Rams capture Charger Invite title as postseason nears
By Brandon Hurley
Greene County pioneered a resounding statement victory over the weekend, capturing the Charger Invitational championship in Guthrie Center, out-lasting 19 other schools.
The Rams were bolstered by a four individual titles Saturday, dominating the field in the season’s final tune-up before postseason action begins.
Greene County tallied 186 team points, well ahead of runner-up Southeast Valley (153.5 points) and third place AHSTW (143.5).
Nodaway Valley (132.5) and Riverside, Oakland (109) rounded out the top five.
Second-ranked McKinley Robbins, fresh off his third HOIC title, captured the 132 pound championship Saturday thanks to four pins, improving his sterling record to 38-3 overall. Robbins defeated Class 1A No. 6 Elliot Cooney of Nodaway Valley in the title match (37-3), pinning him 1:19 into the second period.
The junior’s 38 wins are new single-season career high, surpassing the 37 victories he achieved two years ago as a sophomore. Robbins was named the Charger Invitational’s most outstanding wrestler.
Top-ranked Kale Petersen (113 pounds), making just his second appearance this year, improved to a perfect 6-0 by securing the 120 pound title, tallying a pair of pins and a tech fall in the championship match. Petersen was a Class 1A state champion last winter at 106 pounds.
Senior Nathan Black continued his strong wrestling as of late, securing the 160 pound title by pinning AHSTW’s Garrison Gettler in the third period of their championship bout. Black’s three wins improved his season record to 32-6.
Greene County sophomore Gavin Scheuermann, ranked 11th at 152 pounds, secured the Rams’ fourth title Saturday, securing a thrilling championship triumph, defeating Riverside’s Nolan Moore in overtime. Scheuermann’s three victories, punctuated by a major decision over Van Meter’s Korbin Barck and a 6-0 triumph over AC/GC’s Cayden Jensen improved his season record to 37-6.
Senior Brenner Gallagher was the next highest place-winner outside of the four champions, finishing third at 138 pounds, defeating Southeast Valley’s Max Miller, 4-0 in the third place match. Gallagher recovered from a semifinal loss to AHSTW’s Hayden Fischer, 4-0 to secure the bronze medal.
Noble Hoyt won his opening match by pin at 182 pounds, defeating Panorama’s James Hein in the second period, but was knocked from the winner’s bracket in the semifinals in a loss to eighth-ranked Brecken Freeberg (1A) of Tri-Center. Hoyt then lost his third-place matching, falling to Southeast Valley’s Rylie Ferrari, finishing fourth.
Gavyn Winters was victorious in his 106 pound fifth place match, pinning Earlham’s Dallas Canoyer 72 seconds into the match. Winters improved to 32-15 overall, winning his opening round match over Panorama’s Laine Christie by way of pin 51 seconds in before losing in the quarterfinals to Moravia’s Dalton Ervin, ranked third in Class 1A. Winters recovered to win his final three matches, all by way of pin – 1:07 into his consolation first round match against West Central Valley’s Andrew Carl and 156 into a bout with Pleasantville’s Tommy Booth.
Jackson Turner (145 pounds), Crew Conner (113 pounds) and Dakota Mobley (126 pounds) finished sixth, losing their fifth place matches.
Greene County opens postseason wrestling Saturday in Harlan in a Class 2A sectional tournament. The top two place-winners in each bracket advance to the district tournament the following week in Glenwood.
The 2022 wrestling state tournament is set for Feb. 17-19 in downtown Des Moines.