Smith leads Akron-Westfield at wrestling sectionals
MOVILLE — Logan Smith was the only Akron-Westfield wrestler to earn his spot at the district meet following action at the Class 1A sectional 6 meet Saturday.
Smith wrestled at 220 pounds at the meet and entered with a 20-11 record for the season. He earned a first round bye before meeting Zach Erpelding of Alta-Aurelia in the semifinal round. Erpelding won his opening match by fall in 24 seconds over Hinton’s Garrett Divis. It was a quick fall the other way as Smith got a takedown just seconds into the match and got a pair of two-point near falls before finishing off the match with a pin in 1:23.
The finals match put Smith against South Central Calhoun’s Brian King who entered with a 38-8 record. King got the bye on the other half of the bracket and pinned Woodbury Central’s John Groetken in 33 seconds in the semifinals. King controlled the first place match from the start, getting out to a 5-0 lead after a period, extending it out to 7-0 by the end of the second with a takedown and getting out to an 11-1 advantage before ultimately getting the win by fall in 5:37.
Smith did not face a wrestleback for second place as he had already beat the winner of the third place match, Erpelding, earlier.
The Westerners had one other competitor wrestle for a chance to make it to next week in a second place wrestleback. Cole Moffatt ended short of advancing as he was pinned by Hinton’s Teegan Tschampel in 1:54.
It was a good start to the day for Moffatt as he won a 15-0 technical fall early in the third period against a 25-win wrestler in Braulio Munoz of Westwood. Moffatt took control early as he scored 10 points in the first period. The semifinal round saw Moffatt pinned by 40-win Blake McAlister in 1:38. Moffatt kept his chances alive by earning a 3:09 win by fall over Nathan Pobanz of East Sac County, who came into the day with 26 wins. Moffatt ends his season with a 18-16 record.
Three other Westerners won their opening matches, but didn’t win after that. At 106, Bryce Jurgensen won an 11-5 decision over Aidan Schumacher of Alta-Aurelia before getting pinned by Woodbury Central’s Ryder Koele, the sectional champion, and Westwood’s Gabe Hernandez the next two rounds. Jurgensen finishes with a 21-20 mark this season.
Michael Varns won his first match of the day at 138 by pinning Woodbury Central’s Kyan Schultzen in 3:23. He then lost by fall in 22 seconds to the sectional champion, Jordan Khommanyvong of South Central Calhoun, and was then pinned by Brock Mitchell of Lawton-Bronson in the third place match.
At 170, Carson James started with a 3:02 win by fall over Westwood’s Steve Heilman before getting pinned in 2:53 by East Sac County’s Sterling Rodman in the semifinals who went on to claim the 170 crown. James ended with a loss to Landon Schleisman of South Central Calhoun by fall in 2:48 in the third place match.
The rest of the Westerners lost their opening match and were thus eliminated from possible advancement.
Smith (21-12) will carry the torch for the Westerners at districts as the team’s lone qualifier. He is scheduled to open up against Rex Johnsen of Logan-Magnolia (39-5) in the first round of the district meet as Johnsen was the champion of the class at sectional 5. The district meet will be held Saturday at MVAOCOU.
Team scores: Woodbury Central 217, Westwood 186, South Central Calhoun 162, Alta-Aurelia 134, Hinton 132.5, East Sac County 128.5, Akron-Westfield 106.5, Lawton-Bronson 50.