Wrestling home wrap up

Chari Esmoil · Wednesday, January 24, 2018
On Tuesday, Jan. 16, the West Liberty Comet wrestling team hosted a rescheduled RVC quadrangular with Monticello, Camanche and Northeast Gooselake.

It was also a night to celebrate seven senior wrestlers along with six senior cheerleaders.

The men of honor for the evening were Kolton Armey, Justis Dengler, Bryce Esmoil, Jackson Gingerich, Joe Kelly, Devon Keys and Andy Lopez.

The senior cheer squad that was honored included Paige Crees, Mariela Filerio, Anna Lathrop, Jackie McMichael, Alyssa Snider and Emily Vance.

These seniors along with their strong leadership will be missed deeply by the West Liberty wrestling community.

West Liberty Comets

The Comets began their night against Northeast Gooselake. A very lopsided affair, the Comets took the opening bout by a 74-0 rout. Seven forfeits were given up by Northeast. Kelly and Lopez won with pins.

Coy Ruess and AJ Lenz each scored tech falls.

Justis Dengler recorded a major decision along with regular decision victories by Austin Beaver and Jackson Gingerich to complete the Comet scoring of contested matches. Gingerich avenged an earlier season loss to the same Northeast foe.

Next up, the Camanche Indians attempted to derail the Comet Train. Giving up 24 points due to four forfeits, the Indians found themselves in a deep hole that they could never dig out of.

Talen Dengler, Montana Herrold, Will Esmoil, Ruess and Beaver all won by fall. Kelly knocked off his ranked opponent by a 5-0 score in a big match that will have seeding implications for the RVC tournament coming up this Saturday, Jan. 27 at Mid Prairie High School in Wellman.

The last dual of senior night against Monticello was just about as anticlimactic for the Comets, as they smashed the competition by a 64-15 score.

Eight forfeits, pins by Talen Denger and Bryce Esmoil along with a major decision in favor of Sam Gingerich secured the victory.

Iowa City Regina

Thursday, Jan. 18, the team competed in its final RVC dual action of the season at Iowa City Regina along with Durant and Bellevue.

Bellevue only gave up two forfeits to the Comets. Beaver, Sam Gingerich, Talen Dengler, Will Esmoil, Ruess and Kelly all got pinfall victories.

Jackson Gingerich took a tech fall win and Justis Dengler won by a major decision margin to round out the 63-9 annihilation.

The Durant dual was over before spectators got nestled back into their seats. The Wildcats only brought two wrestlers to Iowa City.

Lopez and Kelly made quick work of the two competitors from Durant and won by falls in the combined time of 3:04. Final score was a perfect 84-0 tally.

Host Regina was quite hospitable and gave the Comets six wins via forfeits. Kobe Simon, Talen Dengler, Will Esmoil, Ruess and Justis Dengler were all victorious via pins.

Bryce Esmoil scored a 10-2 major decision for the final contested score to make the final result a 70-12 victory.

The final 2017/2018 regular season dual team record stands at a respectable 25-3, with losses coming at the hands of 1A #1 ranked Lisbon, 1A #2 ranked Don Bosco and previously ranked 3A Dubuque Hempstead.

Louisa Muscatine Invitational

On Saturday, Jan. 20, the team tried its luck at the Louisa Muscatine Invitational along with 9 other schools.

Brian Collins went 1-2 at 113 pounds to place third for the first wrestled weight for the Comets.

At 120, Talen Dengler also was 1-2 with one aggressive fall to finish fifth.

Montana Herrold fought valiantly in his two matches at 126 but fell short in each of them to bow out of the tournament.

Will Esmoil recorded two falls in the 132 pound class to make it to the finals where he upended Ryan Phillips of West Delaware for the second time this season by an 8-4 score to claim the first Comet championship.

The Comets gained a lot of seam through the middle weights as Coy Ruess would also find himself in the finals at 138 with a :41 fall and an 11-2 major. In his finals match, Ruess overpowered top seed Cory Stewart of Highland by a 3-1 score to claim Comet championship number two.

At 145, Justis Dengler finished with a 2-2 record including one fall to grab fourth place.

Joe Kelly reached the finals at 152 with a :16 pin and a 9-0 major decision. In the finals he avenged an earlier season 7-0 setback with a 5-2 victory over Mitch Mangold of West Delaware for Comet championship number three.

Top seed Austin Beaver finished the day a 2-0 with one bye. In the finals Beaver held on for a 3-0 victory over another West Delaware foe, Jared Voss, a very talented freshman with a lot of great technique. Beaver secured the fourth of five Comet championships with the win.

At 170, AJ Lenz went 1-2 to grab fourth place with a niche 3:09 pin in the process.

Jackson Gingerich grabbed two pins at 182 en route to a fourth place finish. His fastest pin was clocked at a :30 strike.

At 195, Bryce Esmoil finished the day with a 2-0 record with one fall before wrestling in his finals match.

There, he knocked of undefeated senior Harrison Goebel of West Delaware by a 10-0 major decision to claim the final individual Comet championship.

Freshman, Kobe Simon, made a statement after receiving a first round bye and losing in the next round by a 3-1 score by pinning two straight opponents to finish third at 220.

At 285, Lopez recorded two falls and dropped an overtime heartbreaker on his way to the consolation finals. There, he won 1-0 to claim third place.

The Comets finished the day in third place in the team race with 195 points, behind West Delaware with 200 and team champs Cedar Rapids Kennedy with 204 total points.

The Comet wrestlers are off now until the RVC tournament on Saturday, Jan. 27.
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