The Boone Central/Newman Grove Cardinals began the final stretch of the 2017 wrestling season with an impressive third place performance in the annual Mid-State Conference Championships at Norfolk Catholic High School Saturday.
Boone Central/Newman Grove had eight medalists in the tournament, including four individual runner-up wrestlers, earning praise from Coach Dale Bonge.
“After a couple weeks of struggling as a team, the guys put together a much improved performance,” Bonge acknowledged. “You normally win some and lose some close matches that could go either way. This week, we were on the plus side of those after a couple weeks of being on the negative side.
“Of our 11 varsity wrestlers, no one was seeded higher than third. Eight of them medaled, and all eight placed at least one place higher than their seed. We had no champs, but four made the finals and placed second.”
Cardinal weight class runners-up were Garrett Cornwell, Trey Schafer, Bryton Fowlkes and Jesse Osantowski. Will Grape placed third, with Tyson Haddix, Ethan Dozler and Jon Merten finishing fourth.
“Garrett pinned his first man, then avenged a loss from two weeks ago with a 5-1 semifinal win,” Bonge noted. “His finals match was close throughout. Garrett, down 3-2, went for a takedown late, but was countered and fell 5-2.
“Even though his finals match did not go well, Trey showed he was getting his groove back with an earlier pair of pins. Jesse’s only loss of the day came in the finals at the hands of the #1 rated Class C 195-pound wrestler in the state. He made the finals with a pair of pins over solid wrestlers.
“Bryton made his first finals ever with a 6-2 first-round win, which he followed with a pin over the #1 seed. Bryton took the lead in his finals match with an escape in the second period, but after some close scrambles, was taken down and pinned.
“Will’s only loss of the day was also to a #1 rated wrestler in Class C in the semifinals. Will had a pair of pins and a tech fall that was 1-1 with Will this season.”
Bonge hopes the Cardinals’ strong outing Saturday will provide some momentum for the season’s most important weekend.
“The third place finish was a big positive,” he stated. “Now the practice season is over and this weekend is district tournament time.”
Complete results in Print & Online editions of Albion News