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A perfect day for West Hancock as six wrestlers punch tickets to state
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A perfect day for West Hancock as six wrestlers punch tickets to state

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Denver Wrestling District 106

West Hancock senior Tate Hagen celebrates after defeating Sumner-Fredericksburg senior Treyton Steffen Saturday during the Class 1A district tournament in Denver.

Six West Hancock wrestlers made the trip to the Class 1A, District 1 meet on Saturday at Denver High School. Next week, those same six will be making a trip to the state tournament, as all of them placed in the top two in their respective weight classes. 

For head coach Mark Sanger, the day was a joyous experience. 

“It feels wonderful,” Sanger said. “I don’t think I could be any more proud of our guys. The first round went about as well as it could for us. We knew the finals were going to be tough, and we took a few lumps there, but the guys responded really well. They showed some guts.”

A year ago, the Eagles sent three wrestlers to state, in Tate Hagen, Tanner Hagen, and Chandler Redenius. This year, those three seniors will make return trips, and will be joined by sophomore Mathew Francis, junior Bryer Subject, and junior Cole Kelly. 

“It feels good” Tate Hagen said. “I’ve been working for this all year, and I’m hopeful everything works out for us next week.”

After a tough week and a half for Sanger and the rest of the West Hancock community, with the death of legendary Eagles’ coach Bob Sanger, the team was thrilled to have such a triumphant day. 

Denver Wrestling District 108

Northwood-Kensett senior Gideon Rollene smiles after pinning West Hancock senior Tanner Hagen for the win Saturday during the Class 1A district tournament in Denver.

“It’s difficult,” Tate Hagen said. “We’ve just got to know that he is behind us, and he’s watching down on us the whole time. We’re working hard for his son, and it’s a good feeling.”

Here is a look at each of the weight classes:

106

In the 106-pound semifinals, Lake Mills freshman Kinser Hanson and West Fork’s Kale Peterson went head to head, with Peterson winning by fall at 3:17. In the finals, Peterson lost by fall to Garrett Rinkin of Nashua-Plainfield, but still made it to the state tournament, due to his win over Hanson in the semifinals. 

Denver Wrestling District 100

Central Springs sophomore Clayton McDonough competes against Nashua-Plainfield senior Jakob Whitinger Saturday during the Class 1A district tournament in Denver.

113

At 113, Central Springs’ sophomore Clayton McDonough saw probably his toughest opponent of the season so far. McDonough went up against Jakob Whitinger of Nashua-Plainfield in the finals, and for a little while, it looked like McDonough might suffer his first loss of the year. But after a two-point takedown with just a few seconds left on the clock, McDonough tied the score at 5-5, sending the match into overtime. McDonough then scored a takedown in the overtime period, clinching the win and punching his ticket to the state tournament. 

Whitinger then fell to Denver sophomore Joe Ebaugh in the wrestle-back match by an 11-4 decision, as Ebaugh advanced to the state tournament. 

120

Two area wrestlers competed at 120. Lake Mills junior Jack Ramaker lost his semifinals match, but won his third place match with a 7-2 decision over Chase Lyons of Denver. Bryce McDonough of Central Springs won his first match to advance to the finals, but lost to Trey Lashbrook of AGAC. McDonough then took on Ramaker in the second place match, and won by a 3-1 decision, as both McDonoughs advanced to state.

126

Both area wrestlers lost their semifinals at 126 pounds. Central Springs Brock Mathers lost by fall to Denver’s Jacob Moore and Lake Mills’ Jimmy Gallardo lost by an 11-3 decision to Trey Nelson of Nashua-Plainfield. Mathers beat Gallardo in the third-place match, and Nelson won the championship match over Moore by fall at 4:35. Moore still advanced to state however, thanks to his earlier win over Mathers. 

132

No area wrestlers advanced to state in the 132-pound class. Isaac Schimmels of Denver won the first place match over Kyler Hackman of Nashua-Plainfield, but both advanced to state, as Hackman beat third-place winner Caden Schrage of Northwood-Kensett in the semifinals. 

Denver Wrestling District 101

Lake Mills junior Dalton Thorson competes against Nashua-Plainfield sophomore McKade Munn Saturday during the Class 1A district tournament in Denver.

138

Lake Mills junior Dalton Thorson improved to 41-11 on the season, and secured both a district title and a spot at state on Saturday, with a pair of wins in the 138-pound weight class. Thorson beat North Butler sophomore Isaac Backer by fall in the semifinals, and then beat Nashua-Plainfield sophomore McKade Munn by a 4-3 decision in the championship match. Thanks to his semifinal win over Northwood-Kensett sophomore Drake Tiedemann, Munn still advanced to state. 

145

Lawson Losee of Riceville took the 145-pound first-place title with a 13-0 major decision of Sumner-Fredericksburg junior Owen Kime. Denver’s Brody Shover beat Lake Mills sophomore Brett Peterson in the third-place match, and took on Kime in the wrestle-back match, and won by a 7-5 decision to advance to state. 

Denver Wrestling District 103

Lake Mills junior Casey Hanson competes against West Hancock junior Bryer Subject Saturday during the Class 1A district tournament in Denver.

152

Lake Mills junior Casey Hanson punched his ticket to state with a victory by fall over West Hancock junior Bryer Subject in the 152 pound championship match. Subject then took on Brett Foelske of Denver in the second-place match and won by a 5-2 decision, securing his spot at the state meet. 

160

Two area wrestlers took part in the 160 pound  district meet, with Lake Mills junior Elijah Wagner and Riceville’s Drew Fox both making the trip. Wagner won his semifinal match with a win by fall over Nashua-Plainfield junior Cael Bruhner. In the other semifinal, Fox lost to Denver’s John Ebaugh. 

In the finals, Ebaugh came out on top, with a 3-1 decision over Wagner. Wagner wrestled Fox in the second place match, and won by a 6-0 decision. 

170

Mathew Francis became the first district champion of the day for West Hancock, beating Denver’s Brennen Graber in the championship match by fall at 1:29 at 170 pounds. Graber then took on North Butler’s Kolben Miller in the second place match and lost, as Miller won by a 6-3 decision to punch his ticket to state. 

Denver Wrestling District 105

West Hancock junior Cole Kelly competes against Nashua-Plainfield senior Evan Kalainoff Saturday during the Class 1A district tournament in Denver.

182

Junior Cole Kelly made it two straight district champs for the Eagles, with a win by fall  over Denver junior Nathan Eggena in the semifinals, followed by a 10-3 victory over Nashua-Plainfield senior Evan Kalainoff in the finals. The win secured Kelly’s spot at the state tournament. Kalainoff also advanced, thanks to his previous win over third-place finisher Drake Harnish in the semifinals. 

195

West Hancock senior Tate Hagen continued his perfect senior season with a 195-pound district title, securing a return trip to the state tournament. Hagen started the day with a win by fall over Denver’s Trever Dorn in the semifinals, followed by a hard-fought 3-0 decision over Sumner-Fredericksburg senior Treyten Steffen. After his win, Hagen flexed to the Eagles’ crowd a third-consecutive district championship for West Hancock secured. Dorn then wrestled Steffen in the second-place match, and lost by a 10-4 decision, as Steffen secured a state berth. 

Denver Wrestling District 107

Northwood-Kensett senior Gideon Rollene competes against West Hancock senior Tanner Hagen Saturday during the Class 1A district tournament in Denver.

220

The 220-pound district title match between Northwood-Kensett senior Gideon Rollene and West Hancock senior Tanner Hagen was a wild one. Both made relatively quick work of their respective semifinals opponents, with Rollene beating Kole Menne of Rockford by fall at 2:53, and Hagen snagging a win by fall over North Butler sophomore Jase Wiebke by fall after just 38 seconds. 

In the finals, both seemed to have their opponent on the ropes at certain moments. Hagen near had Rollene flat on his back, but Rollene quickly shot back, and pinned Hagen at the 1:51 mark, to secure his spot at state. Hagen won second place and a spot at state, thanks to his earlier win over Wiebke. 

Denver Wrestling District 110

West Hancock senior Chandler Redenius competes against North Butler-Clarksville sophomore Chet Buss Saturday during the Class 1A district tournament in Denver.

285

Three area wrestlers competed in the 285-pound weight class, and two of them secured spots at state. West Hancock senior Chandler Redenius beat West Fork junior Levi Janssen in the semis by a 9-0 major decision, while top-ranked North Butler sophomore Chet Buss advanced to the finals with a win by fall over Riceville senior Chris Eastman. 

Buss was victorious over Redenius in the finals, winning the district championship with a pin at 5:48. Redenius then took on Eastman in the second-place match. In a triumphant moment that set the West Hancock team into hysterics, Redenius secured a spot at state with a win by fall at 1:20.

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