BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – They were Kruse-in’… on a Thursday afternoon.
Well technically, it was a Thursday evening…but that would’ve screwed up the lyrical…blaah. The Fort Madison Bloodhounds downed archrival Keokuk in a Southeast Conference dual meet Thursday.
The energy level was high in the Hound Dome, but diminished temporarily as about six forfeits were announced before Jarrett Settles was pinned in :48 and the Hounds were down by 6. But Sam Hayes, returning to action, got the best of Austin Tibbs at 195 lbs. recording a fall at the 1:15 mark.
The Chiefs Jerry Glen then returned the favor with a pin at 220 1:16 into the match.
But the Hounds then regained the momentum and the gym brought the noise as junior Heath Hoenig got revenge on Hank Billings with a pin at 2:23 in the 285 lb. matchup.
Head Coach Ryan Smith said Hoenig had lost to Billings on Friday in junior varsity match at Centerville.
“That was huge. That was a toss up going in and that was huge,” Smith said.
After Hoenig’s pin the match turned to the front end of the weight classes and FMHS’ Elton Kruse stepped to the mat at 106 lbs. The match got into the third 2-minute period with Keokuk’s Tres Merydith holding a 2-point advantage over Kruse with most of the match taking place on the south side. Kruse then turned the tables and move the match center and then north and was able to roll Merydith over for a pin at 5:17.
“That was a huge win, too,” Smith said. “Those were probably the two biggest matches that pushed us to the win.”
The Chiefs were able to win the next three matches after Ryan Steffensmeier won on a forfeit at 113. Nathan Steffensmeier lost an 8-3 decision at 120, Skylar Schau lost in a 12-0 decision at 126 and Aaron Steffensmeier fell to Brant O’Shea 9-1.
The Hounds travel to Urbandale on Saturday for another gymnasium full of talent.
“Harlan (Steffensmeier) will probably the see the No. 2 ranked wrestlers in Class 2A and 3A up there so that will be an interesting meet,” Smith said.
Former FMHS wrestling standout Russell Weakley was inducted into the Fort Madison Athletic Hall of Fame Thursday night and was presented with a plaque and rendering for the school’s multi-purpose room. Weakley was a two-state champion and four-time state qualifier in addition to many All-State honors. He went on to wrestle in colleges in Iowa and North Carolina where he received All-American honors.
The complete box on Thursday’s meet is below.
Fort Madison 42, Keokuk 35
138: Dalton Woolever (FOMA) over (KEOK) (For.) 145: Harlan Steffensmeier (FOMA) over (KEOK) (For.) 152: Matt Wyatt (KEOK) over (FOMA) (For.) 160: Dylan Jeffers (KEOK) over (FOMA) (For.) 170: Shane Reid (KEOK) over Jarrett Settles (FOMA) (Fall 0:48) 182: Diego Lozano (FOMA) over (KEOK) (For.) 195: Sam Hayes (FOMA) over Austin Tibbits (KEOK) (Fall 1:15) 220: Jerry Glenn (KEOK) over Danen Settles (FOMA) (Fall 1:16) 285: Heath Hoenig (FOMA) over Hank Billings (KEOK) (Fall 2:23) 106: Elton Kruse (FOMA) over Tres Merydith (KEOK) (Fall 5:17) 113: Ryan Steffensmeier (FOMA) over (KEOK) (For.) 120: Dalton Boudewyn (KEOK) over Nathan Steffensmeier (FOMA) (Dec 8-3) 126: Ashton Meyers (KEOK) over Skylar Schau (FOMA) (MD 12-0) 132: Brant O`Shea (KEOK) over Aaron Steffensmeier (FOMA) (MD 9-1).