Evansville/Albany wrestlers win Rock Valley
Beloit Turner's wrestling team hoped this might be the year to give Evansville/Albany a scare.
Untimely injuries kept the Trojans from contending for the Rock Valley Conference tournament title Saturday, and the Blue Devils continued their recent dominance.
But Tony Bivens gave Turner's impactful senior class another record, and that group hopes Saturday was the beginning of a memorable month-long run through the postseason.
“This group of five or six seniors, this program is going to miss them forever, because of their kind of leadership,” Turner co-head coach Matt Ries said. “They're responsible for where we're at.
“Today was a little bit rough … but I think if we could put our healthy team that we started the year with on the mat, I think we could compete with anybody.”
Turner ultimately took third with 262 points. Evansville/Albany rolled, scoring 395.5, with Whitewater (297) second.
But the Trojans can certainly say their program is back on the radar. They won the Rock Valley South Conference dual-meet title for the second consecutive season.
“It's just cool to put in the work since freshman year and see us make a name for ourselves,” said senior Tyler Burt, who took the league crown at 220 pounds. “Just everyone thoughout this whole season, the team's been doing great.
“Everyone wants it. Our goal is to make it to team sectionals.”
Injuries may disrupt that goal a bit, but Turner's seniors will boast some milestones regardless.
Bivens became the program's all-time leader in victories Saturday. He took the title at 152 pounds to give him 136 wins and counting.
“It's been a goal since Day One, and it's really nice to get it,” said Bivens, who qualified for state last year. “We've all been looking forward to this.
“We've wrestled together all the way up. I like carrying the team on our back, all the seniors together. This team is a family, and it's been a great ride.”
Burt, meanwhile, pinned two more opponents Saturday to add onto his program record for the most all-time pins.
“You can only really train for about 70 percent, physically, for wrestling, and the rest of it is mental,” said Burt, also a state qualifier in 2016. “It takes a lot of mental strength, and you just have to have the mindset that you're going to refuse to lose.”
Evansville/Albany rode five titleists to the team crown. Those winners included Nolan Kicmol (145) and Lucius Rinehart (220)—each ranked No. 1 in the state in Division 2—as well as Chase Katzenmeyer (126), Ben Barmore (138) and Branden Lange (285).
The Whippets put together a full team effort to take second. They got titles from Aldo Soto (160), Thomas McManaway (170) and Jimmy DuVal (182).
Edgerton's Cole Bavery won at 113 pounds, while Brodhead/Juda's Jackson Hauri took the title at 131.
And Turner got a third champion in freshman Trey Bivens, Tony's brother, at 120.
“This was the year we were going to get them, at least we believed,” Ries said. “It's a tough sport. You can get kids to do it, but to do it and understand the commitment level is tough at some times.
“But we've got a talented freshman group coming through, and hopefully they can fill in for this senior group that we're losing. Hopefully we've got the start of a program now.”
Turner hosts a Division 2 sectional that includes Evansville/Albany and Monroe on Saturday.
Evansville/Albany 395.5, Whitewater 297, Beloit Turner 262, East Troy 251, Brodhead/Juda 242, Jefferson 198, Edgerton 159, Clinton 118, Palmyra-Eagle 91, Orfordville Parkview 79, Big Foot/Williams Bay 66.
106—Tommy Larson (ET) dec. Tyler Gamble (Whi), 8-2.
113—Cole Bavery (Edg) pinned Weston Wright (Jef), 1:37.
120—Trey Bivens (BT) dec. Travis Berryman (BF/WB), 3-1.
126—Chase Katzenmeyer (E/A) pinned Jaden Salmieri (Whi), 3:31.
132—Jackson Haurii (B/J) major dec. over Cole Walker (BT), 12-3.
138—Ben Barmore (E/A) dec. Dean Neff (Jef), 9-7.
145—Nolan Kicmol (E/A) tech. fall over Kaleb Erb (B/J), 18-3.
152—Anthony Bivens (BT) dec. Chase Coleman (ET), 11-5.
160—Aldo Soto (Whi) dec. Jake Neff (Jeff), 5-4.
170—Thomas McManaway (Whi) dec. Miles Liesse (E/A), 7-5.
182—Jimmy DuVal (Whi) dec. Tyler Hoesly (B/J), 6-5.
195—Lucius Rinehart (E/A) dec. Chris Storandt (ET), 4-0.
220—Tyler Burt (BT) pinned Ernesto Magana (Whi), :51.
285—Branden Lange (E/A) pinned Trent Davis (B/J), 3:07.
Last updated: 8:23 pm Saturday, February 4, 2017