After a 1-4 opening round at the Iowa State Wrestling Tournament the Glenwood wrestling team bounced back to place 22nd as a team behind medal-winning performances by Steven Gutschenritter and Nate Harms.
Waverly-Shell Rock was the Class 3A champion for the fourth straight time with 152 team points. Iowa City West was a close second with 150, followed by Bettendorf with 148.
Glenwood’s 24 team points placed the Rams’ 22nd overall and as the second highest finishing Hawkeye 10 Conference team behind seventh place Council Bluffs Lewis Central.
Not a bad finish after a rough opening round for the Rams. In four of their first five opening round matches, Glenwood struggled under the bright lights of state. Billy Lucy (103 pounds) lost a 13-0 major decision to Marion Lin-Marr’s Alijah Jeffrey, Sam Jameson (112 pounds) was pinned by Matt Victor of Indianola, Nate Harms (130 pounds) suffered a 8-1 setback to North Scott Eldridge’s Adam Perrin and Jon Williams (171 pounds) lost a tight 3-2 decision to Terry Stover of Waverly-Shell Rock.
The Rams’ Steve Gutschenritter was the lone first round winner with a 7-4 decision over Fort Madison’s Clayton Hocker.
But Dyer is quick to point out the Rams’ 1-4 start didn’t tell the whole story of Thursday’s first round. Jeffrey, Lucy’s first round opponent, went on to place third. Victor, Jameson’s opening round opponent placed sixth and Perrin, who knocked of Harms in the first round was third.
“I knew, Harms would bounce back and the other guys, they all had tough matches and we just knew we had to keep everybody up for the next round of matches,” said Dyer. “A lot of times you get beat in the first match and you run through a gauntlet of emotions and it’s hard to recuperate and get your head back together and get ready for the next match. I think some of our guys kind of fell into that.”
Gutschenritter lost his second round match but still fought through the lower bracket to place fourth. Harms battled back from his early loss to place fifth in his weight class.
“Both of them wrestled outstanding tournaments,” said Dyer of Gutschenritter and Harms. “Nate got beat twice by (Adam) Perrin who was a three-time state finalist and we were in 10 second of beating him the second time. I thought Nate wrestled outstanding.”
Gutschenritter, who just missed the medal round in his previous trip to state as a freshman, bounced back from his 6-0 second round loss to Wade Edgington of Indianola to win three straight matches before falling 10-6 in the third place match to Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Luke Kremer.
“A lot of people probably thought he hadn’t gotten much better since he was a freshmen,” said Dyer. “But we knew Steve better than that and we knew once he got to state he would place very high. He wrestled outstanding, placed high and I think proved a lot of people wrong.”
Lucy, who first showed up on Dyer’s team as a scrappy 70 pounder four years ago, dropped both of his matches at state. By the time his senior season rolled around, Lucy was an experienced, now nearly 103-pound dervish on the mat who fought hard in every match he wrestled at state.
“For him to even get to the state tournament by the time he’s a senior is a big deal and probably a story for the team,” said Dyer. “There was many a time in his career he could have hung it up and said ‘I don’t want to do this anymore.’ But he didn’t. We told Billy, right when he was freshmen, you stick with this and work, you’re going to get there.”
Jameson dropped both of his first day matches in his second straight trip to state. Jameson was slowed late in the season by an injury and the time off may have taken a toll on the sophomore at state, said Dyer.
“Injuries always set guys back a bit and I know he’s disappointed in how he wrestled, especially know the kid from (first round opponent Matt Victor of) Indianola ended up placing pretty high,” said Dyer. “But Sam can be as good as he want to be so he’ll keep getting better.”
Williams, who spent most of his first three seasons on the Ram junior varsity before finding his way into the varsity lineup late last season, dropped both of his state matches for a day one exit, but that doesn’t diminish the senior’s season, said Dyer.
“I know he’s disappointed,” said Dyer. “But he had a very good year. He’s a 4.0 student, a quiet kid, very coachable and it was a big deal just for him to get there.”
Gutschenritter and Harms’ fourth and fifth place finishes marks the second straight year the Rams have had at least two state placewinners.
“That’s a big deal for us, it’s big deal for them. To have two kids place high and for the other kids to see that, hopefully, those junior varsity and junior high kids see that and say ‘I can do that,” said Dyer.