By Shane Carney, The Gazette
IOWA CITY — It was not a picture perfect senior night for the Iowa City High wrestling team, which split a pair of dual meets at home. But for City High senior Steve Ferentz, it was a positive end to the regular season heading into the postseason.
City High lost to Linn-Mar, 63-6, and defeated Cedar Rapids Washington, 35-29. Linn-Mar topped Washington, 63-12.
“We don’t like to lose,” said Ferentz, who improved to 37-3 at 220 pounds. “But you can see it from the beginning of the year till now; we have improved as a team. We battle, we try, (and) we are not going to just roll over for anybody.”
Ferentz displayed that mentality in his first match. When Linn-Mar senior AJ Garcia earned a takedown in the first period, Ferentz had to fight back under pressure. He did, very quickly.
“He (Ferentz) kept moving, he stayed on his feet,” said City High Coach Brad Smith. “He was able to wrestle a smart match.”
Ferentz kept cool under the pressure and got the reversal with just seconds left in the first period to even the score at 2-2.
Pressure can be a factor when everyone recognizes you as the son of Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz. Steve said he’s become accustomed to it.
With the help of older brothers Brian and James, both former Little Hawk wrestlers, Steve Ferentz has been able to live up to those expectations this season.
“My oldest brother was the first to start wrestling and it just picked up between the three of us,” said Ferentz. “My brother James has become a coach, watches my matches and helps me out.”
That help has become handy as Steve improves on his 28-15 junior year and hopes to make a postseason run.
Ferentz will be hard to beat at districts if he continues to close out matches like he did against Garcia. After earning himself a takedown in the third to go up 5-3, pressure built to keep the lead.
Garica escaped the takedown to close the gap by one with thirty seconds remaining. With most of the gym on their feet, Ferentz again remained calm and rode out the clock to take the win, 5-4.
Ferentz will compete across town next weekend in the district tournament held at Iowa City West High School. When asked what his goal is for the tournament, he had but one word to say.