Thacher punches state ticket with dramatic fall

Fort Madison's Ike Thacher embraces FMHS assistant Coach Derek Doherty as Assistant Coach Luke Rickleman looks on after Thacher qualified for state with a last-second pin in the 195 lbs 2nd-place match. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC

McGowan and Sokolik also to make trip to Wells Fargo this week

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PCC EDITOR

IOWA CITY – The Fort Madison Bloodhounds had a shot at two titles at Saturday’s Class 3A state wrestling qualifier at Iowa City High. That quickly turned into the Bloodhounds having wrestlers competing for 2nd place in eight of 10 wrestle back classes.

Ike Thacher (195), Jakob McGowan (170), and Daniel Sokolik (220) all won in true 2nd place matches to advance to this week’s Iowa High School Athletic Association State Wrestling Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena. The tournament starts on Wednesday.

Thacher was 30 seconds from being eliminated in his wrestle back at 195 trailing 17-5 against Liberty’s Ethan Armstrong. Armstrong led 13-4 going into the final period. He scored a takedown at 35 seconds into the period for a 15-4 lead, but Thacher escaped a half a minute later. Armstrong would score two more points getting control of Thacher with 33 seconds left in the match and the 17-5 lead.

Fort Madison junior Daniel Sokolik gets Burlington’s Julien Perez-Hall in a bridge as the Bloodhound closes in on a first round win Saturday at Iowa City High in the Class 3A District 4 state qualifying tournament. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC

The Bloodhound worked another escape with 21 seconds left and the two scrambled to their feet where Thacher executed what amounted to a hip toss and landed on top of Armstrong with 13 seconds left in the match and was able to register the pin with 7 seconds on the clock.

“I wasn’t really looking to score at that point. I knew time was running down and I needed to hit something big,” Thacher said.

“I was getting back to the circle quick, and he was taking a little longer, so I knew I could get it done if I tried,” Thacher said. “I hit a lat drop. He was tired and I just got him over and under and just threw him as hard as I could.

Head Coach Ryan Smith and Asst. Coach Andrew Cartwright congratulate Sokolik after qualifying to compete at this week’s IHSAA State Wrestling Tournament in Des Moines. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC

“This means a lot to me. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do since I started wrestling in the room when I was a little kid looking at all the other people who placed on that wall.”

Sokolik said getting to watch the final seconds of Thacher’s match inspired him in his wrestle back match.

The junior took on Diego Cortez of Bettendorf in the 2nd-place match and the two were tied after Cortez scored the first takedown 24 seconds into the match.

Sokolik worked a reversal right at the end of the period to tie things up, and then from a standing start to the second two-minute period, Sokolik got the takedown 15 seconds in and turned the move into a pin seven seconds later.

“He took me down in the beginning and I was fighting on my belly a little bit. I just kept working it and went from a power half to a half and was able to get him down.”

Sokolik said he wasn’t thinking too much about the Hounds’ 0-4 start in the 2nd-place matches.

“I wasn’t really thinking about that, but the thing that motivated me for this match was watching Ike pin that kid down at the end. That made me really happy watching him win and then watching (Jakob) win. It just motivated me to go.”

The Hound knocked off Burlington’s Julien Perez-Hall for the second time in two weeks to get into the championship side of the bracket.

McGowan was wrestling this year for the first time since his sophomore year after suffering a knee injury. He said getting to state was his goal going into the season.

Logan Pennock gets the upper hand on Gabe Avalos of Iowa City Liberty in Pennock’s match to get to a wrestle back for a true second place finish at 120 lbs Saturday at state qualifying in Iowa City. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC

His 2nd-place match with DeAvion Parker of Bettendorf was a big ask considering Parker had taken Pleasant Valley’s Caden McDermott to a 5-3 decision in the championship match.

“I was just thinking pound on his head and get the underhook and get in there. I kind of wanted to take shots in spaces. I knew that Teague had just lost and that got me fired up a little bit,” said McGowan.

“This really feels good. I worked hard at it all year and this is great.”

Head Coach Ryan Smith said he was happy for the three making the trip to state, but heartbroken for those that just missed.

SMITH

“To have eight in that position is tremendous. But to lose a good chunk of them is heartbreaking,” he Smith said.

“I feel bad for the kids. The score didn’t always go our way, but our effort was there and we judge ourselves on our effort. We can swallow it a little easier when we have that great effort, but you gotta get it done when it counts.

“It doesn’t always go the way you want it, but sports are sports.”

Sophomores Teague Smith – Ryan Smith’s son, and Nolan Riddle both were ousted in their championship matches, Smith at 160 and Riddle at 132.

Smith lost in a heartbreaker to senior Colin Sharp of Newton. Smith tied the match at 2 after scoring a reversal early in period 3. The Bloodhound would ride Sharp for the next 80 seconds before the senior got out of Smith’s control near the circle scoring a reversal and taking a 3-2 lead with :37 left.

FMHS’s Nolan Riddle looks up at the scoreboard as he positions Ottumwa’s Daltin Doud in second round wrestling Saturday in Iowa City. Riddle would win the match 12-2 to advance to the 132 lb. title match. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC

Sharp worked the manuever into a near fall as the buzzer sounded for a 5-2 win sending Smith into the 2nd-place match.

Riddle lost by pin to Bettendorf’s Tycho Carmichael at 2:22. Riddle trailed 4-0 in the second period after Carmichael racked up a takedown with 41 seconds gone in the first period, which turned to a 2-point near fall that resulted in the pin.

Those two losses threw the Hounds into wrestle back matches along with Logan Pennock (120), Gavin Wiseman (152), Jakob McGowan (170), Ike Thacher (195), Daniel Sokolik (220), and Cory Arnett (285), giving eight Bloodhounds a chance to reach state.

Freshman Logan Pennock probably had the biggest heartbreaker of the night when he couldn’t get a two-point control award as time expired in his wrestle back with Ottumwa senior Corbin Grace.

Fort Madison’s Ike Thacher tries to turn Pleasant Valley’s Yousef Younis in the second round of the Class 3A, District 4 wrestling tournament at Iowa City High Saturday afternoon. Thacher would win and then take a medical forfeit to set up a 2nd place match with Ethan Armstrong of Iowa City Liberty. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC

Pennock had control of the match through the first two periods and had worked a 7-3 lead keeping Grace wrapped up most of the match, but Grace was awarded five points for two near falls in the final 70 seconds to take an 8-7 lead.

In the final 10 seconds, Pennock was able to get out of Grace’s control and ended up getting Grace on the mat underneath him. Pennock was laying on Grace with his back and had pushed Grace out of position, but was awarded no points for an escape or reversal as time expired.

Pennock won his first round match and then lost to eventual champion Cael Seaton of Iowa City High, by fall before downing Liberty’s Gabe Avalos in trying to get back to the 2nd-place match.

Fort Madison placed third at the meet with 167 points behind Bettendorf and Pleasant Valley.

Fort Madison’s Jakob McGowan (195) gets the upperhand over Iowa City High freshman Drew Nye in the first round of district wrestling Saturday in Iowa City. McGowan would finish second and qualified for the state wrestling tournament. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC

Emmett Kruse took 5th place at 126 lbs. Henry Wiseman took the 6th place at 138 lbs and Joe Hartman took 6th at 182. Aiden Pennock took 3rd at 145, just missing a shot at a wrestle back. Arnett, just a freshman, took 3rd at 285 falling in his wrestle back match to Burlington’s Julius Harris (31-3) in a very respectable 3-0 decision.

Gavin Wiseman (152), Logan Pennock (120), Aidan Pennock (145), Smith (160), and Riddle (132) all finished in third place losing their wrestle back matches.

Complete results from Saturday’s action are below:

106 lbs – Tateum Schelich (5-27) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points. Quarterfinal – Carter Siebel (Pleasant Valley) 40-7 won by fall over Tateum Schelich (Fort Madison) 5-27 (Fall 0:40) Cons. Semi – Panos Christos (Iowa City, Liberty) 12-16 won by fall over Tateum Schelich (Fort Madison) 5-27 (Fall 3:30)
120 lbs – Logan Pennock (34-17) placed 3rd and scored 14.0 team points. Quarterfinal – Logan Pennock (Fort Madison) 34-17 won by fall over Caden Ervin (Pleasant Valley) 30-22 (Fall 1:16) Semifinal – Cale Seaton (Iowa City, City High) 38-2 won by fall over Logan Pennock (Fort Madison) 34-17 (Fall 1:56) 3rd Place Match – Logan Pennock (Fort Madison) 34-17 won by decision over Gabe Avalos (Iowa City, Liberty) 16-9 (Dec 10-4) 2nd Place Match – Corbin Grace (Ottumwa) 39-5 won by decision over Logan Pennock (Fort Madison) 34-17 (Dec 8-7)
126 lbs – Emmett Kruse (25-22) placed 5th and scored 10.0 team points. Quarterfinal – Duncan Harn (Pleasant Valley) 36-12 won by fall over Emmett Kruse (Fort Madison) 25-22 (Fall 0:44) Cons. Semi – Emmett Kruse (Fort Madison) 25-22 won by fall over Konner Jimenez (Newton) 1-10 (Fall 0:38) 5th Place Match – Emmett Kruse (Fort Madison) 25-22 won by fall over Mason Karam (Iowa City, Liberty) 11-18 (Fall 2:54)
132 lbs – Nolan Riddle (14-8) placed 3rd and scored 16.0 team points. Quarterfinal – Nolan Riddle (Fort Madison) 14-8 won by fall over Zach Fern (Iowa City, City High) 17-14 (Fall 2:46) Semifinal – Nolan Riddle (Fort Madison) 14-8 won by major decision over Daltin Doud (Ottumwa) 37-8 (MD 12-2) 1st Place Match – Tycho Carmichael (Bettendorf) 30-4 won by fall over Nolan Riddle (Fort Madison) 14-8 (Fall 2:22) 2nd Place Match – Holden Willett (Pleasant Valley) 32-13 won by decision over Nolan Riddle (Fort Madison) 14-8 (Dec 2-0)
138 lbs – Henry Wiseman (23-22) placed 6th and scored 4.0 team points. Quarterfinal – Jake Mitchell (Iowa City, City High) 30-12 won by fall over Henry Wiseman (Fort Madison) 23-22 (Fall 3:53) Cons. Semi – Henry Wiseman (Fort Madison) 23-22 received a bye () (Bye) 5th Place Match – Jaxson Morris (Iowa City, Liberty) 16-14 won by decision over Henry Wiseman (Fort Madison) 23-22 (Dec 6-0)
145 lbs – Aidan Pennock (34-16) placed 3rd and scored 16.0 team points. Quarterfinal – Aidan Pennock (Fort Madison) 34-16 won by fall over Andrew Miller (Pleasant Valley) 14-13 (Fall 0:43) Semifinal – Ryan Ott (Iowa City, City High) 22-7 won by major decision over Aidan Pennock (Fort Madison) 34-16 (MD 13-3) 3rd Place Match – Aidan Pennock (Fort Madison) 34-16 won by fall over Jackson Philipp (Iowa City, Liberty) 15-15 (Fall 0:38) 2nd Place Match – Ryan Ott (Iowa City, City High) 22-7 won by no contest over Aidan Pennock (Fort Madison) 34-16 (NC)
152 lbs – Gavin Wiseman (32-11) placed 3rd and scored 16.0 team points. Quarterfinal – Gavin Wiseman (Fort Madison) 32-11 won by fall over Gavin Benton (Iowa City, Liberty) 22-15 (Fall 1:08) Semifinal – Brennan Amos (Newton) 15-1 won by decision over Gavin Wiseman (Fort Madison) 32-11 (Dec 6-3) 3rd Place Match – Gavin Wiseman (Fort Madison) 32-11 won by medical forfeit over Zachariah Shoemaker (Ottumwa) 38-5 (M. For.) 2nd Place Match – Elijah Mendoza (Bettendorf) 31-13 won by decision over Gavin Wiseman (Fort Madison) 32-11 (Dec 7-1)
160 lbs – Teague Smith (37-10) placed 3rd and scored 15.0 team points. Quarterfinal – Teague Smith (Fort Madison) 37-10 received a bye () (Bye) Semifinal – Teague Smith (Fort Madison) 37-10 won by fall over Ike Swanson (Pleasant Valley) 35-15 (Fall 0:50) 1st Place Match – Colin Sharp (Newton) 19-9 won by decision over Teague Smith (Fort Madison) 37-10 (Dec 5-2) 2nd Place Match – Elijah Terwilleger (Iowa City, Liberty) 31-7 won by decision over Teague Smith (Fort Madison) 37-10 (Dec 10-4)
170 lbs – Jakob McGowan (39-13) placed 2nd and scored 17.0 team points. Quarterfinal – Jakob McGowan (Fort Madison) 39-13 won by fall over Drew Nye (Iowa City, City High) 6-20 (Fall 1:37) Semifinal – Caden McDermott (Pleasant Valley) 40-3 won by major decision over Jakob McGowan (Fort Madison) 39-13 (MD 16-3) 3rd Place Match – Jakob McGowan (Fort Madison) 39-13 won by decision over Caden Yoerger (Iowa City, Liberty) 9-10 (Dec 6-0) 2nd Place Match – Jakob McGowan (Fort Madison) 39-13 won by decision over DeAvione Parker (Bettendorf) 13-12 (Dec 7-3)
182 lbs – Joe Hartman (7-8) placed 6th and scored 6.0 team points. Quarterfinal – Rusty VanWetzinga (Pleasant Valley) 33-6 won by fall over Joe Hartman (Fort Madison) 7-8 (Fall 2:18) Cons. Semi – Joe Hartman (Fort Madison) 7-8 won by fall over Caleb Zaugg (Burlington) 21-16 (Fall 1:05) 5th Place Match – Cooper Agosta (Bettendorf) 8-9 won by fall over Joe Hartman (Fort Madison) 7-8 (Fall 4:25)
195 lbs – Isaac Thacher (34-8) placed 2nd and scored 22.0 team points. Quarterfinal – Isaac Thacher (Fort Madison) 34-8 won by fall over Moise Cordero (Burlington) 2-2 (Fall 1:47) Semifinal – Isaac Thacher (Fort Madison) 34-8 won by fall over Yousef Younis (Pleasant Valley) 19-13 (Fall 3:14) 1st Place Match – Bradley Hill (Bettendorf) 38-1 won by medical forfeit over Isaac Thacher (Fort Madison) 34-8 (M. For.) 2nd Place Match – Isaac Thacher (Fort Madison) 34-8 won by fall over Ethan Armstrong (Iowa City, Liberty) 8-6 (Fall 5:52).
220 lbs – Daniel Sokolik (34-18) placed 2nd and scored 19.0 team points. Quarterfinal – Daniel Sokolik (Fort Madison) 34-18 won by decision over Julian Perez-Hall (Burlington) 24-12 (Dec 7-4)Semifinal – Ben Kueter (Iowa City, City High) 33-0 won by fall over Daniel Sokolik (Fort Madison) 34-18 (Fall 2:11) 3rd Place Match – Daniel Sokolik (Fort Madison) 34-18 won by medical forfeit over John Hardin (Ottumwa) 8-5 (M. For.). 2nd Place Match – Daniel Sokolik (Fort Madison) 34-18 won by fall over Diego Cortes (Bettendorf) 27-13 (Fall 2:41).
285 lbs – Cory Arnett (9-23) placed 3rd and scored 12.0 team points. Quarterfinal – Cory Arnett (Fort Madison) 9-23 received a bye () (Bye) Semifinal – Luke Vonderhaar (Pleasant Valley) 20-3 won by fall over Cory Arnett (Fort Madison) 9-23 (Fall 2:13). 3rd Place Match – Cory Arnett (Fort Madison) 9-23 won by decision over Trey Dervrich (Iowa City, City High) 2-3 (Dec 10-5). 2nd Place Match – Julius Harris (Burlington) 31-3 won by decision over Cory Arnett (Fort Madison) 9-23 (Dec 3-0)

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