Kingsley-Pierson's wrestling team got a big confidence boost on Thursday night as they swept their opponents, West Monona and Westwood, in a home dual. The Panthers showed off their strength in a number of weight classes beating West Monona 38-30 before taking down Westwood 39-29.
Freshman Matt Steffen, wrestling at 125 pounds, got K-P off to a huge start recording their first points with a 13-8 decision over his opponent from West Monona. 130 pounder Tyler Campbell, also a freshman, gave the Panthers six huge points pinning his opponent in 1:59 before Tanner Weaver recorded six more points when he won by forfeit at 135 pounds.
The Spartans didn't give Dallin Mahrt any easy points as he fought and scrapped his way to a 4-2 decision at 140 pounds. The Panthers continued their winning ways in the heavier classes. Sean Bainbridge, 145 pounds, also received a forfeit victory.
Jeff Engle, Iowa's Class 1A second-ranked wrestler at a 152 pounds, was able to pin his Spartan opponent in the second round in 4:21. Dexter Mahrt had an easier time than his brother Dallin as he pinned his opponent in just 1:14 into the match.
"I thought we wrestled very well tonight; all the guys wrestled the way I expected them to," said K-P coach Alan Goetsch. "We looked really good up and down the line."
"We really have been working on being more aggressive and wrestling our match. We want to wrestle at our tempo and I think the guys went out and did just that," he added. "It was really good to see from our young team."
The aggressive and up-tempo wrestling also paid off in the second dual against the Westwood Rebels.
Steffen went 2-0 on the night earning a first period pin in 1:56 before Campbell earned his second pin of the dual in 4:38. Dallin Mahrt was once again a winner at 140, winning by a 2-0 decision. After receiving a forfet in the first dual against West Monona, Bainbridge had to do a little bit more work this time but the result was the same as he won his match in a 4-0 decision.
Engle got his second pin of the night in 1:50 before Ross McNaughton moved up a weight class to 171 pounds and recorded a pin in 2:13. Dexter Mahrt got the quickest pin of the night for the Panthers as he took his opponent down in just 57 seconds to seal the victory for K-P.
"We moved Ross up a weight class and it was a decent strategy that paid off for us in the end," said Goestch. "It was nice to get a win over Westwood. We saw them earlier at the Sergeant Bluff-Luton Duals and we lost the first time."
"It was really nice to turn things around this time. We were missing some kids the first time and it was nice to have them back," he added. "We're still missing kids at six weight classes so I told the boys that we needed all the team points we can get and the boys went out and got them."
West Monona defeated Westwood 46-27 in the other match-up of the dual.
Up next for the Panthers is the Maple Valley Conference Tournament at K-P this weekend. "I think we have a pretty decent shot in the tournament, especially with the way some of these guys wrestled tonight," said Goestch. "We still have the open classes but I still think we can get some people through to wrestle for some big team points."