PARKERSBURG — For the past few years, Osage has been waiting for the power of the wrestling program to turn back up. Sure, the Green Devils have had a few state champions in that time, but regaining success on the team level has been a goal.
With Saturday’s performance at Class 2A, District 1 tournament at Aplington-Parkersburg, Osage feels it’s closing in. The Green Devils had six wrestlers qualify for the state tournament and took home second place behind traditional power New Hampton/Turkey Valley.
“It shows that, as a team, we are capable,” Osage sophomore Joe Sullivan said. “We’re a young team but we’re just getting started. There’s big things to come in the future.”
Maybe the best part of Saturday’s team performance: all of the state qualifiers are underclassmen.
It started with Sullivan, who claimed the district title at 113 pounds, and then went on to Zach Williams, a district champion at 160 pounds. The rest of the day was filled with runner-up finishes as Averee Abben was second at 106, Joe Jacobs took second at 120, and Spencer Mooberry was second at 145.
Mooberry’s was maybe the toughest of them all. The freshman dropped his semifinal match, rallied to win the third-place match to force a wrestleback vs. Clear Lake’s Braxton Doebel, who he lost to last week in sectionals.
Mooberry took a 4-2 lead into the final period vs. Doebel, and came out of most scrambles in the third on top as he secured a 10-6 win by decision to punch his ticket to state.
“It’s a good accomplishment for a freshman,” Mooberry said. “It was nice getting revenge on him; he beat me in sectionals. Sectionals, he got me in quite a few headlocks, and we worked hard on it this week and we weren’t going to get into that situation again.”
Williams and Jacobs are the only two returners from last year’s five who made state for the Green Devils. With some more fresh faces coming down this time, Osage is happy to be back on the rise as a team.
“It’s big because we’re climbing and we knew that was coming,” Osage coach Brent Jennings said. “We’ve had some, I call them down years; we just had some years where we were pretty learn and not a lot of numbers, so these kids have been coming for awhile, they’ve been putting in a lot of time and effort. It’s just hard to wait for them to get here; now they’re here and it’s a little bit better.”