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End of the Road

Coaches and wrestlers close their careers at North/South All-Star Meet

End of the Road
Press photo by John Burbridge
Charles City senior Dylan Koresh, right, faces Ballard state champion Skylar Noftsger during a 160/170-pound match at Saturday’s North/South All-Star Wrestling Meet at Comet Gym. Koresh went 1-1 in his final high school wrestling meet of his career.

By John Burbridge

CHARLES CITY — Gordy Smith didn’t forget his shoes. He just forgot to bring an extra pair so he could leave a pair behind at Comet Gym.

“I didn’t think about that,” said Smith before Saturday’s 40th Annual North/South All-Star Wrestling Meet.

As tradition for wrestlers, referees and sometimes even coaches retiring from the sport, their shoes are left on the mat at the end of the meet.

The past All-Star meet was Smith’s finale as he coached the South squad, which tied the North squad 30-30. Smith has been coaching for 33 years at North Butler, which two years ago combined programs with Clarksville. During his tenure, Smith has coached 48 state qualifiers, 25 of whom were placewinners including two state championships.

“The school offered me a retirement package and I took it,” Smith said.

A replacement has yet to be named.

Smith assured that the All-Star Meet will be the last wrestling event he’ll attend in a coaching capacity.

“It will give me a chance to focus on golf and bowling,” he said.

For Newman Catholic’s 40-year coach Mark Bertsch, who has 395 dual meet wins as a coach, this was also his last meet. Bertsch was the North squad coach.

The meet has a tradition of featuring outstanding senior wrestlers from throughout the state, many of whom have gone on to achieve glory at the collegiate and even Olympic levels.
But for some, this was also their last meet — at least as wrestlers.

Charles City three-time state-qualifier Dylan Koresh, who plans to go to Iowa State to study engineering, likely wrestled his last bouts on Saturday. Koresh had several good opponents picked for him to ride off into the sunset with: Tristan Westphal of Washington and Skylar Noftsger of Ballard — both state champions.

Against Westphal to start the meet, Koresh was able to earn a 2-1 decision in their catchweight 170/182-pound bout.

Later in a 160/170 battle against Noftsger, Koresh — clearly having fun in his last high school match — fell behind early and eventually lost, 11-5, while going 1-1 on the day.

There were other state champions featured at the meet. One of whom was Clarion-Goldfield-Dows heavyweight Spencer Trenary, who got a major decision over Independence’s Drew Evans before recording a fall victory over Troy Monahan of Mason City to end the meet while tying the score.

Other two-bout winners included Newman Catholic’s Chase McCleish, who was a Class 1A 195-pound runner-up at this past state tournament and Crestwood’s Colter Bye, a two-time Class 2A state placewinner at 160 and 170.

One of the more anticipated bouts was a 195-pound matchup featuring Assumption’s Julien Broderson and Central Springs’ Zach Ryg, respective 2019 Class 2A and Class 1A state champions at the weight they were wrestling.

As has been the history at the North/South All-Star Meet whenever state champions from different classes face each other, scoring is at a premium and the match is usually close. This one was no exception as a single escape was the difference in a 1-0 decision that went in Broderson’s favor.

The meet was sponsored by the Iowa National Guard and the Charles City Mat Club. The first meet was held in 1978 as Charles City has been the continuous host since.

Due to last spring’s heavy snowstorm, the 2018 N/S All-Star Meet was cancelled — the only time in its history.

40th Annual North/South
All-Star Wrestling Meet
April 13
Team Result
Match Results

170/182 — Dylan Koresh (Charles City N) d. Tristan Westphal (Washington S) 2-1
160/170 — Colter Bye (Crestwood N) d. Skylar Noftsger (Ballard S) 5-2
195 — Chase McCleish (Newman Catholic N) d. Dalton Chipp (Hampton-Dumont S) 7-2
285 — Spencer Trenary (Clarion Goldfield S) d. Drew Evans (Independence N) 9-0
285 — Troy Monahan (Mason City S) d. Noah Pittman (Don Bosco N) 3-1
106/113 — Jaymus Wilson (Alburnett N) d. Colton Meeker (Wapello S) 13-7
120 — Daniel Kimball (Don Bosco N) d. Nick Miller (Waukee S) 3-1
126 — Mason Cleveland (New Hampton-Turkey Valley N) p. Matthew Jordan (Des Moines East S)
132 — Eric Faught (Clear Lake S) p. Joshua Tibbits (Martensdale St. Mary’s N)
138 — Deville Dentis (Des Moines East S) d. Chase McLauren (Atlantic N) 8-6
145/152 — Max Babcock (New Hampton-Turkey Valley N) d. Braxton Doebel (Clear Lake S) 6-3
195 — Julien Broderson (Assumption S) d. Zach Ryg (Central Springs N) 1-0
160/170 — Skylar Noftsger (Ballard S) d. Dylan Koresh (Charles City N) 11-5
170/182 — Colter Bye (Crestwood N) d. Tristan Westphal (Washington S) 3-2
220 — Chase McCleish (Newman Catholic N) p. Kade Hambly (Clear Lake S)
285 — Spencer Trenary (Clarion Goldfield S) p. Troy Monahan (Mason City S)