February 21, 2024

Panthers roll on senior night

Creston 138-pounder Brandon Briley works to gain an advantage during his 11-5 victory over Shenandoah's Cole Scamman Thursday night.

“We didn’t look like we missed a beat from Saturday. We’re a really confident team right now.”

That was the assessment of Creston boys wrestling coach Cody Downing after Thursday’s senior night double dual victories over Denison-Schleswig and Shenandoah. The meet was postponed on Jan. 18 and rescheduled after Creston’s Class 2A state dual championship Saturday, and just two days before Saturday’s Class 2A district tournament in Atlantic.

The Panthers quickly dispatched a shorthanded Denison-Schleswig team, 83-0, and then rolled to a 59-18 win over a strong Shenandoah team that came into the dual with an 18-4 record. Creston improved to 20-1 overall and earned their fifth straight Hawkeye Ten Conference dual title at 10-0. The Panthers also won the conference tournament at home on Jan. 27.

“Originally I was annoyed at the timing of this meet,” Downing said. “But it was OK to check ourselves and see where we’re at coming off the emotions of Saturday. It was a chance to honor our great class of seniors, and the fans got to see the state (dual) champs at home one more time.”

Shenandoah got three wins by their three Class 1A ranked wrestlers — No. 3-ranked Jacob McGargill at 150 pounds, No. 4-ranked Owen McLaughlin gaining his 150th career win at 157; and No. 7-ranked 175-pounder Jayden Dickerson.

100th victory

For Creston, 132-pounder Lincoln Keeler became the seventh member of this year’s senior class to reach 100 career wins with his 7-5 win over Hayden Roush. The other 100-win Panther seniors are Austin Evans, Brandon Briley, Will Bolinger, Milo Staver, Max Chapman and Christian Ahrens.

Creston 132-pounder Lincoln Keeler controls Hayden Roush of Shenandoah during his 7-5 victory. It was Keeler's 100th career victory.

Keeler said the meet was a good opportunity to compete in front of the home fans one more time as state champions.

“It kind of re-embraced that moment and it was fun to get my 100th win in front of our crowd,” Keeler said. “Shenandoah has a pretty solid lineup. We kind of approached it like we do any other dual. Just do what we do.”

Shenandoah, which opened the night with a 78-6 victory over Denison-Schleswig, held a 6-0 lead over Creston as the state-ranked Dickerson pinned Gunner Martwick at 175 pounds.

Jagger Luther pulled the Panthers even at 6-6 with his fall in 2:32 against Mark Hardy.

“That was a big win for Jagger. That was a very close match at John Harris,” Downing said. “It was a confidence-lifting win for Jagger to win the state dual team thing for us. He’s feeding off that energy.”

Quinten Fuller won by forfeit at 215 for the Panthers before fifth-ranked Max Chapman finished off Steven Perkins in 32 seconds to establish an 18-6 lead.

Creston's Max Chapman finishes a pin in 32 seconds against Shenandoah's Steven Perkins in their 285-pound match Thursday. Chapman also had an 11-second pin against Denison-Schleswig.

Kylen Parsons won by forfeit for Creston at 106 to precede an impressive win by 113-pounder Lane Travis, ending his match against Davin Holste by fall in 4:57 after taking a 9-2 lead.

No. 2-ranked Christian Ahrens and Brodrick Phelps each won by fall to extend Creston’s lead to 42-6.

Keeler grinded out his 7-5 win at 132 pounds and the Panthers won a toss-up bout at 138 as Brandon Briley rallied for an 11-5 lead. Briley trailed 2-0 in the first period and 4-2 in the second before outscoring Cole Scamman 9-1 the rest of the way.

“Two of their better guys are at 132 and 138 and we got two wins there,” Downing said. “Briley had lost three times in a row to Scamman, so that was an awesome match for Brandon.”

No. 5-ranked Austin Evans gained a quick 32-second pin at 144 pounds for the Panthers. Shenandoah’s third-ranked McGargill pinned Jackson Pettegrew in 4:28 at 150 pounds, but it was a 4-0 match going into the third period.

“McGargill is really good for them and I thought Pettegrew battled him,” Downing said. “McGargill will probably be a state placewinner so that should be a confidence builder for Jackson.”

After Laughlin got his 150th win for Shenandoah at 157 pounds over Milo Staver, Panther 165-pounder Will Bolinger overcame an early 2-0 deficit to dominate Jacob Rystrom in a 19-2 technical fall in the final match of the night.

Another Creston senior, Carson Rieck, picked up a 16-0 technical fall victory at 157 pounds in the shutout win over Denison-Schleswig. Fuller and Chapman picked up quick pins in 25 and 11 seconds, respectively, at the two upper weights and Evans got his fall in 45 seconds at 144.

Carson Rieck, one of 11 seniors on this year's Creston boys wrestling team, earns nearfall points while gaining a 17-0 technical fall against Victor Arroyo of Denison-Schleswig Thursday night.

Seniors honored

Senior wrestlers honored before the Shenandoah dual were Boone Pryor, Ahrens, Bolinger, Chapman, Evans, Fuller, Keeler, Luther, Rieck and Staver. The lone senior cheerleader this season is Maci Webb.

Prior to the dual against Denison-Schleswig, Highway 34 girls team seniors honored were Savannah Sistad, Hope and Hannah Woods and Brylea Woollums, along with senior manager Sophie Hagle. Also recognized were the 115 youths involved in the Express Wrestling Club.

Downing came out of the meet hopeful about Saturday’s district in Atlantic. The top two in each weight class advance to the boys state tournament.

“It would be great to get a bunch through and way we’re wrestling right now it could be a fun day,” he said.

Creston 59, Shenandoah 18

175 — Jayden Dickerson (Shen) pinned Gunner Martwick (Creston), 1:37. 190 — Jagger Luther (Creston) pinned Mark Hardy (Shen), 2:31. 215 — Quinten Fuller (Creston) by forfeit. 285 — Max Chapman (Creston) pinned Steven Perkins (Shen), 0:32. 106 — Kylen Parsons (Creston) by forfeit. 113 — Lane Travis (Creston) pinned Davin Holste (Shen), 4:56. 120 — Christian Ahrens (Creston) pinned Tyler Babe (Shen), 1:04. 126 — Brodrick Phelps (Creston) pinned Baylor Blank (Shen), 1:11. 132 — Lincoln Keeler (Creston) dec. Hayden Roush (Shen), 7-5. 138 — Brandon Briley (Creston) dec. Cole Scamman (Shen), 11-5. 144 — Austin Evans (Creston) pinned Bryce Crabs (Shen), 0:31. 150 — Jacob McGargill (Shen) pinned Jackson Pettegrew (Creston), 4:28. 157 — Owen Laughlin (Shen) pinned Milo Staver (Creston), 1:57. 165 — Will Bolinger (Creston) tech fall Jacob Rystrom (Shen), 19-2 (4:24).

Creston 132-pounder Lincoln Keeler became the seventh member of this Creston team to reach 100 career wins Thursday night.

Creston 83, Denison-Schleswig 0

165 — Milo Staver (Creston) by forfeit. 175 — Will Bolinger (Creston) pinned Ismael Alfaro (D-S), 3:07. 190 — Jagger Luther (Creston) pinned Eric Flores (D-S), 1:16. 215 — Quinten Fuller (Creston) pinned Richard Cruz-Nieto (D-S), 0:25. 285 — Max Chapman pinned Gabriel Henningsen (D-S), 0:11. 106 — Kylen Parsons (Creston) by forfeit. 113 — Lane Travis (Creston) by forfeit. 120 — Christian Ahrens (Creston) by forfeit. 126 — Brodrick Phelps (Creston) by forfeit. 132 — Lincoln Keeler (Creston) by forfeit. 138 — Brandon Briley (Creston) by forfeit. 144 — Austin Evans (Creston) pinned Fransisco Escalante (D-S), 0:45. 150 — Boone Pryor (Creston) by forfeit. 157 — Carson Rieck (Creston) tech fall Victor Arroyo (D-S), 17-0 (3:29).

Larry Peterson

LARRY PETERSON

Former senior feature writer at Creston News Advertiser and columnist. Previous positions include sports editor for many years and assistant editor. Also a middle school basketball coach in Creston.