District qualifiers head to Glenwood as state nears
By Brandon Hurley
The Greene County wrestling team has six athletes in survival mode as they head to Glenwood Saturday morning. The Rams captured a trio of individual sectional championships last weekend in Harlan, thanks to dominate performances from their top three wrestlers, advancing to the Class 2A, District 2 tournament.
Greene County is anchored by a pair of defending state champions in McKinley Robbins (132 pounds) and Kale Petersen (113 pounds) while sophomore Gavin Scheuermann (152 pounds) is hoping to make back-to-back trips to the state tournament.
In all, Greene County will have four wrestlers in action with previous state tournament experience, as senior Brenner Gallagher (138 pounds) made it to the Well as a sophomore two years ago. In addition, seniors Nate Black (160 pounds) and Noble Hoyt (182 pounds) are hoping to make their first-ever appearances in Des Moines in their final attempt, punctuating perhaps one of Greene County’s deepest teams in recent years. The six district qualifiers have tallied more than 170 wins combined this winter.
Top-ranked Kale Petersen (7-0) made quick work last week en route to his sectional championship, pinning Harlan’s Brody McKinley 94 seconds into their semifinal match before securing a convincing tech fall, 20-5 in the championship match over Carroll’s Cael Nelson.
Second-ranked McKinley Robbins (40-8) blitzed his way through the 132 pound semifinal match, securing a tech fall, 25-8 over Red Oak’s Chase Sandholm before grinding out a title, defeating sixth-ranked Luke Musich of Harlan in a tense, 8-7 win. The junior has never failed to reach the state championship match, twice reaching the plateau already, finishing runner-up as a freshman before securing the state title last winter at 120 pounds. He’s hoping to not only become the first multiple-time state champion in Greene County/Jefferson school history, but he’s also trying to become the first athlete to reach the state championship three times.
Brenner Gallagher (31-18) is back in the district tournament after winning his second place match, pinning Sidney’s Kyle Kesterson in the second period. The senior defeated Glenwood’s Reese Fauble, 8-5 in the 138 pound semifinal match, but suffered a 9-1 major decision at the hands of ninth-ranked Carter Drake (Carroll) in the title match.
Gavin Scheuermann (38-6) has been on an absolute tear as of late, winning another tournament title in convincing fashion. The 11th-rated sophomore at 152 pounds needed just 54 seconds to pin Glenwood’s Tate Mayberry in the championship match, this coming off an 11-2 major decision over Carroll’s Justin Riesberg in the semifinals.
Nate Black (32-7) lost in the 160 pound championship match, a 7-1 decision against eighth-ranked Dawson Bond of Red Oak. The senior earned a trip to districts by defeating Harlan’s Bret Van Baale by a 12-4 major decision in the semifinals.
Noble Hoyt (23-20) rounds out the Greene County district qualifiers at 182 pounds. The senior pinned Red Oak’s Nolan Perrien 50 seconds into their semifinal match before getting pinned by sixth-ranked Zane Bendorf of Harlan in the second period of the championship bout.
As a team, the Rams finished fourth in the final sectional four standings, securing 158 points. Carroll won the team title in a tense battle, tallying 183.5 points, outlasting Glenwood (173 points) and Harlan (168.5 points).
Robbins will wrestle at 132 pounds at the district 3 tournament, two weight classes up from last winter, when he defeated West Burlington’s Blaine Frazier in the state championship.
Creston and Atlantic dominated sectional 3 Saturday, with Atlantic qualifying 10 wrestlers for the District 2 tournament this weekend with Creston also qualifying 10 athletes. Greene County’s crop of six wrestlers will likely face off against either a Trojan or Panther if they hope to reach next week’s state tournament.
Ninth-ranked Ethan Follmann (132 pounds), dropped down to 126 pounds for the sectional tournament, removing any possibility of facing off against the defending state champion Robbins. Robbins is one of seven wrestlers in the entire district 2 tournament to secure at least 40 wins this winter.
Black will likely have to face-off against eighth-ranked Dawson Bond again at some point if he hopes to qualify for the state tournament, similar to Hoyt at 182 pounds with sixth-ranked Zane Bendorf advancing.
The Class 2A, District 3 tournament will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday in Glenwood. The top two place-winners in each weight division will advance to the 2022 Iowa High School state tournament, which will be held Thursday, Feb. 17 through Saturday, Feb. 19 in downtown Des Moines.
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