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Davis County topples Ottumwa in season opener

December 1, 2009
Ottumwa High School

Davis County topples

Ottumwa in season opener



OTTUMWADavis County’s

Jim Nelson is finally thankful for a full


The cranberry sauce and pumpkin

pie consumed last week by the Mustang

wrestling coach also sends its

regards. Maroon and yellow grappling

fans from in and around Bloomfield

will probably be sending their

well wishes to Nelson as well.

The treat for Nelson is welldeserved

after his Mustangs knocked

off Ottumwa, 43-29 in the prep

wrestling season opener on Monday

night at Evans Middle School.

Clear-cut, concise and no doubt

about it — unlike last year, when

Ottumwa squeaked out a tiebreaker

win on criteria.

“This is the first time in five years

I’ve been able to fill my lineup,” said

Nelson, in his fifth year at DCHS.

That win versus Davis

County was Ottumwa’s only

victory last year as it went

1-11 in duals.

Bulldog injuries gave

Davis County an upper

hand right off the bat Monday.

Ottumwa had three open

spots, handing the Mustangs

a quick 18 points in

advantage. Davis County

needed all those points as it

fell behind 13-0.

The meet started with a

competitive match at 130

between two good wrestlers

in Ottumwa junior Angelo

Kelly and DC junior Chase


Kelly’s offense was limited,

but he pulled out an 11-4

decision in spite of that lack

of firing punch.

“The thing that I was disappointed

in him tonight

was he didn’t open up his

offense. He let Houston do

all the offense and we

scored off of that,” said

Ottumwa head coach Kevin

Cochran, in his second year

with the Bulldogs.

Kelly is still the sort of

wrestler Cochran likes on

his team — the type that

never gives up and is relentless.

“He’s just a battler,” said

Cochran. “He’s a hardnosed

kid. He’s going to

keep coming at you and

keep coming at you.”

Sophomore Cody Strode

stuck the Mustangs’ Clint

Foster at 135 in just 1:00.

The Bulldog wrestled for

Pella last season.

Ottumwa’s much-talked

about 140-pounder, Josh

Greiner, got up early on

sophomore Jeremiah Garber

at 140. Greiner is the

hammer for Cochran this

year and is ranked fourth at

125 pounds by the Predicament

Web Site. He went 39-

7 last year and was a state


That didn’t seem to

intimidate Garber during a

first period that saw six

Greiner takedowns after the

Bulldog’s constant cutting of

the Mustang grappler.

With Greiner up 12-5,

Garber put Greiner on his

back with a reversal and

almost scored near-fall

points on the edge of the

mat. The two-time state

qualifier quickly regrouped

after the misfired throw and

closed out Garber by major


“It would have been nice

to be in the middle of the

mat,” said Nelson.

Cochran wasn’t too concerned

about the tense

action that saw Greiner in

an extremely uncharacteristic

position — on his back.

“At districts last year, he

got thrown twice against

Iowa City High. That’s how

you learn. I’d rather have it

happen now than never

happen,” said Cochran.

Junior Zach Fligg, a state

qualifier as a freshman for

DC, got the Mustangs on

the board at 145 with a

quick pin over Alex


Barry Harsch (152), a

senior, stuck OHS sophomore

Kyle Himes in 1:03.

Those two Mustang

wins, followed by a forfeit

and a 13-1 major decision by

Dylan Nelson, Jim’s son,

over Colton Sumner at 171,

gave Davis County a 22-13

lead at that point.

Tanner Pilkington, one of

Ottumwa’s best wrestlers,

stopped the run at 189 as he

was all over Willy Bremer

from the start. The match

ended in Pilkington’s favor

by pin at exactly 1:00.

Zach Hale wrapped up

the match for Mustang fans

at 215 with a pin over

Ronald Forney in 2:12. With

two forfeits still yet to be

put on the board at 103 and

112, the math would not

allow an Ottumwa victory.

Ottumwa’s Andy Orona

fought hard at heavyweight

but could not pull out his

match versus Taylor Soliday.

Soliday won with a

takedown and near-fall

points in overtime — 8-4.

Two stalling points and an

illegal full nelson added to

the extra session.

One of Ottumwa’s future

stars got his first win as a

Bulldog. Freshman Karsten

VanVelsor stuck Dillon

Newton in 2:40 at 119.

VanVelsor has all the

makings of wrestler that

could turn the Bulldog program


“I told him, ‘hey, you go

out and get your first win in

to what I would call, a very

successful career ahead as

an Ottumwa Bulldog,’” said


Richie Sosa ended the

evening on a high note for

Ottumwa with a 21-13 win

over Sam Johnson at 125.

Ottumwa wrestles Waukee

at home Thursday.

Davis County 43, Ottumwa 29

103 — Jaden Brady (D) forfeit. 112 —

Kolt Hamburg (D) forfeit. 119 — Karsten

VanVelsor (O) won by fall over Dillon Newton

2:40. 125 — Richie Sosa (O) maj. dec.

21-13 over Sam Johnson. 130 — Angelo

Kelly (O) dec. 11-4 over Chase Houston. 135

— Cody Strode (O) won by fall over Clint

Foster 1:00. 140 — Josh Greiner (O) maj.

dec. 19-10 over Jeremiah Garber. 145 —

Zach Fligg (D) won by fall over Alex

Stephens 1:40. 152 — Barry Harsch (D)

won by fall over Kyle Himes 1:03. 160 —

Jacob Jones (D) forfeit. 171 — Dylan Nelson

(D) maj. dec. 13-1 over Colton Sumner. 189

— Tanner Pilkington (O) won by fall over

Willy Bremer 1:00. 215 — Zach Hale (D)

won by fall over Ronald Forney 2:12.HWT—

Taylor Soliday (D) dec. 8-4 (OT) over Andy


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