Nevada’s Weber heading to districts: Cub freshman wins sectional title at 106
NEVADA – Kaden Weber accomplished his goal.
Now it’s time to up the ante.
Weber won an individual sectional title for the Nevada wrestling team Saturday at the Class 2A sectional meet in Nevada. The Cub freshman took first at 106 pounds and is the only Cub wrestler to advance to districts next week in Williamsburg.
“I put a lot into this sport and it just feels good to accomplish something that I wanted,” Weber said. “Drew (Robinson), Holden (Fry), Cam (Vincent) along with all the seniors - they’ve all motivated me this year and we’ve shared a lot of good memories, so I wanted to keep the season going.”
Weber received a bye in the quarterfinals and pinned South Tama County’s Brody Chyma in three minutes, 45 seconds to reach the finals. In the finals Weber scored a 3-1 victory over top-seeded Dylan Heater of Grinnell.
Weber scored a takedown at the 1:12 mark of the first period against Heater. Weber gave up an escape in the second period, but he countered with one of his own in the third.
“We wrestled last year at (AAU) state,” Weber said. “He was really tough off the line, so what I wanted to do was work my pace. I was really looking for that sweep single, because I know if I work on bottom I’m done. I just wanted to work fast.”
Weber actually started the third period on bottom and ended up getting the escape for the final point.
“All year Lonnie (Ferguson) has been wanting me to work on bottom and I feel like I’ve been doing pretty well on bottom lately,” Weber said. “The reason I don’t like getting caught on bottom is I’m not actually 106 – I could put on a few pounds. But I knew if I picked bottom I know my speed and what I work and was looking for that switch or sit-out and I did that. ”
Weber was active the whole time in the third period, constantly circling and moving to make sure he didn’t get caught. He wrestled smart over the final two minutes to wrap up the victory and improve to 28-12 on the season.
“I wished I would’ve scored – that would’ve given me a lot of cushion,” Weber said. “I think I did well in terms of not doing something stupid because I was only up by two.”
With Robinson getting upset in the quarterfinals at 126, Vincent unable to get through a stacked field at 285 an seniors Luis Lopez and Sam Steele both losing wrestle-back matches Weber will be on his own at districts next week.
“They’re all great and I look up to them – it sucks that they’re out,” Weber said. “That’s a lot of pressure on my shoulders, but I just have got to do what I’ve got to do.”
Ferguson – Nevada's head coach – said Weber is capable of advancing to state.
“He can wrestle with anybody,” Ferguson said. “He’s wrestled some of the toughest kids in the state already. He’s been in the matches. He comes out, wrestles smart and keeps moving the whole time he has a shot.”
Robinson was a state qualifier a year ago. He took a 15-2 record into Saturday, but hadn’t wrestled in nearly a month.
Robinson had dinged up his knee earlier in the year. A few weeks ago he had to go into quarantine because of COVID-19 and missed some valuable time on the mat.
Robinson still came out strong against West Marshall’s J.D. Downs in the quarterfinals at 126 on Saturday. But after building a 9-0 lead he got caught on his back in the fourth period and was pinned in 4:26.
“He beat Downs three or four times last year and pinned him already once this year and then we’re up 9-0,” Ferguson said. “To get caught like that and not get out of it could happen to anybody.”
Vincent took a 27-7 record into Saturday. But he went up against 20-6 Rudy Papakee of South Tama County in the semifinals and lost by major decision, 12-1.
Vincent, who was battling a knee injury, pinned South Hardin-BCLUW's Aiden Farnsworth in 2:43 in the third-place match. But he was unable to get a wrestle-back after Papakee lost by a 4-0 decision to third-ranked Kamrin Steveson of Grinnell in the finals.
“(Papakee) stayed in position and didn’t force any throws and we made the mistakes,” Vincent. “He wrestled well and got third, but it’s a little short of where we wanted to be.”
Lopez pinned Grinnell’s Wyatt Eaton in 1:56, lost by fall to fourth-ranked Logan Arp of South Tama County in the semifinals and pinned South Hardin-BCLUW's Lane Hartwig in 5:17 during the third-place match at 132. He earned a wrestle-back, but dropped a 3-1 decision to West Marshall’s Caden Vellinga to end his senior season at 11-19.
“Luis is right there, if we can get a takedown in that third period we’re going into overtime and I believe we were in better shape,” Ferguson said. “We just came up a little bit short.”
Steele wrestled at 145. He lost by fall to Grinnell’s Andres Cantillo, came back with a 7-6 win over South Tama County’s Andres Lugo then lost the wrestle-back to East Marshall/GMG’s Dane Thompson by fall to end up 17-22 in his final year.
“Sam’s had a pretty good season,” Ferguson said. “I’m proud of what he’s done.”
Fry also picked up a victory for Nevada. Fry placed fourth at 160 with a 1-2 record, pinning West Marshall’s Reece Vogel in 5:10 during the quarterfinals.
Nevada placed last out of six teams at sectionals with 123 points. South Tama County won the team championship with 218.5 points and East Marshall/GMG was a close second with 212.
The Cubs had a chance to do big things this year. But a season-ending shoulder injury to potential state qualifier Caden Jones, a medical condition that prevented talented grappler Edgar Caberra from competing, the injury/COVID situation with Robinson and Vincent’s tough draw combined to put a damper on the end of the season.
“Not much we could do,” Ferguson said. “It’s tough. When you look at the beginning of the season when we were pretty tough to where we’re at now – it's a long way off.”
The good news is most of those wrestlers will be back for Nevada next season.
“They’ve got to focus on the offseason – that's where it’s at,” Ferguson said. “Last year we didn’t really have an offseason because with COVID they shut everything down. We need that time on the mat. Hopefully this year we’ll have that opportunity.”
The 2A District meet in Williamsburg starts at noon next Saturday.
Final team scores: 1. South Tama County 218.5 points, 2. East Marshall-GMG 212, 3. Grinnell 184, 4. West Marshall 162, 5. South Hardin-BCLUW 125, 6. Nevada 123.
Individual results – Nevada
106 pounds – 1. Kaden Weber, 2-0. 120 – 3. Dominick Garcia, 2-2. 126 – 3. Drew Robinson, 1-1. 132 – 3. Luis Lopez, 2-2. 138 – 5. Aden Bearden, 0-2. 145 – 3. Sam Steele, 1-2. 152 – 6. Payton Mosinski, 0-2. 160 – 4. Holden Fry, 1-2. 170 – 5. Caiden Woten, 0-1. 195 – 6. Gage Bielenberg, 0-2. 285 – 3. Cam Vincent, 1-1.