DES MOINES - Nevada’s Drew Robinson achieved one of his goals in his first trip to the state wrestling tournament held last Thursday through Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena.
Robinson is the first Nevada wrestler to compete at state since 2012. He picked up one win in three matches at 106 pounds in Class 2A.
“To have a freshman get a win in his first state meet was huge,” Nevada head wrestling coach Lonnie Ferguson said. “I think it’s going to have a big effect on the program. You have success you have other people that pay attention and think why not me. It kind of opens that door.”
In his opening match on Thursday Robinson faced off against third-ranked Derrick Bass of Davenport Assumption. He put up a great fight, but fell by a 6-0 score.
Robinson didn’t let the defeat get him down. He bounced back to trounce Bishop Heelan Catholic’s Jahluv Buckhanan by major decision in the first round of consolations, beating him 16-0 in three minutes flat.
“If I would’ve gone out beaten up about the first match then that second match could’ve gone many different ways,” Robinson said. “I might not (be) coming (here) tomorrow.”
But Robinson wrestled like a savvy veteran against Buckhanan. He scored two three-point near falls in building an 8-0 lead after one period then picked up six more back points in the second to end the match before it was three minutes old.
“I’ve dreamed about being at the high school state tournament since I was a little kid,” Robinson said. “Winning a match here is huge.”
The victory over Buckhanan pitted Robinson against seventh-ranked Carter Kolthoff of BCLUW-South Hardin in the consolation second round on Friday. Kolthoff defeated Robinson at both sectionals and districts.
Robinson came out determined to end his misfortune against Kolthoff. He quickly went for a takedown, but was ruled out of bounds before he could get the call for two points.
Kolthoff countered with a takedown and followed with three back points to take a 5-0 lead into the second period.
Kolthoff scored an escape to start the second period. Robinson then had another near-takedown ruled out of bounds and Kolthoff again countered with five more points on his way defeating Robinson by major decision, 13-0.
“I felt more ready this time,” Robinson said. “I felt like I was going to really take it to him and then a few calls didn’t go my way and I came up off the shot and just got pancaked. That same thing happened later on in the match. That’s the only thing that got me - It’s a small, little mistake that’s easy to fix.”
Robinson ended his first season wrestling for Nevada with a 33-8 record. He enjoyed getting the experience of getting to wrestle at state as a freshman.
“This whole thing is awesome,” Robinson said. “I’ve been dreaming about it since I was a little kid. The lights, being on the mats - it’s a feeling I won’t ever forget. Next year I’ll come back better and get on the podium.”
With Robinson’s performance at state and two other district qualifiers also coming back next year in junior Caden Jones at 220 and sophomore Camdan Vincent at 285 Ferguson is excited about the future of Nevada wrestling.
“I think it was a good thing,” Ferguson said. “To have Drew do as well as did and with other guys getting to districts - it’s helping our program.”