DES MOINES — With six wrestlers down to the state tournament, Osage was expecting big things this week at Wells Fargo Arena. After Thursday’s Class 2A opening round, the Green Devils have two quarterfinalists and two more alive on the back side.
Maybe none were happier, though, than Zach Williams. Williams had a rough go of it last year as a freshman at the state meet as he was handed two quick losses to end his run early. Both were by pin as well.
With a chance to redeem himself on Thursday, Williams, ranked sixth at 160 pounds, came through with a 4-2 victory over Davenport Assumption’s Kole Kreinbring.
“I grew up watching everybody down here from Osage and it’s a dream to be here wrestling and winning matches,” Williams said.
Williams, who has yet to lose to an Iowa wrestler at 160 pounds this year, will meet Connor Pellett of Atlantic-CAM in Friday’s quarterfinals.
Williams’ classmate Joe Sullivan kicked off his first state tournament with a bang. Sullivan pinned Grifen Molle of West Burlington/Notre Dame/Danville in 3 minutes, 39 seconds.
Sullivan was thrilled to get off to a fast start.
“It shows that I have a good chance to place, and it should be able to help me get my feet in the water here and just get in this environment,” he said. “You almost think it’s not real, but it is. The fans are everywhere, it’s cool and it’s a good experience.”
Osage’s Joe Jacobs and Brody Roll each won their consolation matches to advance on the back side of the bracket.
Hampton-Dumont junior Dalton Chipp was dealt a tough hand by taking second in his district last week and getting a tough draw in his first state tournament. He was unfazed on Thursday as he rolled to a 6-3 win over seventh-ranked Josh Holub of Williamsburg.
A second-period reversal helped get things started for Chipp, and he stayed on his offense throughout the final period to keep on track toward his only goal.
“I’m here for one thing and one thing only, and that’s a state championship, and I don’t plan on leaving without it,” Chipp said.
Chipp will wrestle Davenport Assumption’s Seth Adrian in the quarterfinals. Adrian knocked off No. 6 Harrison Goepel of West Delaware in his opener.
Charles City junior Dylan Koresh was another who had a disappointing state tournament a year ago, losing his only two matches. So he set out to correct that this time, and it resulted in a 6-4 decision over Justin McCunn of Red Oak.
“It’s a really great thing because last year I didn’t win a match here; I just went 0-2 and went home disappointed,” Koresh said. “This time I came out here training harder.”
In a 2-2 match with 30 seconds remaining in the third period, Koresh scored a takedown, and then survived a flurry of scoring to pull out the victory.
“It’s awesome and it’s great momentum,” he added. “My confidence keeps growing and it really helps out.”
Koresh will meet up with South Tama’s Isaac Judge, who is ranked No. 2, in the second round.
His teammate, Jack Sindlinger, pinned Webster City’s Zane Williams to stay alive in the consolation bracket.