—by Peg Patterson and Todd Thorson

This past week the Norse wrestlers were in action every other night, starting on Tuesday, January 21st, when they hosted Iowa Falls/Alden and Collins Maxwell Baxter. Then on Thursday night, January 23rd, they traveled to Alleman to face North Polk, Ogden and Woodward Granger. To top it all off they were at Jewell on Saturday, January 25th, to participate in the Heart of Iowa Conference wrestling tournament. There was definitely lots of wrestling action, for all wrestling fans to enjoy.

First up on Tuesday night the Norse took on CMB, whom they had just wrestled the week before. Leading off was Will Clark at 152, who received a forfeit. The Norse were open at 160 and 170. Charlie Fournier lost a close match 5-4, followed by Ryan Hadaway at 182, who pinned his opponent in 3:29. Both teams were open at 195. With Jose Cruz moving up to 220, he managed to win by a technical fall in 2:18 by a score of 15-0. Danny Dankel at 285 then won by a 3-0 count. At 106 Kameron Turnbill and Zach Anderson at 113 each received forfeits. At 120 Will Halstead earned a technical fall in 5:33, with the final score being 16-0. Parker Witthuhn at 126 pinned his opponent in 1:29, followed by his brother Treyton Witthuhn at 132, who also earned a pin in 5:43. Colton Osmundson at 138 also came away with a pin in 4:11. Rounding out the night was Bill Joslin at 145, who received a forfeit. Final score was R-S 56, CMB 14.

Next up for the Norse was Iowa Falls-Alden. At 170 the match was open for the Norse. At 182 Ryan Hadaway pinned his opponent in 4:55. Jose Cruz at 195 pinned his opponent in 1:39, and the Norse were open at 220. At 285 Danny Dankel lost 10-1, followed by Kameron Turnbill at 106, who was pinned in 1:35. Zach Anderson at 113 was pinned in 3:42 and at 120 Will Halstead lost 10-6. In the 126 match Dakota Rusher and Parker Witthuhn at 132 both received forfeits. Treyton Witthuhn at 138 was pinned in 1:41, and at 145 Colton Osmundson was pinned in 4:52. Will Clark at 152 lost 6-4 and the final match at 160 was forfeited to IF-A. Final score was IF-A 52, R-S 24.

"I didn’t think we wrestled our best, especially against IF-A," said Coach Leland Schwartz. "I thought we had a chance to win the dual, but we lost all the close matches and just looked a little bit flat. Ryan Hadaway won against his CMB opponent after losing to him the week before, so that was nice to see for Ryan."

On Thursday the Norse traveled to Alleman, and first up for the Norse - their hosts North Polk. Leading off was Noah Bartmess at 152, who had a major decision by a score of 11-1. At 160 the Norse were open. At 170 Ryan Hadaway lost a very close match 4-3. At 182 Calvin Bright also received a major decision by the score of 12-1. Tanner Stille at 195 pinned his opponent in 5:59. Jose Cruz at 220 chalked up a 10-3 win. At 285 Danny Dankel was pinned in 3:59. At 106 Zach Anderson lost 13-6 and at 113 Dakota Rusher was pinned in 35 seconds. Will Halstead (120) and Parker Witthuhn (126) both received forfeits. Treyton Witthuhn at 132 pinned his opponent in 2:14, and at 138 Colton Osmundson received a forfeit. To finish out the meet Will Clark at 145 was pinned in 3:16. Final score was R-S 41, North Polk 30.

Next up for the Norse was a very good non-conference opponent, the Ogden Bulldogs. Starting weight was 160, which was open for the Norse. Ryan Hadaway at 170 lost 7-3, Calvin Bright at 182 was pinned in 1:16, and Jose Cruz at 195 won by a score of 9-2. Both Tanner Stille at 220 and Danny Dankel at 285 received forfeits. Zach Anderson at 106 was pinned in 1:53, followed by Dakota Rusher at 113, who was pinned in 35 seconds. At 120 Will Halstead was pinned in 36 seconds. At 126 Parker Witthuhn wrestled hard, coming close in the end, but lost a 5-4 decision. Treyton Witthuhn at 132 was pinned in 1:55. Colton Osmundson at 138 won by a major decision by the score of 12-0. Will Clark at 145 lost 9-0, and Noah Bartmess at 152 was pinned in 1:02. Final score was Ogden 52, R-S 19.

The final match up of the night was against Woodward-Granger and leading off was Calvin Bright at 170, who pinned his opponent in 35 seconds. At 182 Ryan Hadaway received a forfeit, and at 195 Jose Cruz was pinned in 5:24. Tanner Stille at 220 pinned his opponent in 21 seconds, and at 285 Danny Dankel pinned his opponent in 3:20. Zach Anderson at 106 received a forfeit. Dakota Rusher picked up a much-needed win at 113 with a pin in 3:29, and Will Halstead at 120 was pinned in 1:49. At 126 Parker Witthuhn pinned his opponent in 1:51. At 132 Treyton Witthuhn won by a score of 13 -10. Colton Osmundson picked up his second major decision of the night with a 12 -2 win over his opponent. Will Clark at 145 was pinned in 4:26. Noah Bartmess at 152 was pinned in 5:20, and at 160 Charlie Fournier was pinned in 1:29. Final score was R-S 49, W-G 30.

"We went 2-1 on the night, but a couple of our guys who had been consistent all year didn’t wrestle their best," commented Schwartz. "Colton (Osmundson) did a very nice job, as did Tanner (Stille). Both of them went 3-0."

Several JV matches were held over the course of two nights last week as well. Dakota Rusher was pinned twice in 3:42 and 1:41 in his matches on Tuesday night. Also on Tuesday Brandon Greenhaw pinned his opponent in 3:06 and Bill Joslin pinned his opponent in 3:54. On Thursday night Charlie Fournier lost 13-10. Bill Joslin pinned his opponent in 28 seconds, and in his second match he recorded another fall in 31 seconds. Brandon Greenhaw won his first match by pinning his opponent in 21 seconds, and then posting another pin in 1:41 in his second match.

On Saturday the Norsemen Varsity wrestlers were in action at the HOIAC wrestling tournament held a Jewell. In the only "pig tail" match (a match you had to win or you were done for the day) for the Norse, Will Clark (145) needed a win to stay alive and advance in the bracket. Fortunately, Will succeeded by pinning his opponent in 2:37 to stay in the competition. A few upsets and a few rematches went the Norsemen’s way and helped the team to finish in fifth place in the team standings. Only one Norse wrestler was crowned conference champ and that was Jose Cruz at 195. Danny Dankel (285) finished in second place in a hard fought match. Parker Witthuhn (126) finished with a third place finish and Ryan Hadaway (182) had a fourth place finish. Finishing in fifth place for the Norse were Zach Anderson (106), Dakota Rusher (113), Will Halstead (120), Treyton Witthuhn(132), Noah Bartmess(152) and Tanner Stille(220).

Greene County won the team title with 168 1/2 points, crowning four champions. The Rams only had nine wrestlers competing out of 14 weight classes contested, but seven of their wrestlers made the finals. JD Rader of South Hamilton was named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler after winning a strong 132 lb. weight class. He earned a pin and a technical fall before winning the title match 5-2. PCM finished second with 167 points, crowning two champs. And Gilbert came in third with 161 points, earning seven top three finishes. Saydel was fourth with 156 1/2 points, followed by Roland-Story (134) and South Hamilton (125). The Hawks had two other title holders to go along with Rader’s championship - Austin Roys (145) and Josh Lutter (285). Rounding out the field were North Polk (102), Nevada (72), CMB (69) and Colfax-Mingo (57).

"We wrestled o.k. throughout the day," commented Coach Schwartz, "but we lost a few matches to opponents that we had previously beaten or were seeded ahead of. We were sitting in sixth place behind South Hamilton until the final round. Then we stepped up and finished strong, going 8-2, with all the wins coming by a fall. Jose Cruz was our only conference champion. This is his second conference title after winning the 195 pound class last year."

The Norse have some time off this week to rest up and heal, then they host a team dual tournament on Saturday, Feb. 1st, starting at 10 a.m. Teams from Webster City, Davis County, Hampton-Dumont, Johnston JV and OA-BCIG will take part. On Monday, Feb. 3rd, the Norse will host Nevada, PCM and Eagle Grove in a make up meet that was postponed from December. This will also be Senior Night and senior wrestlers Noah Bartmess, Jose Cruz, Danny Dankel and senior cheerleaders Sarah Lunn, Hannah Whipple and Cassie Shadlow will be recognized. The Norse will host the 2A Sectional meet on Saturday, Feb. 8th, starting at 12 noon.