Iola wrestling has success in home dual versus Humboldt and Burlington



January 26, 2019 - 12:51 AM

In its first taste of action at home, Iola High wrestling did not disappoint. 

The Mustangs, led by their young core of talented freshmen and sophomores, fought past Humboldt 36-21 and followed that up with a 39-31 loss versus Burlington in which they won five of the seven contested matches. 

“We actually had to mix some weight classes up so we’d match up with them better and that really helped us out,” Iola head coach Jason Bates said. “And then Burlington brought some of their top JV and younger varsity so that both Humboldt and us could get some matches in and we appreciated that.”

Humboldt also faced Burlington and lost 70-6. 

“We’re kind of a young team this year so I think we did the best that we could,” Humboldt head coach Kent Goodner said. “It is what it is.”

Iola and Humboldt opened the night with a thrilling overtime 152-pound match between Humboldt’s Reid Barnett and Iola’s Casen Barker. 

The two battled it out throughout the four periods but in the end, it was the senior Barnett who managed to get the winning takedown. 

From then on, it was pins down the board. 

Iola’s 170-pound senior Elijah Luedke got a first-period pin of Humboldt’s William Todd but the Cubs answered right back with senior Dagen Goodner pinning junior Gary Lower in the first period of the 220-pound match. 

Two-loss Mustang sophomore Logan Brown tussled with Humboldt senior David Watts in the heavyweight bout and eventually got a hard-fought win in the second period. 

Brown had struggled in Iola’s last tournament but the two pins he recorded Thursday night showed that he had already bounced back and was ready to start winning again. 

“He’s doing great so far,” Bates said. “But he’s still improving and has a long way to go. It was a good time for him to start winning matches again.”

Freshman Trent Jones wrapped things up with a second-round pin of Humboldt’s Ethan Doepke.

“We’ve been working really hard in practice,” Bates said. “We’ve tried to improve on the little things and we’ve gotten back to the fundamentals of wrestling and I think it’s really paid off. It’s really showing.”

The Cubs struggled versus the larger Burlington team and won just one of their matches. Dagen Goodner had opportunities to grab a win versus Wildcat senior Preston Alford but succumbed to a second-period pin due in part to a sore shoulder. 

The lone winner for Humboldt was Watts who wasted little time grabbing a first-period pin versus Burlington’s Keegan Kuhlman. 

“We’ve got to be more physical,” Goodner said. “We’ve got to get more takedowns and attack more. Right now we’re just playing defense and let them control the match and we need to change that.”

The night ended with the two Pioneer League foes Iola and Burlington squaring off. The Wildcats had the Mustangs beat by sheer numbers but match-by-match, Iola showed the young Mustangs could hang. 

Brown ended his evening with a first period pin of Kuhlman and Burlington’s Devon Wonser took Iola 220-pound junior Gary Lower out by decision.