COUNCIL BLUFFS — Even at less than full strength, Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson is finding ways to win wrestling duals.
The Jackets shuffled their lineup Thursday evening, moving some grapplers ahead a weight class or two. They emerged with a pair of Missouri River Conference victories after downing Sioux City East 37-35 and Sioux City Heelan 50-30 at C.B. Abraham Lincoln.
A.L. beat Heelan 43-34 before falling to East 55-24 in the quadrangular’s other contests.
“We have guys stepping up to the challenge and helping us as a team to win,” T.J. coach August Manz said. “They’re getting great mat time and building for the future. When you can get young guys to do that, it says something.”
Thomas Jefferson improved its dual record to 5-1 despite going without a handful of accomplished wrestlers. Among them was senior 120-pounder Randy Schultz — a returning state qualifier who watched with his left arm in a sling — and junior 132-pounder Steven Ruby, who nearly reached Des Moines last year.
But other Jackets helped soften the blow. Freshman Jacob Jones — who competed at 113 pounds to start the year — won a pair of matches at 126. Sophomore Riley Lemke claimed wins at 182 and 195, and freshman Colton Clingenpeel took two at 106. Lemke (170) and Gage Fisher (182) were recovering from flu-like symptoms.
Returning state qualifiers Jason Wallace (138) and Charles Weaver (145) also ended the evening unbeaten after two contested matches for T.J.
“We moved the guys around to get the job done and win both our duals,” Jones said.
“It’s just an adjustment. The kids were kind of heavy on me.”
The Jackets built a 37-19 lead against East after Weaver stuck Colton Jewett — T.J.’s fifth pin of the match — with three weights to go. With ranked wrestlers in Iowa Class 3-A No. 9 Mitchell Otto (160) and No. 10 Drake Swedlund (170) looming, the Black Raiders needed a pin at 152 to stay alive.
East almost got it as Josh Schambach nearly pinned T.J.’s Tanner Clawson in the final seconds. But the sophomore held on as time expired for a 10-0 major-decision loss.
T.J. forfeited the final two weights to account for the final margin.
“It’s a group of guys helping the team out every which way they could,” Manz said. “It’s what we’ve been preaching to them for a while.”
Shorthanded Abraham Lincoln edged Heelan early in the night. The Lynx found themselves down 34-31 with two matches to go despite forfeiting three weights. Dustin Putnam picked up a pin in the final seconds of the first period at 160 pounds, and Alex Widick collected a win by fall at 170 to seal the victory.
Heelan went 5-0 at a dual meet at Western Christian on Dec. 7.
The Lynx, who now sport a 2-4 dual mark, were without nearly half their team as 13 wrestlers didn’t compete for a variety of reasons. Coach Mat Daniels said nearly everyone should return after the holiday break — allowing for a full lineup and for members already competing to move back down a weight.
“The guys realize they have to be down a weight class,” Daniels said. “It’s hard in here because there’s no competition — we have 15 guys and everybody fills one spot. After tonight I’m hoping they realize we can be a lot better and more competitive.”
C.B. Abraham Lincoln 43, Sioux City Heelan 34: 182: Brett Hegarty, H, won by forfeit. 195: Christian Brobst, H, pinned Jakson Cole, 0:14. 220: Jeff Reddish, AL, won by forfeit. 285: Jordan Bywater pinned Jack Niggeling, 1:54. 106: Alexander Anson, H, pinned Hayden Matuzeski, 0:41. 113: Andrew Stubblefield, H, won by forfeit. 120: Jordan Peterson, AL, won by forfeit. 126: Robbie Finch, AL, pinned Connor Mahaney, 3:35. 132: Eli Rankin, AL, major dec. Jared Ludwig 11-2. 138: Joel Grimm, AL, dec. Andrew Puetz 5-0. 145: Bo Rus, H, won by forfeit. 152: Christian Engel, H, major dec. Robert Peters 13-3. 160: Dustin Putnam, AL, pinned Alex Watkins, 1:59. 170: Alex Widick, AL, pinned Tyler Smith, 5:43.
C.B. Thomas Jefferson 37, Sioux City East 35: 182: Calvin Buchanan, E, pinned Gage Fisher, 3:35. 195: Riley Lemke, TJ, dec. Kedrick French 6-5. 220: Brandon Cabney, E, major dec. Jake Taylor 12-2. 285: Andrew Fielder, TJ, pinned Tanner Hulit, 1:54. 106: Colton Clingenpeel, TJ, pinned Larry Vore, 3:35. 113: Skylar Stamps, E, dec. Jason Rodarte 6-2. 120: Colton Downing, TJ, pinned Scott Jones, 2:55. 126: Jacob Jones, TJ, pinned Brock Reeves, 2:54. 132: Steven Zellmer, E, pinned Brendan Anderson, 0:55. 138: Jason Wallace, TJ, major dec. Casey Coon 12-4. 145: Charles Weaver, TJ, pinned Colton Jewett, 4:09. 152: Josh Schamback, E, major dec. Tanner Clawson 10-0. 160: Mitchell Otto, E, won by forfeit. 170: Drake Swedlund, E, won by forfeit.
C.B. Thomas Jefferson 50, Sioux City Heelan 30: 195: Christian Brobst, H, pinned Jake Taylor, 3:08. 220: Andrew Fielder, TJ, won by forfeit. 285: Jack Niggeling, H, pinned Dakota Carman, 0:33. 106: Colton Clingenpeel, TJ, pinned Alex Anson, 1:35. 113: Andrew Stubblefield, H, pinned Jason Rodarte, 1:04. 120: Colton Downing, TJ, won by forfeit. 126: Jacob Jones, TJ, dec. Connor Mahaney 12-5. 132: Brendan Anderson, TJ, pinned Jared Ludwig, 2:39. 138: Jason Wallace, TJ, pinned Andrew Puetz, 0:50. 145: Charles Weaver, TJ, tech. fall Bo Rus, 2:53. 152: Christian Engel, H, pinned Tanner Clawson, 1:03. 160: Alex Watkins, H, won by forfeit. 170: Gage Fisher, TJ, won by forfeit. 182: Riley Lemke, TJ, pinned Brett Hegarty, 1:41.
Sioux City East 55, C.B. Abraham Lincoln 24: 195: Jakson Cole, AL, pinned Kedrick French, 5:10. 220: Brandon Cabney, E, pinned Jeff Reddish, 0:40. 285: Jordan Bywater, AL, pinned Tanner Hulit, 0:37. 106: Larry Vore, E, pinned Hayden Matuzeski, 1:20. 113: Skylar Stamps, E, won by forfeit. 120: Jordan Peterson, AL, pinned Scott Jones, 0:31. 126: Robbie Finch, AL, pinned Brock Reeves, 0:20. 132: Steven Zellmer, E, major dec. Eli Rankin 16-6. 138: Casey Coon, E, pinned Joel Grimm, 5:28. 145: Colton Jewett, E, won by forfeit. 152: Josh Schambach, E, dec. Robert Peters 9-7. 160: Mitchell Otto, E, pinned Dustin Putnam, 1:35. 170: Drake Swedlund, E, pinned Alex Widick, 0:47. 182: Calvin Buchanan, E, won by forfeit.