By John Burbridge email@example.com
CLEAR LAKE — It seemed as if Carter Proffitt had Braxton Doebel right where he wanted him.
Clear Lake senior Doebel was up 5-3 against Proffitt, a Charles City junior, midway through the third period of the 152-pound championship bout at the Class 2A-District 3 wrestling tournament Saturday at Clear Lake.
But Doebel was about in the same position the week before when the two squared off in the sectional championship round.
Like he did to win a subsequent Northeast Iowa Conference title, Proffitt managed to rally late to take the lead and hang on to defeat Doebel for the sectional crown.
In the district rematch, Doebel opted to give Proffitt an escape point to put the match upright for the final 30 seconds of regulation. Now just a takedown away from winning his third championship in as many weeks, it seemed as if Proffitt was going to pull off yet another come-from-behind victory as he was able to bring the match back down to the mat and was on the verge of getting his leg free and around Doebel to prompt the match-winning takedown signal from the referee.
But the short-time towel-tapper alerted the referee just in time to end the match with Doebel winning, 5-4.
Still, Proffitt will be around to wrestle another day(s) as his subsequent 5-0 decision over Cayden Howland of Iowa Falls-Alden in their wrestleback match earned him second-place status and a bid to the State Wrestling Tournament taking place Thursday through Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
Proffitt (30-10) is one of three Comets advancing to state, including 170-pound senior Dylan Koresh (32-9), who will be making his third-straight trip to Des Moines after being a podium placer last year; and sophomore 126-pounder Alec Staudt, who — like Proffitt — will be making his first state meet appearance.
The Doebel-Proffitt bout wasn’t the only rematch at the district tournament. For the third time in less than a month, Koresh and Osage sophomore Spencer Mooberry squared off in the circle. Koresh won the first match by 1 point during a Saturday evening non-conference dual at Osage before facing him again in the sectional championship match last week also at Osage.
Mooberry won that match by 1 point.
Almost needless to note, their district championship bout was also closely contested with Mooberry scoring a takedown in the one-minute overtime period for a sudden-victory after the two battled to a 2-2 tie through regulation.
Forced to face Carter Dietz in the wrestleback for the chance to punch his third-straight state ticket, Koresh won the 9-3 decision.
In the 126-pound championship match, Staudt lost a 13-2 major decision to Averee Abben of Osage. But when Iowa Falls-Alden’s Mason Kent won what would be the third-place match against Colby Clarken of Humboldt, Staudt was spared of having to wrestle in a wrestleback as he previously defeated Kent in the semifinals.
Like Koresh, Charles City junior Jack Sindlinger was a state podium placer last year, but was stopped short of returning to state with a fourth-place showing in the 182-pound bracket.
After losing to Remington Hanson of Clarion-Goldfield-Dows in the 132-pound semifinals, Charles City junior Bronson Forsyth was able to bounce back with a 12-8 decision over Jordan Jensen of Humboldt. But the season was already over for Forsyth as minutes before Clear Lake’s undefeated senior Eric Faught pinned Hanson in the first period of their championship bout, thus eliminating a possible wrestleback for Forsyth.
One of the biggest additions for the Comets this season was the varsity debut of senior 195-pounder Ryan Zuspan. A multiple all-district football lineman, Zuspan was able progress throughout his first season and advanced all the way to districts, where he placed fourth in his bracket.
* Several other local wrestlers advanced to the state tournament by way of qualifying at the Class 1A-District 1 tournament at Denver.
North Butler-Clarksville senior Bryce Trees took first in the 126-pound bracket and is due to make his second state appearance after qualifying as a sophomore.
Nashua-Plainfield will have two representatives after 113-pound junior Jakob Whitinger and 160-pound sophomore Derik Downing both placed second in their respective brackets.