The Woodward-Granger Hawks sent three of their wrestlers to the State Wrestling Tournament. Austin Scharlau wrestled at 152 pounds and finished the season with a 40-18 record, Tanner Vermaas had a 48-5 record and wrestled at 182 and Cody Fisher weighed in at 195 pounds and finished the year with a record of 46-6.
Fisher finished in second for the Hawks. The freshman made it all the way through his semifinal match on the second day of the tournament when he beat Sam Moore from Mount Vernon. Fisher beat Moore by an 8-5 decision to move on to the championship match.
For first place, Fisher wrestled Bryce Esmoil of West Liberty. Esmoil won the match by a 15-0 technical fall over Fisher.
“Fisher came to the tournament unranked, nobody knew anything about him, but it's kind of neat to see a freshman come down here at 195 pounds and wrestle the way he did,” said Coach Dave Smeltzer. “He had a good win in the first round, knocked off number four then number two. For the first time being down here, he wrestled great. He will be a state champion.”
Vermaas finished sixth in the 182 pound weight class. Vermaas had his first loss in his first match of the tournament. This put him in the consolation bracket right away.
Vermaas won all the way through the third consolation round. During the third round, he wrestled Kyle Benson from Sergeant Bluff-Luton and won by fall in 1:12. This victory put him in the consolation semifinals.
“With three of them, Tanner Vermaas being a senior, a good role model for the team, that helped with his experience of being here before for the other two and trying to keep them focused and ready to go,” said Smeltzer. “Coach wise, we just try to keep their mind clear, try to distract them as much as we can.”
Boone McDermott (Wahlert) beat Vermaas by a 18-2 technical fall in the semifinal. Vermaas was now place in the fifth place match. He took on Nick Foss from Harlan. Foss ended up beating Vermaas in a 6-4 decision. With this loss, Vermaas finished in sixth.
Austin Scharlau did not place at the tournament. The Hawk lost his first match to Trey Van Weelden of Washington in a 13-0 major decision.
Scharlau then wrestled a second time on the first day of the tournament in the consolation round. In this match, he wrestled Logan Koedam (MOC-Floyd Valley). Koedam beat Scharlau in a 13-4 major decision. This second loss knocked him out of the tournament.
“This year we kind of tried something different, we kind of stayed back didn't really care who we wrestled. In the past we did a lot of scouting, trying to watch the the kids and then we would psych ourselves out. This year we just came out, wrestled and won.”
The Hawks had two of their three wrestlers finish in the top eight at the State Wrestling Tournament.