West Delaware won the team title at the Bobcat Jerry Eckenrod Invitational, at Benton Community High School, Jan. 8, as defending state champion Wyatt Voelker led the way, winning the 195-pound championship.
“Our team kept responding all day long to some of the toughest individual competitions we have faced all year,” said coach Jeff Voss. “We were wrestling hard from the start of the day to the end.”
Voelker was one of five Hawk finalists, and won a 20-5 technical fall over Tanner Spyksma, of Waukee Northwest, in the championship bout.
Carson Less (120), Jax Miller (126), Brent Yonkovic (138), and Cameron Guether (285) earned second-place finishes for West Delaware, while Brayden Maury (106), Blake Engel (132) and Logan Peyton (152) were third.
Ryan Hilby (113) and Carson Turnis (145) were fourth, Will Ward (182) fifth, Grant Northburg (220) seventh, and Isaac Fettkether (160) eighth. Brady Schul won his opening match at 170, but did not finish in the top eight.
The top-ranked Class 2A Hawks won the power-packed team race with 224.5 points to outdistance Class 1A No. 1 Don Bosco, at 181. 3A No. 3 Waukee Northwest was third at 173.5 and 2A No. 4 Davenport Assumption fourth at 142.5.
Class 2A’s No. 8 LaPorte City Union (141) was fifth, 2A No. 6 Vinton-Shellsburg (126) sixth, Williamsburg (125) seventh and Independence (124) eighth. Dallas Center-Grimes (114), Benton Community (111), West Liberty (101), Cedar Rapids Washington (51.5), CR Jefferson (45), North Linn (41.5) East Marshall/GMG (38) and Centerville (26.5) completed the 16-team field.
“I was very proud of our team and how they kept coming back every match with great effort,” Voss said. “The Benton tournament always helps prepare us for the end of the season.”
The Hawks opened the post-holiday season with a pair of WaMaC Conference dual wins, at Marion High School, Jan. 6, dropping only one match in the course of the evening in wins over Center Point-Urbana (75-6) and host Marion (77-0).
“Our pace and aggressiveness played a role in the success in the duals,” Voss said. “We won 27-of-28 matches and outpaced our opponents with over 70-to-one takedowns combined.”
West Delaware picked up 10 falls in the CP-U match, with Hilby, Less, Engel, Yonkovic, Logan Peyton, Jadyn Peyton, Kyle Cole, Voelker, Northburg and Maury notching pins. Turnis won by decision at 145, while Miller and Guether won by forfeit.
Maury, Hilby, Logan Peyton, Jadyn Peyton, Cole and Northburg won by pin in the Marion match, while Less, Miller, Yonkovic, Ward and Voelker won by technical fall. Engel won by major decision at 132 with Turnis and Guether picking up forfeit wins.
“We came out of the break with a great attitude and improved on some things we focused on over the break,” Voss explained. “I can’t say enough about the job our coaches are doing with our wrestlers. The energy and commitment they are investing in our team is really paying off. The wrestlers are responding to their challenges and getting better every outing.”