When West Delaware’s Jadyn Peyton took the mat for his third go-round of the season with Decorah’s Jackson Rolfs, Jan. 3, the Hawks had already won 11-of-11 matches and led 57-0.
That did little to lessen the anticipation of what many expected to be the match of the night at 145 pounds, as Peyton — ranked fifth in The Predicament’s latest rankings — looked for a bit of redemption after dropping two early-season matches to the fourth-ranked Rolfs.
This time it was Peyton who was the aggressor, and the Hawk sophomore delighted the crowd with a stunning fall in 1:43 to hand Rolfs his first loss of the season.
“After getting beat by him twice in good, quality matches when I came up short, this time, I just had the mentality to go out and get after it,” said Peyton. “He’s a solid opponent, but I know when I get to my match and my offense, things start to click. Coach always says to be aggressive and relentless, and that’s what I did.”
After the Vikings forfeited to Will Ward at 152, it was up to Cael Meyer to preserve the shutout at 152, and that’s exactly what he did, pinning Nate Rolfs in 48 seconds to make the final 74-0.
“I wanted to keep the momentum going and finish strong for the team,” said Meyer. “He came out pretty hard but I got my set-up for a fireman’s, got a takedown, and was able to get the pin.”
Jared Voss got things rolling in the opening match of the night at 170, pinning Decorah’s Cael Gulrud in 1:36 to give the Hawks an early 6-0 lead.
“It’s pretty fun to go out that first match and hype up the crowd,” said Jared Voss. “We like to let them know we’re attacking. We’re feeling great and having fun while we’re doing it.”
Jack Neuhaus won a tough 5-3 decision over Elijah Mitchell at 182 before top-ranked Wyatt Voelker took Dawson Palmer down early and often before deciding to end things with a pin at the 5:12 mark to put the Hawks up 15-0.
Christian Nunley made quick work of Brandon Gulrud at 220, winning by fall in 1:24 before Ben Petlon — wrestling up a weight at 285 — took only 36 seconds to pin Caden Keck and it was 27-0.
“I just go out and wrestle and have fun with it,” said Petlon. “I’d seen some film of him and just went out and got after it.”
Decorah forfeited to Carson Less at 106 before Luke Farmer picked up West Delaware’s fifth fall of the night, taking only 1:18 to beat Knute Hovden. Blake Engel won a competitive 5-2 decision over Austin Wilkens at 120 and Evan Woods won a 15-4 major decision over Lane Rolfs at 126 to make the team score 46-0.
In possibly the most entertaining bout of the night, West Delaware’s Staveley Maury won a 15-7 major decision over Brady Stille in a match that was anything but a blowout. After a pair of early third-period takedowns by Stille made it a 7-6 match, Maury picked up a big two and back points to grab the win.
“I went into the match knowing what I need to do and just wanting to do what I do best. I know I’ve improved this year,” said Maury. “That third period kind of caught me by surprise, but we’ve been working on staying aggressive and opening that gap in the close matches.”
Logan Peyton continued a fine freshman season with a buzzer-beating fall in 2:00 over Decorah’s Nils Holskevik at 138, setting up the Jadyn Peyton-Rolfs match.
Hawk coach Jeff Voss likes the way his team performed in its first competition in nearly two weeks.
“The guys came out and they were aggressive and focused,” he said. “The thing I really liked is that you saw kids working on the things we’ve been concentrating on over the break. Those little things we are getting better at made a difference in some of the matches.”
“Lee Fullhart is in his first year at Decorah and he’s working to establish his program. They’ve steadily gotten better, but so have we. We really came out and attacked,” said Voss. “I still believe our best is yet to come. Our focus right now is that every day in practice could be the day that changes your season. We need to approach each practice that way so that when we walk out of the room we feel like we’ve gotten a little bit better.”