Western Dubuque’s boys’ wrestling program has been a model of growth and consistency over the years, and the 2022-23 Bobcats carried the torch forward during another fine season on the mat.
“Overall, we had another successful season. Our team got better each week, they all worked very hard in practice and I thought they came together as a family as well,” said coach Paul Cleary. “Also, we had great senior leadership that helped us get through some tough spots during practice and competition.”
That senior class led the way to a solid team chemistry.
Senior CJ Kammiller, Jagger McCool, Nathan Casey, Nevin Pins, Logan Massey, Jake Murphy and Jacob Klostermann anchored the Bobcat lineup.
“Nevin’s season was cut short with injury, but was ranked seventh in the state at the time of his injury,” Cleary said. “Jagger, Nathan and Jake all had tough losses at districts and it was heartbreaking to see them walk off the mat for the last time.”
Three seniors were among six Western Dubuque wrestlers who competed at the 2023 state tournament.
“Our season culminated with Logan Massey (182 pounds) placing eighth at state, while CJ Kammiller and Jacob Klostermann both had great years being varsity starters for the first time, while also qualifying for the state tournament. Logan was voted as team captain for being a very good leader and throughout the last four years,” Cleary said. “Carson Burger was also voted as a team captain and showed his leadership, as well as serving as a backup to Logan. Other seniors that were awesome over the course of the year were Steven Theisen, Nick Rhomberg, Nathan Gill and Zain Heiderscheit.”
Freshman Joe Hirsch, sophomore Drew Burds and junior Derek Hoerner ended strong campaigns in Des Moines as the Bobcats peaked at tournament time.
“The highlights of the season were finishing our last practice before districts with a room full of 40-plus guys, and beating Iowa City, City High — ranked No. 7 — who also ended up with three state champions. Also, finishing ahead of Burlington Notre Dame was a big accomplishment because they finished in second place at the 2A State tournament,” Cleary said. “We changed some of our technique, drills and practice, which I thought we got better at as the season progressed.”
It’s been an impressive run for Western Dubuque wrestling, and all indications point to continued success.
“We made the regional duals for about the 12th year in a row.” Cleary said. “The future of Bobcat wrestling looks very bright, as we did have another JV MVC championship dual team, while having 140 kids in our youth program and another 40 out for middle school. As a staff, we are excited about the future of our program.”