Two Trojans crowned at Southern Iowa Classic
Seth Davisson continues to climb Fairfield’s all-time wins list in his final season, but the wins total took a back seat to earning a tournament title Saturday at the Southern Iowa Classic in Fairfield.
Davisson, who broke the 100-career wins barrier at the Bob Lueders Invitational Jan. 19, was one of two individual champions for the Trojans Saturday. At 170 pounds, the senior pinned his first two opponents to make the finals match, then took a 5-2 decision against Washington’s Brad Skubal, who was a district qualifier one season ago, in the championship round.
“It’s good because it’s my last time wrestling here. Winning the title here is more on my mind than the 100 wins,” said Davisson, who has won four titles this season and is currently tied for third place on Fairfield’s all-time wins list.
Both Davisson and senior teammate Jake Mineart turned in a pair of undefeated, 3-0 days to help Fairfield to a seventh-place finish out of 11 teams in the final standings, an improvement from eighth place last season. Mount Pleasant won the team title for the first time in the tournament’s history with two individual champs and 163 points. Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont was runner-up with 156.5 points and Albia scored 147 to finish third.
“I was really pleased with my guys’ effort today. We had a lot of good, quality wins, and we had some quality losses, too,” said Fairfield head coach Steve Miller. “I say that kind of begrudgingly, but we wrestled some top-ranked guys and ... gave them everything we had.
Like Davisson, the 220-pound Mineart expected no less than a title in his final opportunity at home.
“It’s really important to me, winning here with all the fans who get to see all our matches,” Mineart said. “It’s a great place to do it. It’ll be my last time wrestling here so I came in here thinking I really needed to win this one.”
Mineart fought his way to first-period pins in his first two matches to make the championship round, where he toppled Mount Pleasant’s Colton Aplara by an 8-2 decision. Mineart led Aplara 3-0 headed into the final period, then scored a pair of takedowns in the final two minutes for the victory.
“Mount Pleasant really wanted a rematch with Mineart, and they got it. They thought they didn’t give their best effort and they could beat us, but we actually beat them worse this time,” said Miller. “Jake moves his feet well and he just kept wrestling. That’s one thing I’ve been after him for a while, to just keep wrestling, and he did.”
The tournament title places Mineart, who also earned the wall chart last season at 220 pounds, in elite company with the handful of two-time winners in the tournament’s history.
Joining Mineart and Davisson in the championship round Saturday was junior teammate Bryce Lunsford, who made a tournament final for the first time in his career.
Lunsford pinned Evan Havick of Chariton in 2:21 to open the day, then punched his ticket into the 160-pound finals match with a 3-2 decision over Washington’s Austin Latcham. The Trojan’s impressive run came to an end in the finals match against third-ranked Brett Leshen of Albia, who earned a victory by tech fall.
“Bryce had a good day. He beat a kid from Washington (Austin Latcham) who had beaten him two times prior. He fought hard, had a good day, and I’m extremely proud of him for that,” said Miller.
Also for Fairfield, Aaron Gevock reeled off two straight wins to claim third place at 145 pounds after falling to Eddyville’s Tucker Black in the semifinals.
Gevock kicked off his day with a pin of Clarke’s Gable Reece in 59 seconds and a 20-7 major decision over Stephen McCurdy of Chariton. Black earned a 7-3 decision over Gevock, who then won a pair of close decisions over Josh Larson of Mount Pleasant and McCurdy.
“Aaron had a tough weight class today. He was seeded third and he got third. He gave Tucker Black all he could handle and he rode him out for a whole period. You don’t see that much anymore,” Miller said.
Fairfield 138-pound senior Ammon Shaner opened the tournament with a win by fall vs. John Cutshall of Clarke and a convincing 6-2 decision over Washington’s Mitchell Hora in round two. The senior hit a snag with losses in his next two matches, then suffered a potential season-ending leg injury in the fifth-place consolation round.
“He’s got a pretty bad injury. Hopefully, with some rest and some physical therapy he’ll be back for sectionals. Unfortunately, it was a preventable injury that wasn’t prevented,” said Miller. “I hope to God that he can come back because it would be a travesty for his season to end right here.”
Fairfield junior Brett Scott finished fourth at 182 pounds with a pair of wins, and teammate Justin Leonard earned a pair of wins at 152 pounds to finish sixth. Randy Pugh went 1-3 at 195 pounds to claim sixth place and round out Fairfield’s team scoring.
Miller thought the tournament provided a good test for his Trojans as they head into the sectional and districts tournaments in the next two weeks.
“This was a tough tournament. There were weight classes that had four or five guys who, if they were wrestling in any other tournament in the state, they would’ve won it,” said Miller. “Some real battles today, and it’s great to see this kind of stuff, and you can just see where you stand with some of the best guys in the state.
“The good news is we got a week to train a little bit more, and mentally the guys are battling great. I’m really impressed with their attitudes and their mind sets right now, so I’m excited. We’re just about where we need to be, and by Friday night we will be,” he added.
The Trojans take a trip to Chariton for their final meet of the regular season Tuesday. They then head to the sectional tournament in Mediapolis on Saturday.
Southern Iowa Classic @ Fairfield
1. Mount Pleasant 163, 2. Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont 156.50, 3. Albia 147, 4. Ottumwa 126.5, 5. Fort Madison 126, 6. Washington 124.5, 7. Fairfield 117, 8. Centerville 93.5, 9. Chariton 89, 10. Keokuk 81.5, 11. Clarke 21.5
Fairfield Individual Results
113 — McCarroll (0-2, DNP), 138 — Shaner (2-3, 6th), 145 — Gevock (4-1, 3rd), 152 — Leonard (2-3, 6th), 160 — Lunsford (2-1, 2nd), 170 — Davisson (3-0, 1st), 182 — Scott (2-2, 4th), 195 — Pugh (1-3, 6th), 220 — Mineart (3-0, 1st)