Blume becomes Roland-Story's first state wrestling champion since 1996: Eslick places eighth

Joe Randleman
Story City Herald
Roland-Story's Kade Blume raises his hands in triumph after beating Williamsburg's Gavin Jensen by sudden victory, 6-4, in the Class 2A 106-pound championship match at the state wrestling tournament Saturday in Des Moines.

DES MOINES – When things really picked up late in the third period of the Class 2A 106-pound championship match during Saturday’s state wrestling finals, Roland-Story freshman Kade Blume remained calm. 

After Blume and his opponent, Williamsburg’s Gavin Jensen, spent most of the first two periods feeling each other out Jensen held a 1-0 lead. But after starting the third on bottom Blume came up with a big reversal to go in front. 

Blume tried to keep Jensen pinned down on the mat. Jensen worked and worked to get out.  

It looked like he was going to with 42 seconds left, Blume held on, but Jensen then surged again and got out with 37 ticks left on the clock. 

Blume responded by quickly going on the attack. He took Jensen down in the final seconds and appeared headed for victory. 

But Jensen flipped Blume over on his back to tie the score. He nearly held Blume’s shoulders down long enough for the go-ahead back points, but Blume kept his composure and got out in just the nick of time. 

“I felt myself being tipped to my back,” Blume said. “I just had to roll as hard as I could. I knew it was the state championships – I had to do something.” 

Roland-Story's Kade Blume tries to maneuver his way into getting a takedown against Williamsburg's Gavin Jensen during the 2A state championship match at 106 pounds at the state wrestling tournament Saturday in Des Moines. Blume defeated Jensen by sudden victory, 6-4, to become the Roland-Story's first state champ since 1996.

The match stayed at 4-4 over the final seconds of the third period to force an overtime. It looked like Jensen had the momentum, but Blume wasted no time going on the offensive. 

He saw a rare opening right of the bat and he immediately took advantage of it by quickly shooting in toward Jensen. 

“I could feel it was there,” Blume said. “I couldn’t get to it all match and I felt it was the right time to hit it.” 

Blume took Jensen down with 29 seconds left for a 6-4 victory and a state championship.  

“It was my goal, so goal accomplished,” Blume said. “All my hard work that I’ve done throughout all my years - to come and win a state title as a freshman feels great.”  

Roland-Story freshman Kade Blume stands atop the podium after winning a state title at 106 pounds in Class 2A at the state wrestling tournament Saturday in Des Moines.

Blume earned his way to Saturday’s championship match by beating Independence’s Kaden Kremer by a 6-1 decision, Bondurant-Farrar's Cody Hay by a 9-3 decision and Webster City’s Carson Doolittle in the semifinals by a 3-1 score. It was his third win in a row over Doolittle after the Webster City freshman handed Blume his only loss of the season. 

The victory over Jensen capped an amazing 44-1 freshman season for Blume. He became the first Roland-Story state champion since Luke Sampson back in 1996 and only the third champion in the entire history of the program. 

Shortly after his historic victory Blume jumped into the arms of Schwartz and Norsemen assistant coach Clint Rothfus – Blume's uncle. Rothfus later presented him with his championship medal on the podium. 

“My heart is beating so fast right now,” Schwartz said after the match. “I’m so excited for him.” 

Schwartz noted that Blume, who has been heavily involved with wrestling since grade school and even started his own wrestling club in November to help teach his younger brother Konnor and Konnor’s friends, does not wrestle like a freshman. There is no ‘deer in headlights’ look with him on the big stage – just calm, disciplined and focused on executing the fundamentals. 

“He’s just so good for his offense,” Schwartz said. “He doesn’t get out of position and taken down very often and when he is on his offense it’s hard for kids to stop his attacks.” 

The Norsemen coach said Blume always carries himself the right way. 

“He’s just so humble,” Schwartz said. “He’s a hard worker, he doesn’t get a big head about things and he’s hungry to keep getting better and better.” 

Blume knows he’s got a chance to do something special after winning a state championship as a freshman. He can become a rare four-time state champion. 

“I’ve got to get a second one first though,” Blume said. “I’ve got to keep working every day. I’ll just keep practicing and sharpening my skills - keep working.” 

Roland-Story had one more wrestler compete at state and he too earned a spot on the podium. Sophomore Christian Eslick placed eighth at 145. 

Eslick went 2-3 during the tournament to finish the season with a 36-5 record. 

Roland-Story's Christian Eslick takes down Central Cecatur's Logan Jones early in their match at 145 pounds during 2A competition at the state wrestling tournament last Thursday in Des Moines. Eslick pinned Jones in 3:11 and went on to place eighth.

He opened the tournament by pinning Central Decatur’s Logan Jones in 3:11. Eslick lost to Osage’s Nick Fox by fall in the quarterfinals, but he bounced back to defeat Union’s Lincoln Mehlert by a 10-4 decision in the consolation second round to guarantee a spot on the podium. 

“The quarterfinals didn’t go the way I wanted it to, but it’s important to rebound and give it your best,” Eslick said. “If you don’t you’re weak and I’m not weak. A state medal was one of the goals.” 

Eslick lost by major decision to Prairie City-Monroe's Landon Fenton in the consolation third round, 14-4. He dropped the seventh-place match to West Delaware’s Logan Peyton by a 7-1 decision. 

Individual 2A state tournament results – Roland-Story 

106 pounds – 1. Kade Blume, 4-0. 145 – 8. Christian Eslick, 2-3.