CEDAR FALLS – Iowa City High’s Steve Ferentz wanted to set the bar high for his senior wrestling season.
It doesn’t get any higher than the top step of the awards stand.
Ferentz pinned Charles City’s Brian Halligan in the 220-pound finals of the Keith Young Invitational on Saturday night hosted by Cedar Falls. The tournament has been known for one of the toughest fields early in the season, and Ferentz walked away with a gold medal.
“It feels good to come in and beat some good competition,” Ferentz said. “It’s a real confidence booster.”
Ferentz, ranked eighth in 3A, entered the tournament as the top seed, advancing with two pins and a 8-5 semifinal win over Bettendorf’s Anthony Cavanaugh. He trailed the 2A sixth-ranked Halligan, 5-1, and had to fight off his back in the first period. He took control when Halligan chose down for the second period.
“I try to be physical on top,” said Ferentz, whose brothers, James and Brian, both wrestled for City High and dad, Kirk, is the head football coach at the University of Iowa. “I try to make him pay.”
Ferentz turned Halligan and notched the fall in 3:08. For a moment, Halligan seemed to work free, but Ferentz cinched his hold and felt his opponent break.
“He almost squirmed out of there,” said Ferentz, who placed third here last year. “I made a little adjustment and really flattened him out and that’s when I knew I had it.”
Teammate Tanner Odle joined Ferentz in the finals, helping City High to a 10th-place finish with 74 points. Odle upset Waverly-Shell Rock’s fourth-ranked Kaleb Staack, 3-2, to reach the finals. He finished second to No. 5 Zack Henaman of West Des Moines Valley, who scored a takedown with 23 seconds remaining in sudden-death overtime for a 6-4 win.
Kody Dailey (182) and Ryan Maas (195) both placed fifth for City High.
Cedar Rapids Kennedy had two medalists. Second-ranked Luke Kremer placed third at 132 pounds and Shane Williams finished fifth at 160. The Cougars were 13th with 41.5 points.
Cedar Rapids Jefferson placed 14th. Heavyweight Mic Vesey reached the semifinals, placing fourth, and 113-pounder P.J. Rashed was fifth.
“He did a good job today,” Jefferson Coach Dick Briggs said of Vesey. “P.J. did a good job as well.”
Top-ranked Bettendorf walked away with the team title, crowning five champions and tallying 246 points. The Bulldogs placed eight in the finals and beat runner-up Valley by 83 points.
Denver-Tripoli was third, receiving championships from Dylan Peters at 120 and 132-pounder Brandon Sorensen. Peters won by 12-4 major decision over Mason City’s Andres Gonzalez, and was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler.
Waverly-Shell Rock and Mason City were fourth and fifth, respectively. The Go-Hawks Eric Devos won at 126, beating Bettendorf’s Jacob Woodard, 3-0, in the finals.
KEITH YOUNG INVITATIONAL
At Cedar Falls
Teams - 1. Bettendorf 246, 2. West Des Moines Valley 163, 3. Denver-Tripoli 140, 4. Waverly-Shell Rock 129, 5. Mason City 121, 6. Don Bosco 118, 7. North Scott 95.5, 8. Pleasant Valley 94, 9. Charles City 92, 10. Iowa City High 74, 11. West Des Moines Dowling 69, 12. Cedar Falls 50.5, 13. C.R. Kennedy 41.5, 14. C.R. Jefferson 38, 15. Waterloo Columbus 20, 16. Waterloo West 19.
106 pounds - Jacob Schwarm (Bett) dec. Jake Koethe (WDMV), 8-5; 113 - Fredy Stroker (Bett) pinned Bryce Steiert (WSR), :51; 120 - Dylan Peters (DT) major dec. Andres Gonzalez (MC), 12-4; 126 - Eric Devos (WSR) dec. Jacob Woodard (Bett), 3-0; 132 - Brandon Sorensen (DT) dec. Kyle Larson (WDMV), 2-1 (2OT); 138 - Connor Ryan (Bett) dec. Gunnar Wolfensperger (DT), 3-2; 145 - Jesse Etherington (CC) pinned Bret McKinney (NS), 2:13; 152 - Bubba Hernandez (Bett) dec. Cory Chapin (DT), 9-7 (OT); 160 - Max Krieger (MC) dec. Mark Weber (DB), 3-1 (OT); 170 – Colbey Vance (Bett) major dec. Chase Shedenhelm (DT), 12-4; 182 – Jared Bartel (MC) major dec. Bryan Levsen (Bett), 9-0; 195 - Tarin Phillips (WDMV) dec. Keaton Jurevitz (Bett), 5-1; 220 – Steve Ferentz (ICH) pinned Brian Halligan (CC), 3:08; Hwt. – Zack Henaman (WDMV) dec. Tanner Odle (ICH), 6-4 (OT).
Outstanding wrestler - Dylan Peters (DT)