Courier sports writer
---- — OTTUMWA — Growing pains. During the vicissitudes that mark a season, nearly all young teams must endure this hardship. And, last Monday, it was the Ottumwa wrestling team's turn to suffer its share.
The Bulldogs sustained a lopsided 59-9 defeat to an imposing Dowling team. The dinged-up, short-handed Bulldogs had few answers for Dowling's impressive array of wrestlers.
"It was by far our best competition," Ottumwa wrestling coach Jeremy Frueh said. "We did see Mediapolis this weekend, but Dowling is a solid team that doesn't make many mistakes. And when you make mistakes, they capitalize on them."
Yet, despite the deficit of victories, Ottumwa's first-year coach and some of his wrestlers were able to glean some positives from the dual.
"It gives us good experience, especially against a team that is really aggressive with good technique," said Juan Aldaba, who accounted for half of Ottumwa's victories that night with an 11-6 win over Gus Moon at 145 pounds.
"It's good competition for us and it gets us to know where we're at as a team," said Nathan Cary, who won Ottumwa's only other match by fall over Soren Kyhl at 126 pounds in 3:28.
Frueh said the dual was good for some of his wrestlers.
"I liked how Juan competed," he said. "That was a really good match for him. I thought a couple of other guys could have won. I thought Tyler [Bookin-Nosbisch] and Alec Clark could have won.
"I thought Levi [Cobler] competed well until the very end where he gave up the fall. He was in a couple of positions where I think he could have scored takedowns, but he stopped wrestling for just a second. I was happy with the way Tyler competed; that kid always competes that way, so I'm not surprised. He's going a 100 miles per hour all the time. Sometimes he gets a little out of control, but not a terrible match for him and I think we'll get him Saturday (Ottumwa and Dowling will be among the teams competing at the Oskaloosa Invitational Saturday).
Without even a murmur of momentum to draw from, Cary got Ottumwa on the scoreboard with an impressive win over Kyhl that included several near falls before Cary finally pinned the Maroon wrestlers' shoulders to the mat.
"I felt like we needed to get on the board and Frueh told me I needed to do what I had to do to get on it," Cary said. "I just stayed motivated and kept thinking about what I had to do throughout the match and went out and executed."
Ottumwa competes in a pair of duals against Fairfield and Washington at 6 p.m. Thursday at Washington.
"Just go out and compete, that's all you can do," Frueh said. "We have to wrestle quality opponents if we want to get kids to state."
Dowling 59, Ottumwa 9
106 — Jake Waters (D) won a decision over Alec Clark 3-1. 113 — Nate Sheehy (D) won by fall at 3:31 over Jake Stabile. 120 — Caleb Murray (D) won major decision over Collin McConnell 11-0. 126 — Nathan Cary (O) won by fall at 3:28 over Soren Khyl. 132 — Michael Zachary (D) won by technical fall 20-5 at 4:00 over Jonny Morales. 138 — Merrick Purcell (D) won by major decision over Wyatt Schlotter 11-3. 145 — Juan Aldaba (O) wins a 11-6 decision over Gus Moon. 152 — Alex Svec (D) won by fall at :41 over Trevor Anfinson. 160 — Eli Gaul (D) won by fall at 3:45 over Dakota Bix. 170 — Isaiah Patton (D) won decision over Isaiah Cox 5-0. 182 — Jacob Zachary won by fall at 5:45 over Levi Cobler. 195 —Rodney Harris won by decision over . 220 —Joe Brett (D) won by fall at :45 over Zain Lay. HWT — Jon Hays (D) won by fall at :26 over Reid Padavich.
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