Davisson medals fifth at state tournament
DES MOINES — Trailing 5-1 in his state opener Thursday, Fairfield senior wrestler Seth Davisson was one period away from a possible defeat.
The 170-pound senior then went on a dramatic run.
Seconds into the third period of his opening match, Davisson took down his Perry opponent Schyler Knoll for a pin, then won three of his next five matches to earn a fifth-place medal at the individual state tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
The senior won four matches over the three-day period to earn a spot on the podium for the first time. Davisson wrestled to a 1-2 record in his state debut as a junior.
Following the come-from-behind victory Thursday, Davisson fell to Clear Lake’s Brice Wilcke in the quarterfinals Friday. He reeled off two straight wins in the consolation bracket to make it to the consolation semifinals. There, he fell to Cash Wilcke of OA-BCIG by a 7-1 decision.
In the fifth-place consolation match, Davisson again trailed his opponent, Jack Leshen of Grinnell, before he pulled off another sudden win.
Leshen carried a 5-1 lead into the final period after scoring a takedown in each of the first two periods. At the start of the third, Davisson needed only 16 seconds to score a takedown and another 14 seconds for the pin.
“We made it into the third period against a kid that was so strong, so I told him we have to go to our feet in the final period,” said Miller. “Davisson ... snapped him down using a front headlock and pinned him. One of our rules as a team is you’ve got to finish the match, and Davisson did.”
Davisson’s senior teammate Jake Mineart also won his opening match Thursday, but he failed to pick up another win as his season came to an end Friday.
“His first match really stood out to me. He went out there and was so light on his feet that it kind of reminded me of Muhammed Ali; ‘Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,’” Miller said of Mineart.
Mineart fell to Rock Valley’s Tyler Dolieslager, who ended up finishing second, by a 7-2 decision in the quarterfinals. The 220-pound Trojan then fell 9-3 to Mount Vernon’s Josh Cannon in the second round of consolation matches.
“He accomplished something 80 percent of wrestlers will never do by qualifying, and he can say, ‘I won a match at one of the toughest tournaments in the nation,’” Miller said.
Davisson’s senior season ends with a 39-7 record. Mineart wrestled to a 33-10 mark.
“I’m extremely proud and pleased with the effort those two seniors showed up there. To get there is an extraordinary accomplishment, and to be able to handle your nerves is incredible,” said Miller. “Those two exemplified unbelievable focus and courage. They both wrestled at the highest level, and you can’t ever take that away from them.”
The Trojans figure to lose not only Davisson and Mineart to graduation, but district qualifiers Ammon Shaner and Aaron Gevock as well. Miller said he expects all remaining wrestlers to get back to the mat as soon as the season-ending banquet is over.
“We’re going to enjoy this for a week or two, and then next season starts,” he said. “I’m tired of just getting one or two guys up there. We’re going to put Fairfield on the map. We need to be a complete package as a team, and that’s what we’re working toward.”