Senior night for the City High wrestling team gave Ryan Maas the perfect stage for a farewell performance.
However, it was freshman Armani Smith who stole the show.
Maas and Smith both earned a pair of wins Thursday night as City High (7-16, 3-6) split a Mississippi Valley Conference double dual, downing Dubuque Senior 47-26 before falling to Cedar Rapids Xavier 45-24.
Maas, ranked sixth in Class 3A at 220 pounds, improved his record to 21-4 with two wins Thursday, while Smith earned a pair of first period pins in just his eighth and ninth varsity matches of the season.
“It’s a good feeling to go out on Senior Night with a win under our belt as a team and with a win myself,” Maas said. “It was a good way to go out as a senior, and it shows there is promise for later on.”
Maas earned a win by forfeit in the Little Hawks’ win over Dubuque Senior and needed just 40 seconds to pin Xavier’s Michael Maher at 220 pounds in the finale.
“Today and last Saturday my big focus was offense on my feet,” Maas said. “My focus was to attack and have confidence in my shots and confidence in myself, and this was a big help.”
On Senior Night, Maas was forced to share the spotlight with Smith, who earned a pair of first-period pins at heavyweight.
Smith needed just 1 minute and 6 seconds to put Dubuque Senior’s Johnny Massmann on his back in his opening match but found himself in a tough spot early against Xavier’s Andrew Khairallah.
Khairallah took Smith to his back nearly a minute into the match and appeared to have the City freshman in position to pin.
However, Smith tossed Khairallah to his back in a wild scramble and recorded a pin of his own in 1:10.
“My opponent was strong, but I knew I had to fight or just give up,” Smith said. “I just kept fighting, and I ended up on top of him.”
Xavier won the first three matches against City and had a 30-3 lead, but the pins from Maas and Smith cut the deficit to 30-15 and gave the Little Hawks a chance.
“There are a lot of kids in this the state and the world that just give up when they get in a bad situation,” City Coach Cory Connell said of Smith’s win. “He kept fighting, and he put himself in a good situation. He got in a bad situation and he turned it around and made it a good situation and ended the match.”
Smith’s two wins Thursday improved his record to 6-3 in his first season of varsity competition.
“He just needs to get more experience,” Connell said. “Before this season, I think he had only wrestled for seven or 10 weeks out of his life. It’s tough coming in as a freshman, and he is fighting and getting better. He turned a bad situation into a good situation and that took guts.”
City got back-to-back wins from senior Seth Schwarting at 113 and junior Will Ortiz at 120 to cut the Xavier lead to 36-24, but the Saints won the final two matches to secure the win.
Ortiz upped his season record to 18-5 with a pair of wins Thursday as he notched a first-period pin of Dubuque Senior’s Marty Steffen to go with his 6-5 decision over Josh Gerke of Xavier.
Ortiz scored a reversal with 14 seconds left to earn the win over Gerke.
“I know we are getting better. It’s not as fast as I want. I want to see leaps and bounds, but I am seeing progress,” Connell said. “I saw some good wins, I saw some gutsy wins out of my wrestlers that I really liked to see.”
CITY HIGH 46, DUBUQUE SENIOR 27
132 – Bryan Berg (C) pinned Martin Winders 3:45.
138 – Matt Hesselman (DS) dec. Ethan Vermace 12-8.
145 – Nic Jarvis (C) pinned Luke Hoerner 1:51.
152 – Logan Schmerbach (DS) dec. Ali Omar 12-6.
160 – Nick Giesmann (DS) pinned Dillon Africa 3:39.
170 – Dallas Slater (C) maj. dec. Jared Ensign 14-2.
182 – Harrison Whitlow (C) won by forfeit.
195 – Dan Thoma (DS) won by forfeit.
220 – Ryan Maas (C) won by forfeit.
285 – Armani Smith (C) pinned Jonny Massman N/A.
106 – Jacob Powers (C) won by forfeit.
113 – Chase Lynn (DS) dec. Seth Schwarting 7-0.
120 – Will Ortiz (C) pinned Marty Steffen 1:38.
126 – Joe Budde (DS) pinned Daniel Kelly 3:02.
C.R. XAVIER 45, CITY HIGH 24
138 – Clint Lembeck (CRX) pinned Ethan Vermace 2:00.
145 – Jerry Duball (CRX) dec. Nic Jarvis 8-5.
152 – Nick Drahozal (CRX) pinned Ali Omar N/A.
160 – Dillon Africa (C) dec. Caleb Billick 3-2.
170 – Sean Ickes (CRX) pinned Dallas Slater N/A.
182 – Sam Meyers (CRX) dec. Harrison Whitlow 4-2.
195 – Ryan Williams (CRX) won by forfeit.
220 – Ryan Maas (C) pinned Michael Maher N/A.
285 – Armani Smith (C) pinned Andrew Khairallah N/A.
106 – Jeff Vipond (CRX) inj. def. Jacob Powers.
113 – Seth Schwarting (C) pinned Nick Koechner N/A.
120 – Will Ortiz (C) dec. Josh Gerke 6-5.
126 – Camden Chicchelly (CRX) dec. Daniel Kelly 7-2.
132 – Andrew Billick (CRX) pinned Bryan Berg N/A.