Savages take three of four at home duals

Even though the Savages lost their final dual of the night against Waco, Greg Gott gave the home fans and his teammates something to cheer about, pinning his man under a minute into their match.

The Sigourney-Keota Savages kicked off their wrestling season on November 29 by hosting Montezuma, Baxter, Cardinal and Waco in a duals meet. The Savages, backed by their home crowd, came away with three wins and one loss, which included some convincing individual victories.

SK was able to just do enough in their first dual when they faced Baxter, finding themselves down a quick six points. Zeke Webb was awarded six for no contest, which tied things up, and Mac Conrad followed with a convincing win just over 30 seconds into his match. Baxter responded with another win of their own to tie things back up at 12 but SK picked up another six via no contest. Baxter picked up three more wins, one coming on a decision to limit the points earned to three. Two more no-decisions pushed SK ahead by three to end the match with the Savages winning it 30-27.

“Overall, looking at our team, we did a lot of things right but there are a lot of improvements to make and some basics we need to go back and cover,” SK coach Cory VanDenHeuvel said. “Effort level is high, and I liked the enthusiasm everyone had, but the little things add up to big things.”

The Savages didn’t have as much trouble when they faced Cardinal as Webb avenged his earlier defeat by pinning his opponent late in the first period. Conrad and Gavin Bird were awarded six points each for no contest to give SK an early 18-0 lead. Cardinal picked up a win in the 285-pound weight class match, followed by a big win by Mason Dye late in the second period. Cardinal picked up another six to close the gap, but Trent Hendricks put away his opponent quickly to earn his team another six points. The teams would split in two of the last three matches, with SK picking up six points for no contest, including a crowd-pleasing win by Nate Schuster to close out the dual, bringing down his opponent and pinning him within the first minute their match. SK wound up cruising by Cardinal 42-24.

“Mac Conrad had a good match tonight. He was in complete control the whole time and he just dominated start to finish,” VanDenHeuvel said. “Zeke Webb had a great performance. The things he did were crisp, and he looked good too.”

SK found themselves in a hole early against Montezuma, losing their first couple matches by fall and major decision. Four straight forfeits handed SK a 24-10 lead, but two forfeits later, Montezuma cut it down to 24-22. Dye got another win to put SK up by eight, pinning his man midway through the third period which ended up being the longest match of the night for the Savages. The final 18 points were awarded to the Savages with two no forfeits and a win for Hendricks, pinning his man midway through the second period. The slew of points at the end made for an easy 48-22 victory over the Braves.

“It’s a hard thing to try and rebound from a loss. Anytime you lose it hurts, and it should when you put in the effort,” VanDenHeuvel said. “A lot of these duals and tournaments have multiple matches and you have to be able to rebound, but it’s very hard to do.”

The night ended by SK facing Waco, both teams winning their first three duals, making for an exciting final dual between the two. Conrad didn’t get a chance to wrestle with the Warriors not having a wrestler in the 195-pound weight class. The lead didn’t last long as Waco won the next two matches, followed by a win by forfeit. Dye got his team back on track with a win as time was about to expire in the second period, pulling the Savages within six points. Waco rattled off another three wins, along with two forfeits, to take a commanding lead. SK would finish off strong though as Greg Gott fired up the crowd behind a rousing pin within the first minute of his match. The Savages picked up 12 more points due to forfeits but wound up short in a 48-30 loss to Waco.

“We’ve got to go over some basic things before our next competition,” VanDenHeuvel said. “It shouldn’t take long to clean up, but it’s a necessity that we do.”

The Savages had a day to rest before heading over to Wapello on December 1 for their first tournament of the season.