Referring to the West High wrestling team’s recent schedule as busy would be a little like referring to the Grand Canyon as big.
The Trojans wrapped up a 10-day span that included two tournaments and five dual meets with a third-place finish at the Ed Winger Classic on Saturday in Urbandale.
“That was a real tough run for us,” West coach Mark Reiland said. “In a 10-day span we had six days of competition, and that is hard. That is hard for anybody no matter what level.”
West was as successful as it was busy.
The Trojans opened the grueling sequence with a dual win over crosstown rival City High on Jan. 16.
The next day, West hit the road for the St. Charles West invitational in Missouri, placing fourth in the two-day, 16-team tournament.
Eighth-ranked West won four Mississippi Valley Conference duals in three days last week, including a 36-30 win over No. 7 Cedar Rapids Prairie that wasn’t decided until the final match.
The Trojans ended the 10-day run with a third-place finish at Saturday’s 19-team Ed Winger Classic in Urbandale, placing behind only top-ranked Bettendorf and No. 3 Southeast Polk.
“I think we came out of it well,” Reiland said. “We were 5-0 in duals, we were third and fourth in the two tournaments. Could we have done better? Yeah, it would have been nice to have done better, but at the same time you look at the two teams that beat us at Urbandale and they are the top two teams in the state.”
West has had a week to recover from the wild 10-day ride before heading to the MVC tournament this weekend.
The Trojans have six ranked wrestlers, led by senior Chris Walters, who is third at 126 pounds, and junior Tanner Rohweder, who is fourth at 113.
Senior Micah Kelsay is fifth at 195, Aydan Wynos (285) and John Milani (160) are both ranked sixth, while sophomore Donovan Doyle is seventh at 182.
“We knew going in it was going to be tough,” Reiland said. “We’ve had this week off. We were off for seven days, basically, and hopefully we are ready to go on Saturday and next week and the following week.”
* IMMEDIATE IMPACT: It hasn’t taken Highland freshman Drew and Bryce West long to make their mark at the high school level.
The twin brothers are both ranked first in Class 1A; Drew at 106 pounds and Bryce at 113.
Drew West is 30-0 with 19 pins and two technical falls, while Bryce is 29-1 with 15 pins, with his only loss coming to Des Moines Lincoln’s Ty McGhee.
Teammate Travis Cole is 28-1 and ranked third at 138 pounds.
FOLLOW MY LEAD: West Branch has four ranked wrestlers, led by the senior trio of Carter Carew, Tyler Donovan and Casey Pence.
Pence is 21-0 and ranked third at 160 pounds in Class 1A, Donovan is 29-2 and fifth at 152, and Carew is 29-2 and ranked eighth at 126 pounds.
Carew and Pence both claimed individual titles and Donovan finished third as West Branch won the Bearcat Invitational on Saturday at North Butler.
Sophomore Drew Finnegan is the other ranked wrestler for the Bears, and is 19-3 and ranked ninth at 220 pounds.
100 AND COUNTING: West Liberty senior Eliot Henderson reached the 100-win plateau for his career earlier this season at the Cedar Rapids Xavier tournament.
Henderson is 30-3 this season and ranked fifth in Class 2A at 120 pounds.
RATINGS UPDATE: City High senior Ryan Maas (24-5) is ranked sixth at 220 pounds in the latest Class 3A rankings by The Predicament.
Solon boasts two ranked wrestlers in Class 2A in top-ranked Lance Evans at 220 pounds and No. 8 Louis Gnida (30-4) at 120.
Mid-Prairie senior Phirom Peterschmidt is fifth at 195 pounds in Class 2A.