State Wrestling Tournament: Sanders wins title, Rams fifth at state

DES MOINES – There are 60 wrestling programs in Class 3A, Iowa’s largest class.

By enrollment, Glenwood is the third smallest.

On the wrestling mat, for the third straight season, Glenwood came up among the biggest.

The Rams, capped a third straight top 10 finish at the Iowa State Wrestling Tournament by placing fifth.

Fort Dodge, who had 13 state qualifiers and finished with three individual state champs, edged Waukee 144 to 139 in the team standings to sweep the duals and traditional state championships. Three time defending champion Southeast Polk finished third with 134.5 points.

Glenwood, with its 76.5 points, was led by Caleb Sanders’ heavyweight state title and a pair of third place finishes from Anthony Sherry and Trevor Anderson and a fourth place showing by Isaac Bales. Glenwood has put itself back in the 3A conversation at state with its performance, said Glenwood Coach Brad Asche.

“Their accolades definitely help put Glenwood wrestling back on the map,” Asche said. “We’re one of the smallest teams in 3A and  this team has been near the top three years in a row with this group. They didn’t break through and get a trophy on Saturday night, I wish we could have, but this group has been a fun group. I can tell stories about this team, this group for the rest of my life.”

Sanders headlines that group. The top ranked heavyweight entering the tournament, the South Dakota State football recruit cruised into the finals with two pins in three matches. He dispatched Griffen Liddel of Bettendorf 9-3 to reach Saturday’s finals against  Dylan Olson of Dubuque Hempstead.

Olson entered ranked No. 4 in the state and ended state runs for the No. 2 and No. 3 ranked heavyweights to reach the top ranked Sanders in the finals.

After the two grappled for the better part of two and a half periods, Sanders struck late with a takedown to pull out grinding, 3-2 victory.

“We were very confident in our offense and very confident in our skillset going against him (Olson),” Asche said. “I think Caleb really opened himself up more this year than he has in the past. He became a pinner and scored a lot of points this year. He focused on those things and a lot of the big picture stuff came together in the end.”

Sanders (45-3) is Glenwood’s first state champion since Matt Malcom in 2016 and the first Ram heavyweight to win a title.

Sanders wasn’t alone on the medal stand on Saturday night.

Glenwood’s Anderson (145 pounds), and Anthony Sherry (182) both bounced back from tough Friday losses to win third place medals. Isaac Bales (220) lost a tough consolation final to finish fourth.

No. 2 ranked Anderson (47-4) dominated his first two matches in wins over Elijah Demmer of Epworth Western Dubuque and Council Bluffs Lewis Central’s Gabriel Kjeldgaard before falling in the semifinals. On Friday night, Cade DeVos of Southeast Polk, ground out a 7-2 win over Anderson to send the Ram senior to the consolation bracket.     

“We had a game plan and it didn’t execute,” Asche said of Anderson’s semifinal loss. That’s tough when you get your dreams shattered that second day and have to go right back out there and keep wrestling. It’s tough. But he proved a point by coming back and getting third. He wrestled well and really smart. He beat the kid for third he beat at districts and the kids who beat them were both in the state finals. He made the most of it after a loss.”

Anderson battled back in the consolations to win a 5-3 decision over Mason Morris of Bettendorf to reach the consolation finals where he defeated Brock Park of WU 5-3 for third place.

Sherry, who entered ranked No. 2 at 182 pounds, won his first match by technical fall over Zach Needham of Dallas Center-Grimes. But he never got going against top ranked Joel Shapiro of West Des Moines Valley in a 7-2 loss.

“Anthony knew it was going to be tough going in,” Asche said. “He’d been fighting an injury all year so he lost some time to that. He had a setback but for him to battle back like he did and get third shows real heart.”

The Iowa State recruit, who finished his senior season 35-5, never let the  day two loss get to him and he bounced back to reach the consolation finals where he finished third with a 12-3 rematch win over Needham.

Sherry closes his career a four time state place winner after finishing fourth as a freshman and a sophomore and second last year.

“He’s always had a nationally ranked kid in his weight bracket every state tournament so it’s never been easy. He’s never had an easy task at state.”

Bales (40-8) defeated West Des Moines Valley’s Beau Lombardi 6-3 before falling to DCWD’s Greg Hagan 5-2 in the quarterfinals. Bales won his opening consolation match but a late reversal and a slip led to a pin by Zach Petersen of NSE in the third place finals.

“He battled,” Asche said of Bales. “Every match he wrestled was a tough match. Every kid he wrestled hard and every kid he wrestled was ranked. He wrestled really well. There was a little heartbreak at the end with everything going well and there was little mistake, he got caught up in a situation and we couldn’t get out of it.”

Ram 160-pounder Brett Mower (38-17) lost his opening round match to top ranked Nelson Brands of Iowa City West by technical fall 22-7. Mower came back in the consolation bracket to defeat Jake Matthaidess of NSE 11-4 before seeing his season come to an end in a 19-5 technical fall loss to Waverly-Shell Rock’s Bryson Hervol.

Kenny Lampman, the Rams’ 195-pounder, lost his opener to Dalton Sell of Muscatine 14-8. Lampman (23-13) came back to score a win in the backside of the bracket in a 15-9 defeat of Enutifa Gamia of Iowa City West 15-9. He saw his state run come to an end with an 11-3 major decision loss to Gabe Christenson of SOPO.

Jordan Renshaw (36-18) lost to Jacob Herrmann of Waverly-Shell Rock by a 6-3 decision then was eliminated in a 5-3 loss to NSE’s Austin Clark in the consolation round.

“I think we wrestled pretty well,” Asche said of his team’s performance at state. “Getting four place winners out of seven (qualifiers) is not bad. We had a couple kids with tough draws and some tough finishes or we would have had more medals and moved up (in the standings). But overall I think the kids wrestled well. It’s nice to close things out with a state championships for Caleb Sanders.”


The Opinion-Tribune

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