Demons dominate KeokukWashington’s seniors were honored, but nearly every Demon got a win
It wasn’t just Senior Night. It was everybody’s night.
Nearly every wrestler in Washington’s lineup won on Thursday night as the Demons routed Keokuk 55-15 in a Southeast Conference dual.
“I think the kids were pretty fired up,” Washington head coach Brent Van Weelden said. “Everybody up and down the lineup wrestled pretty well. I really couldn’t be happier with the guys.”
Washington’s five seniors — Mitchell Hora, Aaron Kempf, Matt Grote, Brandon Rhinhart and Brody Warth — were honored prior to the team’s first home dual of the season. Hora and Kempf won varsity matches, and Rhinhart won a junior varsity match. Grote had been ill and did not wrestle.
Washington (4-0, 2-0 SEC) won the meet’s first six matches, and Hora’s 4-0 win over Keokuk senior Shea Hawkins at 138 pounds gave the Demons a 28-0 lead. Hora, a state qualifier last season, was pleased to get a win after being honored.
“It was Senior Night, and I just reminded myself that it’s almost done and that this is my last year of wrestling,” he said. “I know it’s really important to win every chance I get.”
Hora, who has been hampered by a knee injury this season, pulled out a hard-fought win. A first-period takedown and a third-period reversal were the only points in the match.
“He couldn’t really do anything against me, but I couldn’t do a lot against him, either,” Hora said. “I was just pulling out my whole arsenal, and I couldn’t really get a turn.”
Sophomore 106-pounder Michael Witt, freshman 113-pounder Michael Ellingson and junior 120-pounder Fletcher Green each pinned their opponents to open the meet for the Demons.
“Our young kids got us going,” Van Weelden said. “Our Michael and Michael combination at 106 and 113 got us rolling. We got some early pins and kind of got the ball rolling.”
Junior Tristan Pohren added a 10-0 major decision at 126 pounds, and sophomore Tony Landstrum won a 10-4 decision at 132 pounds. Then Hora’s win extended Washington’s lead to 28-0.
Keokuk (2-3, 0-2 SEC) won its first match of the night when junior Nathan Elkin reversed Washington sophomore Alex Gonzalez in the third period for a 6-5 decision at 145 pounds. But then the Demons rattled off five more wins in a row.
Junior 152-pounder Tanner Knupp, junior 160-pounder Austin Latcham and sophomore 170-pounder Brad Skubal each pinned their opponents. Sophomore Joe Smith then got a takedown with five seconds remaining in overtime to pull out a 7-5 decision over Keokuk sophomore Dakota Shaw at 182 pounds. Kempf pinned Keokuk senior Drake Seitz in 2:35 at 195 pounds.
Keokuk won the final two matches of the night, one by fall and one by forfeit, but it was too little, too late. The Demons cruised to their first win inside the new Washington High School gymnasium.
“I don’t know if anyone was expecting us to dominate Keokuk like that,” Hora said. “Keokuk’s always a pretty good wrestling team, especially when we hear that they have close to 50 guys on their team. We knew they were going to have some depth, and when they have a lot of guys weighing in at each weight, we knew they have some competition in their room. But it was really good for a lot of guys to step up and win some close matches.”
Washington will travel to the Dike-New Hartford dual tournament on Saturday for its last action before the holiday break.
“Last year we won that tournament and came back 5-0,” Van Weelden said. “Hopefully we can repeat that and have a fun ride home and maybe stop at Wendy’s again. If we win it, I usually have to buy them chocolate shakes at Wendy’s in Cedar Rapids, so we’ll see how it goes. I hope I’m buying chocolate shakes again.”
Washington 55, Keokuk 15
106 — Michael Witt (W) pinned Hunter Finch (K), 1:13. 113 — Michael Ellingson (W) pinned Gage Hawkins (K), 3:18. 120 — Fletcher Green (W) pinned Dakota Donner (K), 0:52. 126 — Tristan Pohren (W) major dec. Austin Hughes (K), 10-0. 132 — Tony Landstrum (W) dec. Cody Forbes (K), 10-4. 138 — Mitchell Hora (W) dec. Shea Hawkins (K), 4-0. 145 — Nathan Elkin (K) dec. Alex Gonzalez (W), 6-5. 152 — Tanner Knupp (W) pinned Marc Wharton (K), 0:43. 160 — Austin Latcham (W) pinned Shawn Haage (K), 3:22. 170 — Brad Skubal (W) pinned Lee Alberts (K), 0:46. 182 — Joe Smith (W) dec. Dakota Shaw (K), 7-5 (OT). 195 — Aaron Kempf (W) pinned Drake Seitz (K), 2:35. 220 — Trevor Roth (K) pinned Kyle Collier (W), 1:41. 285 — Alex Goss (K) received forfeit.
Junior varsity matches
126 — Jarek Brown (W) pinned Chandler Sanders (K), 2:16. 145 — Zach Meek (K) pinned Bryce Rickey (W), 3:59. 145 — Tyler Bitting (K) pinned Derek Stalder (W), 2:57. 145 — Patrick Profeta (K) major dec. Tyler Walters (W), 10-2. 152 — Jacob Briscoe (K) major dec. Diego Montero (W), 12-3. 160 — Cody Winkler (K) pinned Jose Tapia (W), 1:19. 170 — Logan Howard (W) major dec. Matt Lefler (K), 9-0. 170 — Brandon Rhinhart (W) pinned Jesse Belba (K), 1:46. 182 — Steven Carter (K) pinned Colton Twinam (W), 1:43. 195 — Griphin Jeffers (K) pinned Grant Shive (W), 3:23. 220 — Tama Leutele (W) dec. Ryan Egley (K), 9-6. 120 — Jarek Browk (W) pinned Montana Donner (K), 1:00. 152 — Jacob Briscoe (K) pinned Prince Gustavo Perez (W), 1:56. 170 — Brendan Sadagh (K) pinned Brody Warth (W), 5:51. 182 — Colton Twinam (W) pinned Nathan Londrie (K), 3:35. 195 — Matt Miller (K) pinned Grant Shive (W), 1:18. 285 — Ryan Egley (K) pinned Darius Stogner (W), 1:28.