LISBON — Lisbon High School welcomed back a beloved name in its wrestling tradition.
Brad Smith guided the Lions to 10 total state titles in 13 years, coaching current coaches Jamie Kamberling and Greg Butteris to individual state crowns in the late 1980s. Smith returned to Lisbon for the first time for competition since leaving the program after the 1991 season to take over at Iowa City High.
But, the hospitality didn’t extend to Smith’s Little Hawks, as Lisbon handled City High, 55-24, going undefeated Saturday to win the Lisbon Duals.
City High and Lisbon practiced together during the break and the Little Hawks decided to join the six-team field less than a week ago.
“Greg and I learned everything from (Smith) as far as wrestling,” said Kamberling, the Lions head coach who served as an assistant to Smith at City High for four years. “It was a good opportunity to get him back here and wrestle against their team.”
The Lions pounced on the Little Hawks with 10 wins, including seven pins. After dropping the opening bout and trailing 6-0, Lisbon won eight straight matches. Hunter Hutchison (103), Donovan Hoadley (112), Zach West (125), Seth Hall (130), Tait Simpson (135) and Trevor Moore (140) all won by fall. Kolbi Kohl won by forfeit at 119 and Jesse Jamison capped the streak with a decision at 145. Dacoda Ward (171) and 215-pounder Mitchell Montgomery also won by fall.
A relentless attack presents the opportunity to earn pins for the Lions.
“It goes along with wearing a kid down and being on him the whole time,” Kamberling said. “They take what comes to them. They get the guy on their back and keep them there.”
Lisbon (13-3) was solid throughout the competition, beating Valley Community (43-33), Highland (48-21) and Camanche (66-12). Kamberling said he’s trying to instill the same attitude the Lions had while he was a wrestler under Smith. He’s already seen steady improvement from the season’s start.
“We have a lot of hard-nosed kids. We’re in really good shape,” Kamberling said. “These guys are really coming along. We’re going to keep pushing … I think we’re going to be really tough at the end of the year.”
City High (5-5) earned three wins despite not having a full lineup. Alex Sullivan, wrestling up a weight at 189, went 5-0 and Victor Curry (160) was 4-1 in his first event this season for the Little Hawks. Smith still had a pleasant return, being approached by many he knew in 13 years at Lisbon.
“It was a neat feeling,” Smith said. “It was good seeing a lot of old wrestlers and old parents from years back.”
Smith said he thinks the program is heading in the right direction and likes the leadership from Kamberling and Butteris.
“They’re a good combination because what Lisbon needs right now is the intensity and that excitement,” Smith said. “I think it’s a real good situation for their program with those two guys on staff.”
They helped the Lions claw out a win against Cedar Rapids Jefferson, edging the J-Hawks on criteria. The two squads split the 14 matches and a winner wasn’t decided until Criteria H — most first match points scored — which resulted in an extra point and a 40-39 win for Lisbon.
The J-Hawks (5-2) rebounded with a 60-19 win over Valley Community before taking on City High. Jefferson finished as runner-up with a 4-1 record, scoring seven pins and a forfeit to drop the Little Hawks, 48-33.
“We battled hard and wrestled tough,” said Briggs, noting an undefeated showing by heavyweight Conner Herman. “In different matches, different kids looked good.”
The J-Hawks also claimed wins over Camanche (78-0) and Highland (59-12).
C.R. Jefferson 59, Highland 12
Iowa City High 58, Valley Community 24
Lisbon 66, Camanche 12
Iowa City High 72, Camanche 12
Highland 39, Valley Community 36
Lisbon 40*, C.R. Jefferson 39
* – Lisbon receives point for winning on criteria H (Most first match points scored)
C.R. Jefferson 78, Camanche 0
Iowa City High 60, Highland 24
Lisbon 43, Valley Community 33
C.R. Jefferson 60, Valley Community 19
Highland 60, Camanche 18
Lisbon 55, Iowa City High 24
C.R. Jefferson 48, Iowa City High 33
Lisbon 48, Highland 21
Valley Community 41, Camanche 36