Panthers sweep home meet, earn tie for North Division title

Dakota Olson of Monticello (right) grapples with Maclane Murrell of Northeast during the Panthers’ home quadrangular meet Jan. 23. (Photos by Pete Temple)

Bryce Cleeton closes in on a pin for the Panthers during a junior varsity match Jan. 23 at Monticello High School.
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     It had been nine years since the Monticello High School wrestling team had won or shared a conference championship, but the 2019-20 squad put an end to that.

     The Panthers swept three River Valley Conference matches in a Jan. 23 home meet, clinching a tie for the North Division title with Anamosa, each with conference records of 10-3. Monticello is 13-3 in dual meets overall.

     The Panthers defeated West Branch 78-6, Cascade 51-25, and Northeast of Goose Lake 62-12 in Thursday’s meet.

     “This was a great accomplishment, and a complete team effort,” Monticello coach Ryan Luensman said. “I can’t stress enough how each and every member of our team has stepped up at different times throughout the season. We have battled injuries and other issues, but every meet, everyone kept battling. This team stuck together and made individual sacrifices for the team goals.”

     Kain Luensman went 3-0, pinning all three opponents. Dylan Roher also was 3-0, with two pins and a decision victory. Ethan Tallman wrestled twice and won by pin and decision.

     The win over Cascade, Luensman said, was the biggest.

     “The team knew we had to win out to stay in the conference chase,” the coach said. “We knew Cascade was going to be our biggest obstacle. Kale Hansen, Bo Kramer, Dylan Roher and Chandler Weber all had big wins against Cascade. Dakota Olson stepped in at 160 and battled as well. This had to be our most complete dual win of the season.

     “Owen Thomas and Bryce Cleeton had nice JV wins as well.”

     Other Panthers getting wins by pin during the quadrangular were Ty Jesenovec, Bo Kramer, Dakota Olson and Chandler Weber. Getting decision wins were Mason Reuter and Kale Hansen. The Panthers also accumulated a total of 20 forfeit victories during the three duals.

     On Saturday, Jan. 25, the Panthers scored 211 points to finish fourth in the Alburnett Invitational. Highlights of the day included runner-up finishes by Owen Ray at 120, Luensman at 138, Kramer at 152 and Reuter at 285.

     “Alburnett was a good day,” coach Luensman said. “We wrestled well, but had a few guys get dinged up in the process.

     “Owen Ray had a very solid day. Elias Etzel made his varsity debut, going 3-2. Bo Kramer had a very solid day and was very close to winning his bracket. Kain had a solid day as well. Mason Reuter fought hard and battled back for a runner-up finish. I’m proud of Mason and how he has battled through some nagging injuries.”

     Both Hansen and Luensman were held out of matches due to injuries; Hansen with a shoulder injury and Luensman with a knee injury.

     “This is the time of year where I don’t take any chances with injuries, as we have bigger meets in the coming weeks,” the coach said.

Junior varsity

     Monticello competed in the Solon Junior Varsity Tournament Jan. 20.

     Two Panthers, Elias Etzel and Dylan Roher, came away with 3-0 records for the tournament.

     Going 2-1 were Chandler Weber, Rylan Cooper, Dakota Olson and Tristen Clark.

Home, conference meets

     The Panthers will have their final home meet of the season Jan. 30, facing Edgewood-Colesburg, Maquoketa Valley and North Fayette Valley.

     Then, they will travel to Tipton for the River Valley Conference Meet Feb. 1, starting at 10 a.m.


Jan. 23

(at Monticello)

Monticello 78,

West Branch 6

(Monticello wrestlers listed first)

     113 – Alaina Sunlin won by forfeit. 120 – Owen Ray won by forfeit. 126 – Ethan Tallman pinned Dante Zuniga, 0:29. 132 – Kain Luensman pinned Logan Keeler, 1:35. 138 – Ty Jesenovec pinned Jaxson Kaalberg, 0:44. 145 – Dylan Roher pinned Joe Seydel, 0:20. 152 – Bo Kramer won by forfeit. 160 – Dakota Olson won by forfeit. 170 – Chandler Weber won by forfeit. 182 – Monticello lost by forfeit. 195 – Trey Brady won by forfeit. 220 – Ian Taylor won by forfeit. 285 – Mason Reuter won by forfeit. 106 – Kale Hansen won by forfeit.


Monticello 51,

Cascade 25

     120 – Owen Ray won by forfeit. 126 – Chaz McClendon was pinned by Aidan Noonan, 0:17. 132 – Kain Luensman pinned Carson Staner, 1:45. 138 – Ty Jesenovec lost by major dec. to Hunter Vogel, 11-0. 145 – Dylan Roher pinned Casey Koppes, 3:14. 152 – Bo Kramer pinned Cody Kremer, 1:51. 160 – Dakota Olson lost to Ted Weber, 5-2. 170 – Miles Hatchel was pinned by Cade Rausch, 3:06. 182 – Chandler Weber pinned Isaac DeLarosa, 3:30. 195 – Trey Brady won by forfeit. 220 – Ian Taylor was pinned by Kodey Miles, 3:23. 285 – Mason Reuter won by forfeit. 106 – Kale Hansen dec. Trever Freiburger, 10-5. 113 – Alaina Sunlin won by forfeit.


     106 – Ethan Long dec. Luke Ludwig, 8-4.


Monticello 62,

Northeast 12

     126 – Ethan Tallman dec. Jace Rathje, 10-4. 132 – Kain Luensman pinned Aiden McClimon, 1:11. 138 – Ty Jesenovec won by forfeit. 145 – Dylan Roher dec. Zane Evans, 8-3. 152 – Bo Kramer won by forfeit. 160 – Dakota Olson pinned Maclane Murrell, 3:34. 170 – Miles Hatchel was pinned by Ty Schmidt (time unavailable). 182 – Chandler Weber was pinned by Cody Ploog, 1:25. 195 – Trey Brady won by forfeit. 220 – Ian Taylor won by forfeit. 285 – Mason Reuter dec. Peyton McLane, 8-3. 106 – Kale Hansen won by forfeit. 113 – Alaina Sunlin won by forfeit. 120 ­– Owen Ray won by forfeit.


     285 – Owen Thomas pinned Kyle Beck, 1:20. 285 – Bryce Cleeton pinned Nate Lorenzen, 3:13. 285 – Owen Thomas pinned Sam Moretes, 3:25.


Jan. 25

Alburnett Inv.


     1, Dike-New Hartford 282; 2, Alburnett 257; 3, South Winneshiek 215; 4, Monticello 211; 5, Notre Dame, Burlington 210; 6, Cascade 203; 7, Iowa Valley 175; 8, English Valleys 84.


     106 – Kale Hansen (third place) pinned Reed Callahan, A, 2:11; pinned Dominic Garringer, EV, 0:44; lost to Brody Neighbor, A, 9-6; won by tech. Fall over Elijah Vance, NDB, 17-1, 3:56; lost by injury default to Trevor Freiburger, C.

     120 – Owen Ray (runner-up) pinned Ty Moore, EV, 1:36; pinned Taylor Sankus, NDB, 1:44; lost by major dec. to Philip French, SW, 9-1.

     126 – Elias Etzel (fifth) was pinned by Aidan Noonan, C, 1:52; pinned Kaden Bullerman, SW, 2:47; was pinned by Dylan Ohrt, DNH, 2:50; pinned Cael Mihal, EV, 0:13; pinned Zander Keim, IV, 0:46.

     132 – Ty Jesenovec (third) dec. Blaine McGraw, A, 9-7; pinned Khain Theissen, IV, 1:19; was pinned by Carson Staner, C, 5:50; lost to Caden Ragsdale, DNH, 14-7; won by injury default over Tanner Mihal, EV.

     138 – Kain Luensman (runner-up) pinned Cole Engel, DNH, 0:59; pinned Lane Quandahl, SW, 0:42; pinned Noah Mackey, A, 1:05; won by major dec. over Kace Petersen, DNH, 14-2; lost by forfeit to Grifen Molle.

     145 – Dylan Roher (sixth) pinned Casey Koppes, C, 3:17; dec. Joshua Osborne, EV, 7-3; was pinned by Sam Conway, SW, 0:15; was pinned by C.J. Walrath, NDB, 0:36; was pinned by Eli Molyneux, EV, 5:41.

     152 – Bo Kramer (runner-up) received a bye; dec. Bryce Sankus, NDB, 10-4; dec. Tony Greve, SW, 8-6; won by major dec. over Cody Kremer, 12-3; lost to Traven Murray, IV, 11-8.

     195 – Ian Taylor (fourth) was pinned by Joe Folkerts, DNH, 0:55; pinned Dillon Kapple, EV, 2:38; was pinned by Isaac Carpenter, DNH, 0:32; was pinned by Noah Neofotist, A, 0:14.

     285 – Mason Reuter (runner-up) pinned Johnny Wenger, DNH, 1:39; was pinned by Mason Olmstead, A, 1:27; pinned Ethan Timp, SW, 0:43; pinned Henry Mussig, DNH, 2:10; lost by major dec. to Jacob Leohr, DNH, 11-2.



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