TREMENDOUS TRIO: First-timers come up short for Greene County wrestling
By BRANDON HURLEY
A trio of first-time state qualifiers enjoyed a brief stint at the 2021 wrestling state tournament.
Greene County seniors Brady Stauffer and Sawyer Schiltz as well as freshman Gavin Scheuermann were each knocked from the consolation bracket without a victory Thursday, Feb. 18.
Stauffer (138 pounds) and Schiltz (285 pounds) were moments away from securing wins after both losing their opening round matches, but eventually fell short.
Scheuermann (145 pounds) recovered nicely after getting pinned by second-seeded Nick Fox of Osage, but couldn’t quite earn a victory in his consolation match.
Stauffer finished his final year in a Greene County singlet with a 27-7 record. He was pinned in the opening round by Vinton-Shellsburg’s Brady Ortner, who’d go on to finish sixth, hanging with his opponent for two and a half periods before getting pinned with 58 seconds remaining. Stauffer was then defeated 13-5 by West Delaware’s Staveley Maury in the consolation first round.
Sawyer Schiltz lasted just 58 seconds in his first round 285-pound match with 10th-ranked Aaron Graves of Southeast Valley, getting pinned by the future University of Iowa defensive lineman in the first period. Schiltz recovered to put up a strong fight against Eddysville-Blakesburg-Fremont’s Skyler Young (19-13) in the consolation bracket. The senior exchanged several leads with the sophomore, even tying the match at five before getting pinned with 50 seconds remaining in the third period.
Despite the losses, Greene County head coach Zach Beekman believes the state tournament experience is something his veterans should cherish forever. The coach had hopes the seniors could pick up a few wins and reach the podium, but regardless, the how they were bounced is nothing to discredit.
“It’s a really neat accomplishment to make it down in the state tournament. Hopefully, they’ll look back and wish that they would have done things a little bit different,” Beekman said. “It shows that they care instead of just shrugging it off. It puts a cap on on their careers and that’s really nice.”
Scheuermann (17-11) was the youngest athlete in the 145-pound bracket, and though he was out-muscled in the first round loss, more than held his own in the 7-1 defeat to Central Decatur’s Logan Jones (48-8). Beekman expects Scheuermann to return for his sophomore season as a more chiseled wrestler, hungry to improve on this significant achievement.
The Rams will have three returning state qualifiers in their wrestling room next season, including the defending 120 pound champion in McKinley Robbins as well as 2020 state qualifier Brenner Gallagher and now Scheuermann. The youngest of the trio still has a few things to learn, but the future is bright.
“I think (he needs to improve) his anticipation just a little bit more. Technically, he’s pretty good. He’s got a lot of experience,” Beekman said. “But he’s young. When it comes to the high school level, it’s different. It’s different than an AAU state tournament. It’s different than a middle school season. He’s continuing to learn and some of the things that he got away with last year (in middle school), he can’t get away with (now), especially when you’re wrestling juniors and seniors that are a little bit more seasoned than you.”
Scheuermann was perhaps a relative surprise entry into the state tournament as a rookie, but Beekman feels the freshman handled his first appearance fairly well.
“He didn’t look fazed by performing down (in Des Moines),” the coach said. “He didn’t seem like he had nerves. He’s just a solid wrestler. I’m really excited to see where he’s able to go.”