Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 19, 2018

Demon wrestlers advance to districts

Feb 05, 2018
Tanner Murphy

By Matt Bryant, The JOURNAL


Washington moved eight wrestlers one-step closer to the state individual tournament, and moved the team into the regional duals.

The sectional tournament, hosted by Washington High School on Saturday, featured wrestlers from six schools battling for a chance to move on to districts next weekend in Fairfield. The top two wrestlers in each weight class advanced. Additionally the two top teams advanced to the regional duals.

Washington’s Walker Ikerd (120 lbs), Dillan Sanders (132 lbs), Garrett Ikerd (138 lbs), Tristin Westphal-Edwards (170 lbs), Collin Murphy (182 lbs), Logan Escher (195 lbs), Tanner Murphy (220 lbs), and Mitchell Huisenga(285 lbs) all finished in the top two of their respective weight classes to earn a spot in districts.

“Congratulations to the eight guys who made it through. They all have worked very hard all season and deserve the opportunity to wrestle for a shot at state,” said Washington Coach Brent Van Weelden.

The Demons crowned their first champion of the day with Walker Ikerd’s 100th career victory, a 9-2 decision over West Liberty’s Talen Dengler. Ikerd won his way into the finals with an 18-3 tech fall over Chris Bowen of Centerville.

“We had three champions and these guys have really given themselves a great shot at moving on,” said Van Weelden.

Sanders earned his spot at districts the hard way. After a 9-7 decision over Gage Moorman of Centerville, Sanders lost by fall to West Liberty’s, No. 1 ranked Will Esmoil. That loss dropped him into a wrestle back with Vinnie Bowlin of Mid Prairie. Sanders came away with a narrow 2-1 decision to advance.

Garrett Ikerd won a 2-0 decision over Zach Barnes of Fairfield before defaulting out of the match against West Liberty’s, No. 5 ranked Coy Ruess. There was no wrestle back, which keeps Ikerd alive in the quest for State.

The Demons put another wrestler at the top of the podium when No. 4 ranked Westphal-Edwards pinned his way through the bracket. Westphal-Edwards pinned Cory Allen of Mid-Prairie in 2:48 before dispatching West Liberty’s A.J. Lenz with a 0:57 fall.

Washington’s Collin Murphy moved on to next weekend by defeating Peyton Moore of Centerville in a 7-3 decision before dropping a 5-2 decision to Jackson Gingerich of West Liberty. Murphy did not have to face a wrestle back.

Escher continues his quest for state by pinning Mid Prairie’s Isaac Boucher in 3:08. He then lost to No. 1 ranked Bryce Esmoil of West Liberty by fall in 1:19. No wrestle back was necessary.

The Demons third sectional champion, No. 10 ranked Tanner Murphy, stuck Louie Chickering of Davis County in 4:47. Murphy capped his day with a 7-0 decision over Kobe Simon of West Liberty.

Washington’s final district qualifier came with Huisenga’s pin of Andy Lopez of West Liberty. Huisenga defaulted out of his match with Fairfield’s, No. 6 ranked Brendon Lunsford. There was no wrestle back.

The Demons Brandon Dickel (126 lbs) returned to action following a long lay-off for a collar bone injury and narrowly missed advancing when he fell in the wrestle back round. David Hora (145 lbs) and Kiowa Keith (152 lbs) both missed a wrestle back opportunity by rule.

Matt Collett (106lbs) finished his season in fourth place. Brennan Murphy (113 lbs) wrestled his way to a fifth place spot. Dylan Farmer (160 lbs) ended in sixth.

“Wrestling is a tough sport and the kids who didn’t advance, they have learned some great life skills throughout the season,” said Van Weelden.The entire Demon team advanced to regional duals with a second place finish.

West Liberty won the sectional with 262.5 points to Washington’s 214.5. Centerville finished third with 201.

The regional duals will be Tuesday at Davenport Assumption.

Washington will face Dyersville Beckman, and with a victory would face the winner of Davenport Assumption and Mt. Vernon.

The winner of that match will earn a spot in Des Moines.

“The team wrestled good enough to qualify for regional duals and a shot at dual state. This has been a goal of the team all season,” finished Van Weelden.

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