The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

February 15, 2013

E-B-F’s Marolf, Crosby headed to state finals Four placewinners lead Rockets to third in team standings

DES MOINES — One day after losing three teammates with two straight losses at state, four remaining Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont grapplers turned the tables back on the rest of the state.

By the time the mid-afternoon semifinal sessions rolled around, the Rockets were literally the center of attention with Blake Marolf, Jason Crosby and Tucker Black all wrestling for state final berths at the exact same time.

“It’s pretty stressful as a head coach. You get a little too spread out,” EBF head coach Brett Little said. “You try and focus on something that’s going on in one of their matches and all of a sudden, something big happens for one of the other guys.”

Indeed, something big happened for two of the Rockets. Just minutes after Marolf capped a thrilling 2-1 overtime win over second-ranked Don Bosco senior Dylon Rhoads, ensuring at least one Rocket would be in a Saturday night final, senior Jason Crosby made it two-for-two for EBF with a 5-3 win over second-ranked Manson-Northwest Webster junior Payton Rice.

“That’s pretty awesome,” Crosby said after being told the results, and the situation that developed, from a semifinal session that suddenly became a showcase for the highly successful Rocket wrestling squad. “That’s a great win for Blake and for me, I knew this was my last chance to get to the finals.”

“I believe I can win whenever I’m on the mat. I pushed hard and I just believed. That was enough to push me through.”

Both Crosby and Marolf will be wrestling in their first state championship matches Saturday night after scoring a pair of decision wins on Friday. For Marolf, the third-ranked 138-pound 1A grappler took down the two wrestlers rated ahead of him by the Predicament.

After struggling to a comeback win in the opening round, Marolf made an early statement by shutting out top-ranked Alburnett freshman Connor Schulista, 7-0, in the quarterfinal round.

“He totally dominated that kid,” Little said of Marolf’s first win on Friday. “Everything we heard about Schulista is he was going to be wrestling for the championship. Now, he’s on the backend of the bracket trying to stay alive. That’s how good Blake Marolf is.”

Crosby followed up Marolf’s victory with another tough win, beating Sumner-Fredericksburg’s third-ranked senior Brady Meyer 3-1, making a first-period takedown hold up.

After jumping out two a 2-0 lead again in the semifinals, Crosby found his hopes of making the state finals hanging on the final period after Rice rallied to tie the match at 2-2. Once again, Crosby made just his third takedown of the entire day hold up as the final two points held up.

“This is my last year and I really want to win it,” Crosby said. “I’ve gave it everything I could to get to this point and I plan on giving everything I can (tonight).”

“There’s just something about Jason Crosby,” Little said of the senior. “He’s a kid with a 4.0 grade-point average and the first kid I can remember in EBF history to never miss a practice. That says something about that kid’s character. He deserves everything he earned (Friday).”

Marolf was also forced to give plenty to make it to the finals as his battle with Rhoads pushed beyond regulation with both wrestlers exchanging escapes and searching for five full periods for one more decisive tally.

The EBF sophomore used a smart strategy to make sure he had that extra energy in the end. Rather than going in aggressively from the start, Marolf wrestled a more defensive, tactical match before exploding out at the start of the second 30-second overtime session for the winning escape.

“I didn’t get as tired as the match went on,” Marolf, who is wearing plenty of bruises on his face from his three state tournament wins. “I didn’t go for as many shots. I made sure to make it count when I went for the move.”

After beating the top two ranked wrestlers in his weight class, Marolf will wrestle for his first state title against unranked senior Logan Loftus. The Iowa Valley grappler edged Marolf less than two weeks ago in the regional duals.

For Crosby, the challenge of winning a state championship in his final match at EBF will not be an easy one. The fifth-ranked Rocket senior will take on top-ranked West Marshall senior Kyle Blocker, whose 50-0 season nearly suffered a blemish at the hands of Crosby at the Rich Gray Classic Tournament in Truro.

As a team, EBF is in line to finish off its finest season in program history. The Rockets currently stand in third place in the team standings.

Besides the two finalists, Tucker Black will join fifth-ranked sophomore Jeren Glosser in the consolation rounds today. The ninth-ranked Rocket junior won an incredible 8-7 decision over second-ranked West Central Valley junior Ryan Joint that exhausted all four overtime sessions.

That grueling battle, along with an illness Black has been fighting recently, proved to be too much for the first-time placewinner to overcome in the semifinal round. North Butler sophomore Caleb Wedeking overcame an early takedown to beat Black 8-2 in the 145-pound semifinals.

“It took all I had to get to the semifinals. I really feel tried to fight through it, but it’s over now,” said Black. “Hopefully Jeren and I can finish third.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • 0730 OTT Sports Shrine Bowl photo Bulldogs have fun at Shrine Bowl CEDAR FALLS — Ottumwa football coach Zach Pfantz had a blast serving as one of the coaches of the South team at the 42nd Annual Iowa Shrine Bowl at the UNI Dome Saturday. "It was a really awesome and wonderful experience and I was very thankful to ha

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0729 OTT Sports Brok Hopwood mug Three Bulldogs chosen for all-district team OTTUMWA — Three Ottumwa Bulldogs and a slew of Twin Cedars players were selected for their respective Iowa High School All-District teams. The players named to all-district squads were chosen by the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association. Th

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0730 OTT Sports Albia baseball photo Baseball run wraps up a great year for Albia INDIANOLA — Brett Leshen walked into the dugout at Indianola High School’s baseball diamond, took off his Albia baseball jersey and headed up the hill to receive hugs from his family and friends, thus marking the end of a remarkable senior year, and

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0730 OTT Sports EBF softball trophy celebration photo EBF softball team brings trophy back from Fort Dodge EDDYVILLE — It may not have been the hardware the Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont softball team intended to come home with. But it was hardware. A trophy. An accomplishment no Rocket softball team had ever accomplished. That’s a feat that’s worth celebr

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Iowa High School State Baseball Tournament CLASS 1A Friday, July 25 Quarterfinals No. 2 Newman Catholic 7, No. 7 BGM 1 No. 6 Don Bosco 2, No. 8 Martensdale-St. Marys 1 Saturday, July 26 Quarterfinals No. 1 Twin Cedars 7, Underwood 0 No. 5 Gehlen Catholic 3, Lone Tree 0 Thursday, July 31 Semif

    July 29, 2014

  • 0729 OTT Sports Ottumwa Babe Ruth State Champs Ottumwa All-Star team advances to Midwest Regional OTTUMWA – The Ottumwa 15-year-old baseball all-star team captured the state championship thanks to an unbelievable pitching staff and near flawless defense. "Pitchers are really the strength of this team," Ottumwa coach Mike Budan said. "We have som

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0729 OTT Sports Rylee Eakins photo New recruits bolster hopes for IHCC volleyball OTTUMWA — Indian Hills Community College volleyball coach Lyndsey Lyon feels confident she has an incoming recruiting class that will shore up some of the deficiencies of last year’s squad. Lyon has announced the addition of eight former Iowa high s

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0729 OTT Sports Scott Watson mug Sprint Speedweek starts Thursday on Knoxville

    Hello race fans and welcome to The Pit Stop. Thursday night kicks off the 13th Annual Cox Design Iowa Speedweek for Sprint Cars, where there are nine nights of Sprint Car racing over 10 days scheduled between The Knoxville Raceway and The Southern Io

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0729 OTT Sports Fairfield baseball photo Fairfield set for first state baseball game in 35 years FAIRFIELD — There have been a lot of good teams and a lot of good players that have worn Fairfield baseball uniforms since 1979. None of them, however, experienced what Narendra Martin, Joseph Hietpas and rest of the young men that wore Trojan black

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 2014 Iowa High School State Softball Tournament Monday, July 21 Class 3A Quarterfinals No. 2 East Marshall 4, Mid-Prairie 3 No. 9 Bondurant-Farrar 9, No. 13 West Burlington/Notre Dame 4 No. 3 Clarke 13, Spirit Lake 0 (3) Greene County 2, No. 6 Center Point-Urbana 0 Class 4A Quarterfinals No. 1 Dal

    July 28, 2014

Sports photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook