The Liberty High boys wrestling team headed left Iowa with a huge tournament victory Saturday, just three days after a dominating dual win to begin the season.
Liberty kicked off the season with a 64-12 win at Kearney on Dec. 1. The Blue Jays began their quest for a third-straight state championship with an easy win over the Bulldogs.
Two days later, they were competing in the two-day Dan Gable Donnybrook event in Coralville, Iowa. On Saturday, they left with a team championship from an event with 33 schools.
The Blue Jays scored 419.5 team points. Waverly-Shell Rock (Iowa) finished runner-up with 372 points.
Liberty had one single champion in addition to five top-four finishers and a pair of fifth-place finishers. Sophomore Hunter Taylor won the 113-pound championship. He won his five matches by tech fall, a fall and three decisions.
Taylor won his quarterfinal and semifinal matches by scores of 6-1 and 7-2 before a dominating 10-3 victory in the championship match.
Senior Kyle Dutton, a two-time state champion who is committed to Little Rock, advanced to the 145-pound title match with three pins and a 10-4 decision. Dutton finished runner-up to Tommy Curran (DeKalb) by a 10-7 decision.
A pair of Liberty seniors finished third at the tournament. Easton Hilton and Wentric Williams III went 4-1 over the weekend, ending Saturday with a victory.
Seniors Logan Rathjen (152) and Jeremiah Cabuyaban (285) both finished fourth in their respective weight classes. The two fifth-place finishers for Liberty were freshman Peyton Westpfahl (160) senior Jeremiah Halter (182), while freshman Devon Harrison (106) placed sixth.
Junior Cooper Rider went 2-2 and placed seventh at 120 pounds. Additionally, freshman Trenton Bindel finished 2-3 at 220 pounds to place eighth.
Liberty will be heading to Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, this weekend for the 27th annual Ironman Tournament. There will be 113 teams competing at arguably the most prestigious high school Westling tournament in the country.
– story by Jimmy Gillispie