All three members of the Maquoketa Valley wrestling team who qualified to compete at the Class 1A, District 3 Tournament at Jesup saw their hopes of wrestling on the mats at the Wells Fargo Arena end as they were unable to earn one of two spots available in each weight class.
“We knew it was going to be a tough task, but we felt really good coming into the day. Unfortunately we fell short of our goals of getting these guys through to the next round. It’s not a good feeling,” said Tim Andrews, head coach of the Wildcats. “Hopefully, Parker (Sternhagen) and Michael (Feldmann) can use it as motivation for next year. I really feel for James (LeGassick). He really worked hard in his match for third place to earn an opportunity for a wrestle back, but he didn’t get it.”
All three wrestlers had tough match-ups in the opening round and none of the Wildcats were able to get anything going in those matches. Sternhagen (145), LeGassick (170) and Feldmann were all pinned in their opening round bouts. They all found themselves wrestling from behind and on their backs. With a ticket to state at stake, that is no way to wrestle.
When you lose in the opening round of a four-man tournament like this, you give all the power to somebody else. You just have to go back out there, win your match and hope that the guy who just beat you wins the title so you get a wrestle back.
“Overall, I’m proud of the guys and the work they put in,” said Andrews. “None of those hung their heads after those losses. They went back out onto the mat with the attitude that they still had life. They had to do their job to even have a chance of moving on. They wanted to go back out onto that mat, to do the best they could to finish up their season with a win.”
LeGassick pinned Cascade’s Zack Ries in 64 seconds while Feldmann needed just 37 seconds to pin Starmont’s Louis Hamlett as they both earned third place medals after their path to a wrestle back was blocked.
Don Bosco won the district meet with 194 points with Beckman Catholic taking second with 56.5 points. Midland was third with 50 points followed by East Buchanan and North Linn tied for fourth at 48 points. Cascade was sixth (43), Alburnett (42), Bellevue (32) Maquoketa Valley (20), Jesup (14). Edgewood-Colesburg (12) and Starmont (12) tied for 11th, Central City (10) and Clayton Ridge (10) tied for 13th and Central Elkader was 15th (0).