Freshmen lead the way for SC wrestling


by Matt Lash, Sports Editor

INDIANOLA, Iowa — Led by a pair of freshmen, Simpson wrestling is on the pinnacle of success.

At the recent Luther L. Hill Invitational, hosted at Simpson, the Storm managed to get five top-three finishes.

With a championship from Blake Bauer in the 149-pound division and a second-place finish by Kobey Bosworth at 174 pounds, the Storm are looking to find what it takes to remain competitive with other schools in the IIAC.

In addition to the standout performances from Bauer and Bosworth, R.J. Brown, a junior wrestling at 165 pounds and Noah Robinson, a sophomore wrestling at 184 pounds, both finished second in their weight class after going 2-1 on the day. Freshman Alek Ziegler finished 3-1 and earned a third-place finish in the 133-pound division.

The team has shown progress already, and individual performances are showing that hard work pay off on the mat.

“I previously wrestled Jake Voss, ranked sixth in the nation, and he pinned me,” Bosworth said. “The match this weekend was a six-point match.”

In their first season with the Storm, both Bosworth and Bauer have started strong and hope their workouts and practices between meets help them grow.

“I work out with (assistant head coach Greg) Barner on Tuesdays and Thursdays and do extra cardio workouts frequently,” Bosworth said. “I often find myself reviewing film and thinking of ways to focus my energy on success on the mat and in the real world.”

With the success the team has found, they’ve begun leaning heavily on the upperclassmen to show them the ropes of collegiate wrestling. Junior DeVaughn Scott said the upperclassmen set a good example throughout the team on and off the mat.

“In my three years here this is the closest group of wrestlers I feel we have,” Scott said. “It almost feels like a family or wolf pack-type group sometimes.”

In his first season, Barner has already proven himself to the team and begun showing them what it takes to improve and make the push towards a national championship.

“His focus on the little things makes all the wrestlers focus on the small things as well and become greater people and wrestlers,” Bosworth said.

Like most sports, the difference between a win or loss often comes from effort and attention to detail. Barner brings that to the Storm.

“Since he has been here, a majority of our team sees him for individual workouts and he isn’t afraid to tell the honest, and sometimes ugly, truth,” Scott said.

Before winter break, the Storm will travel for the Doane Open in Crete, Nebraska, on Dec. 9, and to Nashville for the Gator Duals on Dec. 16. The Storm will open 2018 with four consecutive weekends, traveling throughout Iowa for tournaments and duals including the IIAC Duals on Jan. 20 in Dubuque.