Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – Many athletes say they remember the losses and the close calls a lot longer than the wins.
Zack Bevans started out that way but as the tournament runner-up finishes began to pile up the Solon senior started to save space in his memory for the wins.
“I’ve had a lot of runner-up finishes,” Bevans said. “A lot more of those than I’d like.”
On Saturday Bevans added a memory that he won’t be forgetting any time soon.
Bevans emerged from a field that featured four ranked wrestlers to win the 152-pound championship in his final appearance at the Ed Hadenfeldt Invitational at Solon.
The individual title for Bevans was just the third of his career and was one of three on the day for Solon which earned a runner-up team finish behind Class 1A third-ranked Lisbon.
“This was something I always wanted, to win this tournament so it was definitely a goal,” Bevans said. “It’s special. It’s always exciting to wrestle at home. I just like hearing the crowd go wild when you get a takedown.”
Jax Flynn added a title at 170 pounds and Michael Broghammer won the 285-pound title as Class 3A fourth-ranked Solon finished with 203.5 points, five off the pace of Lisbon.
Solon had nine finalists, more than any other team but went 3-6 in title matches while Lisbon crowned a tournament-best five champs.
“We had a lot of tough matches just to get the finals so it was good to have a lot of finalists but you always want more champs,” Solon coach Blake Williams said. “We had a few tough losses in the finals but overall it was decent. We just have to get better a lot of little things both mentally and technique wise. Overall it was a good day with a lot of good competition.”
The title by Bevans was among the highlights of a strong day for the Spartans.
Ranked fourth in Class 2A at 152 pounds Bevans won his first three matches via first-period fall and reached the title match with a 6-2 win over 1A No. 8 Ben Smith of Iowa Valley.
Bevans earned a workman like 4-2 decision over Scott Betterton of Vinton-Shellsburg in the title match.
“I thought it was pretty cool going in as the fourth seed and getting first,” Bevans said. “That was a great feeling.”
After a scoreless first period Bevans started down to begin the second period and needed just seven seconds to earn an escape for a 1-0 lead.
He added a takedown less than a minute later to take a 3-0 lead he would never surrender.
“He’s not flashy but he is tough,” Williams said of Bevans. “He is tough to score on and gives some of the guys he wrestles fits. He works hard and he’s gotten a lot better in the down position. That was a struggle in previous years and he’s gotten better in all phases.”
Betterton cut the lead to 3-2 with a reversal 30 seconds into the final period but Bevans scored an escape with 70 seconds left and didn’t allow another point.
“He’s so hard to score on,” Flynn said. “He’s a great defensive wrestler, going against him is so tough.”
A stalwart in the varsity lineup since his freshman season Bevans has won at least 25 matches each of the last three seasons.
He had a career-high 37 wins a year ago and earned his first state medal with a sixth-place finish.
Bevans has taken his wrestling to another level as a senior.
His 5-0 performance on Saturday pushed his season record to 30-5.
“He works extremely hard, he is just a quiet leader on our team and nobody outworks him I know that,” Williams said. “He has a motor that just keeps going and going. A lot of people get worn out wrestling him because he doesn’t get tired. He just keeps going and going.”
Bevans attributes his improved stamina to his offseason work that included joining the cross country team for the first time in the fall.
I think cross country really helped me out and helped me build stamina,” Bevans said. “I wish I would have done it all four years. It’s a great team sport.”
Bevans has impressed in his final season with his only in-state losses coming to top-three wrestlers.
“I try to have a better week of practice every week than I had the last week,” Bevans said. “That has helped me because the guys in our room are really good.”
Flynn and Broghammer each earned their first career Hadenfeldt titles on Saturday via fall.
Broghammer pinned Lisbon sophomore Brant Baltes in 1:49 in the 285-pound title match while Flynn needed just 25 seconds to pin West Liberty’s AJ Lenz.
“I wrestled him at the meet to go to state duals and pinned him in the second period,” Flynn said. “I just caught him and put him straight to his back.”
Seamus Poynton and Adam Bock each lost close decisions in title matches while freshman Hayden Taylor and Mike Hoyle fell to top-ranked foes.
Poynton dropped the 182-pound final 3-1 to Cole Clark of Lisbon while Bock fell to North Cedar junior Tyler Thurston 1-0 at 195.
In the two premier matches of the night Taylor (33-2) lost a 3-1 decision to 1A top-ranked Robert Avila of Lisbon at 126 and Hoyle (29-1) suffered his first loss of the season in the 220-pound finals, a 5-2 setback to 1A No. 1 Garet Sims of Iowa Valley.
“It was good for both of them, they needed matches like that but I think we were way too tentative in those championship matches,” Williams said. “I think both of them realized at the end if they would have done this the whole match it could have been a different story.”
Clear Creek Amana got a runner-up finish from Kael Scranton at 120 pounds and third-place finishes from Jayden Massey at 106 and Andrew Rohret at 145 to place sixth with 69.5 points.
West Branch was led by Tyler Siemen who placed third at 120 and finished 11th with 28 points.
Team scores – 1. Lisbon 208.5; 2. Solon 203.5; 3. West Liberty 146.5; 4. Center Point-Urbana 112; 5. Vinton-Shellsburg 111; 6. Clear Creek Amana 69.5; 7. Solon JV 63; 8. Iowa Valley 54; 9. Cedar Rapids Prairie 46; 10. North Cedar 43; 11. West Branch 28
(Championship matches; area placewinners)
106 – 1. Alex Beaver (WL) dec. Cade Siebrecht (LIS) 5-3; 3. Jayden Massey (CCA); 7. Kaden Lamm (SOL)
113 – 1. Quincy Happel (LIS) dec. Cole Whitehead (CPU) 7-2; 4. Jakobe Lahr (SOL); 5. Quinn Hayden (WB)
120 – 1. Caleb Fuessley (CPU) pinned Kael Scranton (CCA) 1:59; 3. Tyler Siemen (WB); 7. Lucas Kampman (SOL)
126 – 1. Robert Avila (LIS) dec. Hayden Taylor (SOL) 3-1; 4. Samual Stevens (CCA)
132 – 1. Cael Happel (LIS) major dec. Zeb Gnida (SOL) 21-10
138 – 1. Cobe Siebrecht (LIS) tech. fall Adam Hansen (CPU) 16-0; 3. Aidan Dall (SOL)
145 – 1. Will Esmoil (WL) dec. Luke Radeke (VS) 9-4; 3. Andrew Rohret (CCA); 6. Caleb Ebert (SOL)
152 – 1. Zack Bevans (SOL) dec. Scott Betterton (VS) 4-2
160 – 1. Austin Beaver (WL) pinned Andy Brokaw (SOL) :54
170 – 1. Jax Flynn (SOL) pinned AJ Lenz (WL) :25; 5. Morgan Hartz (WB)
182 – 1. Cole Clark (LIS) dec. Seamus Poynton (SOL) 3-1; 4. Spencer Beltz (CCA)
195 – 1. Tyler Thurston (NC) dec. Adam Bock (SOL) 1-0
220 – 1. Garet Sims (IV) dec. Mike Hoyle (SOL) 5-2
285 – 1. Michael Broghammer (SOL) pinned Brant Baltes (LIS) 1:49
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