Marshalltown wrestling coach Mike Mann knew the season opener would be a tall task.
The Bobcats were facing Ankeny and Marshalltown gave away two forfeits and used five freshmen to fill out the varsity lineup.
Ankeny lost the first two matches on the mat then took care of the Bobcats with 10 straight victories in a 67-9 victory Thursday at the Roundhouse in Mann's varsity coaching debut.
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
Marshalltown junior Derek Mann, right, had little trouble with Ankeny’s Isaac Dahlman on Thursday during their match at 182. Mann earned the 6-1 decision, but the Bobcats were defeated by the Hawks, 67-9, in the season opener at the Roundhouse.
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
Marshalltown’s Josh Edel, right, tries to score a takedown against Ankeny’s Luke Lockhart on Thursday at the Roundhouse. Lockhart won the match 15-1 and the Hawks handed the Bobcats a 67-9 loss in the season opener.
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
MHS senior Pedro Gomez, top, won his heavyweight match against Ankeny’s Harold Gavca by pin. The Bobcats won just two matches on the night as the Hawks took the season opener 67-9.
"I knew it would be tough, but I am about the happiest you can be after a 67-9 loss," Mann said. "The guys competed hard. If you're competing and you're aggressive, the fans will love you. I don't care how ugly the score looks at this point."
Mann said he could have forfeited the weights that involved freshmen but decided to let them taste what a varsity match feels like.
"We could have given up seven forfeits tonight, but I talked to the freshmen and they wanted to give it a shot," Mann said. "They wanted to see what a varsity match was like. It's not their fault they are much younger than the other guys."
Ankeny 67, Marshalltown 9
182-Derek Mann (MHS) dec. Isaac Dahlman, 6-1; 195-John Ware (Ank) won by forfeit; 220-Wil Simpkins (Ank) won by forfeit; 285-Pedro Gomez (MHS) pinned Harold Gavca, 3:19; 106-Alec Helmkamp (Ank) pinned Doston Harrelson, 1:08; 113-Aaron Noce (Ank) pinned Alec Gill, 2:58; 120-Austin Anderson (Ank) pinned Colten Phillips, 3:23; 126-Nick Cluver (Ank) major dec. Jordan Paone, 13-4; 132-Grant Knowler (Ank) tech. fall Josh Sowers, 18-3; 138-Tyler Pagliai (Ank) pinned Seth Heinrichs, 0:47; 145-Patrick Steffen (Ank) pinned Ben Rebik, 2:56; 152-Luke Lockhart (Ank) major dec. Josh Edel, 15-1; 160-Josh Johnson (Ank) pinned Peyton Williams, 5:32; 170-Sam Pickard (Ank) pinned Paden Himes, 0:47.
The Bobcats got a win by fall from senior Pedro Gomez at heavyweight and junior Derek Mann also claimed a 6-1 decision at 182.
The two forfeits came at 195 and 220 as Matt Vandegrift and Justus Bjelland were unavailable. Vandegrift is out with an illness, while Bjelland is recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident.
The other 10 matches won by Ankeny came by way of seven pins, two major decisions and one technical fall.
"Ankeny only had one freshmen and two sophomores in its lineup," Mann said. "What are our guys going to look like when they are juniors and seniors?"
Derek Mann's 6-1 decision featured a first-period takedown, a second-period reversal and a third-period near fall. He was in control throughout against Ankeny's Isaac Dahlman.
"It didn't really hit me until he got out on the mat that my very first varsity match would be one that involved my nephew," Coach Mann said. "How neat is that? That is pretty neat."
Gomez faced Ankeny's junior varsity heavyweight and dominated the bout from the opening whistle. He led 4-0 after one period after scoring a takedown and back points. He pushed the lead to 5-0 right away in the second period and then finished off Harold Gavca with 42 seconds left in the period.
"The issue we may have with Pedro this year is that we just don't have anyone close to his size in the wrestling room," Coach Mann said. "The closest guys to his weight are coaches. So Pedro is going to have to make the most out of all of his matches."
While the Bobcats did not win any other match, freshman Peyton Williams nearly came through with a victory at 160.
Williams trailed 2-1 after one period and then took the lead with a reversal in the second frame. With the match all square at 3 in the third period, Williams made an aggressive move that backfired, and Ankeny's Josh Johnson got the takedown before winning by fall with 28 seconds to go in the bout.
"I like that we were aggressive there, but we just have to be smarter about being aggressive," Coach Mann said. "That is stuff we'll learn as the season goes though."
Marshalltown (0-1) wrestles at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Independence Invitational.
Ankeny was not ranked in the top 10 of the Predicament's preseason rankings but does feature five individual ranked wrestlers. Two of those wrestlers - Ian Begg and Joel Lanning - did not wrestle Thursday. Wil Simpkins is ranked at 195 but took a forfeit at 220, while John Ware is ranked at 182 but earned a win by forfeit at 195. ... Aside from missing Vandegrift and Bjelland, the Bobcats also wrestled without Zach Slocum, who is expected to be the varsity 138-pounder. Slocum is recovering from a knee injury suffered during seven-on-seven football this summer. ... There were 20 junior varsity matches Thursday. Marshalltown claimed eight wins, including wins by pin from Anthony Fleck, Ryan Bitker, Arturo Mojica, Brandon Daniel, and Hector Hernandez. ... The varsity match was scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. but began nearly an hour later.