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For the first time in a decade there won’t be any Mid-Prairie wrestlers vying for a spot at the state tournament.
“We just didn’t go after it, these kids have to learn that if you truly want something you have to go out and take it,” Mid-Prairie coach Justin Garvey said.
It was a frustrating day for the Golden Hawks as quarter final losses for a majority of the team ended their hopes of advancing to districts early.
The best day came from freshman Vinnie Bowlin in the 132-pound bracket. Bowlin started his day with a bang, a 22-7 technical fall over Fairfield’s Stetson Spees. Bowlin then faced the tall task of facing Class 2A No. 1 Will Esmoil of West Liberty. Esmoil pinned Bowlin in 51 seconds. Despite the loss, Bowlin knew he still had a chance to advance.
“Going into that one I knew it would be tough and even though it didn’t end the way I wanted to I had to keep going forward,” Bowlin said.
Onward he went and pinned Centerville’s Gage Moorman in the second period to earn a shot at advancing in a second-place wrestle back with Washington’s Dillan Sanders.
According to Garvey the pair had grown up close, wrestling each other often and even training together during youth wrestling.
Sanders got the lone takedown of the match and was able to hold on for a 2-1 victory.
“It was a tough loss, a lot of it was me not going full on and I need to work on that this off-season,” Bowlin said.
Mid-Prairie’s lone senior that wrestled on Saturday, Eli Steckly at 126 pounds, lost his opener in heartbreaking fashion. Steckly was up 5-0 early in the third period and a risky move allowed his opponent a reversal that put Steckly straight to his back.
Steckly came back in the fifth-place match and finished out his Mid-Prairie wrestling career with a second-period pin.
Isaac Boucher placed third at 195 pounds, a drop from the normal 220-pound weight class he wrestles in, but was not able to wrestle back due a loss to the second-place finisher in the semi-final round.
Colton Allen nearly upset the No. 1 seed of the 182-pound bracket, but a late surge by him wasn’t enough and he lost the match 8-7.
The bright spot for Mid-Prairie is that with just Steckly graduating, the Golden Hawks will bring back an experienced squad for next season.