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State Finals 30

Mason City coaches Dusty Rhodes congratulates Cullan Schriever after defeating Fort Dodge’s Drake Ayala in February during the final round of the Iowa High School State Wrestling Championships at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Dusty Rhodes is facing an unfamiliar challenge this winter. Rhodes, the coach of Mason City’s wrestling team, has a group of talented wrestlers, but that group isn’t deep. The Mohawks will likely struggle to fill every weight this season, which was evidenced in Mason City’s season-opening 61-17 loss to Ankeny on Thursday. However, dual results aren’t going to be Rhodes’ primary method of determining his team’s success.

“We’re not gonna be a great dual meet team,” Rhodes said. “But we’ll be competitive. If you’re giving up points, that’s never a good thing. We’ll obviously be a better tournament-type team than a dual team. The indicator for success is gonna be, the guys who are out there competing, are winning matches and making gains and showing improvements and knocking off kids that they’re not supposed to be. Things like that are gonna be my measure.”

For what the Mohawks lack in depth, they make up for with star power in their lineup. Cullan and Colby Schriever, both University of Iowa commits, opened up their season by pinning their opponent. Cullan Schriever, who wrestles at 120 pounds, pinned Ankeny’s Riley Faeth in 1:11. Colby Schriever, a 138-pounder, pinned Derek Anderson in 4:46.

Troy Monahan III, an Upper Iowa University commit, also earned bonus points for his team. He notched a tech fall against Romello Gray at 285 pounds, winning 18-3 in 3:07.

In total, Mason City sent 10 wrestlers to the mat Thursday. Riley Monahan wrestled at 152, Chase Olsen wrestled at 170, Caden Brager wrestled at 220, Cooper Wiemann wrestled at 113, Connor Wiemann wrestled at 126, Chris Keller wrestled at 132, and Marcos Cervantes wrestled at 145.

“We’ll see how it goes and see who fits where and how all that shakes out,” Rhodes said. “But regardless, we have a good group of kids, and we have a lot of kids who have some experience … Everybody wants to win. The good thing in wrestling is, you have an opportunity to win even if the team score might say you lost a dual. But you can still win six or seven matches in that dual and have success.”

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Reach Sports Reporter Luke A. Garza at 641-421-0540 or follow him on Twitter @LukeAGarza

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