Maybe New Hampton/Turkey Valley co-coach Andy Geerts said it best Wednesday night.
“A good, old-fashioned Northeast Iowa dual,” he said quietly and then paused, almost as if he wanted to go back in time and find some way, some how to change the outcome.
Independence 36, New Hampton/Turkey Valley 34.
And just like that, the Chickasaws two-year reign in Class 2A dual-meet wrestling was over, but not before New Hampton/Turkey Valley and the Mustangs gave fans way more than 6 bucks worth of entertainment and thrills.
“We got the effort, that’s for sure … I mean our kids, holy smokes, they wrestled their butts off,” Geerts said. “I know they’re hurting, but we’ve got to reset tomorrow and get our 10 guys ready for districts.”
His fellow coach, Matt Paulus, agreed.
“It’s a team sport, and one guy didn’t lose this, just like one guy doesn’t win a dual,” he said. “It’s hard … but we still got a lot to wrestle for on Saturday [at the Class 2A district meet].”
Still, this is a program that has taken immense pride and dedicated itself to be among the best dual teams in the state so Wednesday was painful.
It started well, as the Chickasaws got pins from Mason Cleveland, Brayden Anderson, Cam Rasing and Evan Rosonke and major decisions from both Max and Carson Babcock to roll past Mount Vernon 44-19. Independence, meanwhile, held off Hampton-Dumont 39-33 to set up a rematch of a Battle of Waterloo meet New Hampton won 36-30.