tuesday against an opponent to be determined.
Riverside, Audubon and Exira-EHK each advanced four wrestlers to Saturday’s districts at Underwood.
At the heart of AHSTW’s transformation is McCarthy, an Avoca native and a 2003 AHST graduate. He said he learned plenty in three years at Atlantic as an assistant under Tim Duff.
“I picked up that your program is only as good as your worst wrestler,” McCarthy said. “So we need to make sure that from one to 26, that we’re paying attention to them and trying to get them better, from the first day they come into the wrestling room to the last.”
The Vikings’ two state-rated wrestlers are seniors, No. 6 Timmy Barr (170 pounds) and No. 7 Dustin Engel (160). They joined freshman Drake Partridge (120), junior Joel Becerra (126) and seniors Cain Fraincois (132) and Jay Heiny (138) as sectional champions.
Team scoring: 1, AHSTW 240; 2, Riverside 205.5; 3, Audubon 123.5; 4, Exira-EHK 111; 5, (tie) Tri-Center and Woodbine 97; 7, Griswold 81; 8, Clarinda Academy 72.
District qualifiers — 106: 1, Gabe Smith, Riverside; 2, Seth Wright, Woodbine. 113: 1, Tatem Bluml, Riverside; 2, DB, Clarinda Academy. 120: 1, Drake Partridge, AHSTW; 2, Trevor Nelson, Tri-Center. 126: 1, Joel Becerra, AHSTW; 2, Ivan Barrios, Clarinda Academy. 132: 1, Cain Francois, AHSTW; 2, Shawn Swain, Griswold. 138: 1, Jay Heiny, AHSTW; 2, Mason Rasmussen, Exira-EHK. 145: 1, Jake Mulford, Audubon; 2, Austin Malloy, Exira-EHK. 152: 1, Jacob Dickinson, Griswold; 2, Cole Bruns, Exira-EHK. 160: 1, Dustin Engel, AHSTW; 2, Dustin Andreasen, Audubon. 170: 1, Tim Barr, AHSTW; 2, Matthew Smith-Petersen, Audubon. 182: 1, Dillon Manhart, Tri-Center; 2, Joey Wolf, Woodbine. 195: 1, Lane Ring, Exira-EHK; 2, Erik Jorgensen, AHSTW. 220: 1, Denton Hendricks, Riverside; 2, Caden Larson, AHSTW. 285: 1, Coy Maher, Riverside; 2, Isaiah Taylor, Audubon.
Panthers win sectional
TREYNOR, Iowa — Riley Wohlers had to stop more than once to have his blood cleaned. At one point, he dry heaved into a garbage can.
The Logan-Magnolia senior came back each time to continue his sectional championship match. He wasn’t doing it for himself — rather, a top finish would be a big help to the Panthers in the team race.
“I don’t know if it was fatigue or what — I wasn’t feeling the hottest out there,” the 170-pounder said. “But our coaches always tell us, ‘Don’t give up a takedown,’ and that’s what’s always in the back of my mind. We knew this was going to be a tough sectional and we needed to win it.”
Wohlers was one of many Panthers who scraped and clawed for as many points as possible at Saturday’s Iowa Class 1-A sectional. By the end, nine Logan-Magnolia wrestlers headed to districts and the program earned a second straight sectional title.
The Panthers haven’t finished lower than second at sectionals since 1998. They qualified for a 15th straight regional dual Saturday, amassing 233.5 points to runner-up Missouri Valley’s 210 in the eight-team field.
The fourth-seeded Panthers will host unranked Guthrie Center at 6 p.m. Tuesday. No. 14 Missouri Valley and No. 27 Riverside will also be in Logan, with one of the four teams advancing to state duals.
Remington Meeker (113 pounds), Bo Geise (132), Wohlers and Drake Johnsen (195) all landed sectional individual titles.
Team scoring: Logan-Magnolia 233.5, Missouri Valley 210, Underwood 162, Treynor 118, East Mills 115, Southwest Iowa 44, West Harrison 36, Council Bluffs St. Albert 26.
District qualifiers — 106: 1, Marshall Rasmussen, Underwood; 2, Sidney Pitt, LM. 113: 1, Remington Meeker, LM; 2, Joe Jennings, Underwood. 120: 1, Connor Lange, MV; Michael Baker, Underwood. 126: 1, Alex Thomsen, Underwood; 2, Garret Thompson, LM. 132: 1, Bo Geise, LM; 2, Jack Kyle, MV. 138: 1, Tom Jennings, Underwood; 2, Alec Moorman, EM. 145: 1, Luke Stortenbecker, EM; 2, Austin Haner, LM. 152: 1, Josh Hopkins, EM; 2, Brady Wilson, LM. 160: 1, Nathan Haynes, MV; 2, Shawn Larsen, Underwood. 170: 1, Riley Wohlers, LM; 2, Sam Gregory, Treynor. 182: 1, Steven Gregory, Treynor; 2, Reide Meeker, LM. 195: 1, Drake Johnsen, LM; 2, Arron Olson, MV. 220: 1, Tom Rief, MV; 2, Nick Perkins, EM. 285: 1, Anthony Ossman, EM; 2, Seth Jimmerson, MV.
— Evan Bland