Gaels welcome NCC pair

The St. Edmond wrestling team will host a pair of North Central Conference foes this evening, squaring off with Iowa Falls-Alden and Webster City.

Action begins inside the Gael gym at 6 p.m. with SEHS taking on the Cadets. IF-A will face Webster City after that, before St. Edmond (0-1 overall, 0-1 in NCC) and the Lynx conclude the night.

Two mats will be used, with junior varsity taking place on one before varsity switches to both.

St. Edmond is trying to bounce back after a dual loss to Clear Lake a week ago. Tanner Utley’s squad placed fifth over the weekend at the Doug Wood Invitational in Manson.

“Bonus points, and not giving up bonus points, will be key,” Utley said. “We match up relatively well with both teams, but it makes things difficult (vs. Webster City) starting off the bat with two open weights.

“Still, we want to see our guys put together a strong six minutes of action. That’s what we need to do.”

Top-ranked Vinnie Harvey won the 220-pound title in Manson, while No. 3 Ryan Szalat did the same at 113.

Nick Hindt placed second at 195, Connor Allison was third, while Caelan Burbank finished fourth.

St. Edmond will be getting returning state placewinner Kaden McClintock back. The senior is ranked third at 120 pounds and allows for Utley to put together a more complete lineup.

“Kaden is a strong wrestler, and hopefully, some of the other kids can feed of what he can do,” he said. “We expect to have (McClintock) and Jimmy (Averill) for this Saturday.”

Webster City has two ranked individuals in Connor Larson (170, fourth) and Dylan Fielder (195, fifth). Both were Class 3A state qualifiers last year, with Fielder placing sixth.

The Lynx will be without senior Tanner Hild, who suffered a shoulder injury last weekend.

“We’re right in the midst of a pretty tough part of our schedule, but I think these duals and tournaments are only going to make us tougher come the postseason,” Utley said. “We’ve got to keep from hanging our heads if we get down and continue to fight back.”

The Gaels follow up their triangular with a trip to Emmetsburg this Saturday. Joining St. Edmond and the host E-Hawks will be Central Lyon/George-Little Rock, Estherville-LC, OA-BCIG, Okoboji, Storm Lake and Minnesota schools Hastings and Jackson County Central.

A key showdown could be on tap for Harvey, as Travis Vander Streek from Central Lyon/G-LR is ranked eighth at 220.

Wrestling begins at noon in Emmetsburg.

“This is a tournament we can compete in, especially with a full lineup,” Utley said. “I don’t know a lot about some of the teams, but they are teams we normally don’t face. I feel like that can be a benefit, as we see some new competition and different styles.”