Redhawks continue to make the case for state appearance

Duals in Belle Plaine and Sumner

North Tama's Aiden Zook - ranked eighth in Class 1A at 170# - looks to the ref during a dual earlier this season in La Porte City. Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker

The Redhawks wrestlers are nearing their final month of work ahead of the state wrestling tournament in Des Moines and the atmosphere on the mats is looking good to Head Coach Andrew Knaack.

“I go into every year planning on having guys down at the state tournament,” Coach Knaack said in a text based interview this past weekend. “I think we have the guys to get some of them down to [state wrestling championships]. … I feel pretty confident that we will be down there representing North Tama this year.”

Coach Knaack said North Tama hasn’t sent a wrestler to the state tournament since 2002 but the current crop of Redhwaks grapplers is looking ready to change all that.

North Tama traveled to Belle Plaine on Tuesday, Jan. 11, for a double dual which also included Class 2A teams Grinnell and South Tama.

Kolt Knaack (132) and seventh ranked Aiden Zook (170) put in excellent performances on the Belle Plaine mats.

Knaack won by forfeit against Belle Plaine due to an open weight class, swiftly pinned his Belle Plaine opponent, and won by fall over South Tama’s Jacob Youngbear.

Zook also won by forfeit against Belle Plaine due to an open weight class. Against Belle Plaine, Zook won by fall. He won his match against South Tama’s tenth ranked Boden Koehler by major decision 10-1.

Logan Rausch (160), Gavin Rausch (126), and Case Monat (106) also won their Belle Plaine matches by fall.

Monat, Logan Rausch, and Christian Dronebarger (126) also won their duals against South Tama.

Unfortunately the team as a whole did not win any of their duals in Belle Plaine.

“Overall, when forfeiting four to five weight classes, it is hard to win dual meets,” Coach Knaack said. “We lost to two solid 2A schools, competed well with Belle Plaine, and won most of the matches we wrestled.”

Two days later, on Thursday, Jan. 13, the team traveled to Sumner to take on Sumner-Fredericksburg and Wapsie Valley – again competing well in all the matches in which they wrestled, Coach Knaack said.

“Those are two excellent and complete teams, and we were right there with both of them. Case [Monat], Kolt [Knaack], Nathan [Kucera], Aiden [Zook], and Wyatt [Hitchcock] went 2-0.”

In comparison to several fellow wrestling teams in the area who have been dealing with a challenging season of illness, Coach Knaack said his team is thankfully keeping healthy.

“We are getting to an essential time of the year of keeping ourselves healthy and staying at the top of those things for the push here at the end,” Coach Knaack said.

This week the Redhawks will be wrestling on their home mat beginning on Thursday, Jan. 20 in a double dual with Hudson and Denver. Hudson’s roster boasts the No. 2 ranked wrestler in Class 1A, Tate Entriken at 182 pounds.

In terms of the Thursday matchups, Coach Knaack said: “This will be a test for some of our guys that need this at this point in the season.”

The Redhawks will then host the North Tama Wrestling Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 22, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Redhawks Nest. The tournament is set to feature multiple schools including Iowa Star Conference rival Baxter.