Injury Bug Bites
The Bellevue wrestling team got back in their area code for the past week of wrestling. After crossing the state last week, the boys in blue met up with some familiar River Valley Conference foes and tied a school record.
Thursday, the team travelled to Tipton to take on North Cedar, West Liberty, and the home team. The injury/illness bug bit the team hard. “We are really banged up,” commented Coach Ripperger. “We had seven starters out of our lineup this week. That’s usually not a good indicator for team success.” The team’s goal for the evening was originally to win two duals, but with the depleted line up expectations had to be adjusted and Comets hoped to pick up one “W”.
Bellevue wrestled the host team first and dropped a 18-59 loss. They then faced the #3 ranked 2A team of West Liberty, and lost 18-66. The Comets rebounded and pulled out a 36-33 win over North Cedar. The night’s top performers included Hunter Clasen who picked up two pins, Zach Roeder who showed great improvement by pinning an opponent that beat him last year, and Luke Giesemann who won his first varsity match by pinning his Tipton opponent.
The team had a quick turnaround and traveled the next evening to Guttenberg for the 3rd Eagle Duals. The depleted team ended up having a great night and finished third, their highest finish in a tournament since the program was re-commissioned. Edgewood-Colesburg was the first team the Comets faced. “They are a team that we want to become. They filled every weight and fought their tails off,” Coach Ripperger said. “Many of the individuals on the team don’t have a lot of experience, which is like us, but they use the skills they have built up over the last month and stuck it to us.” It was the most lop-sided loss of the season for Bellevue, a 6-73 loss.
Bellevue managed to earn a 36-27 win over the Postville Pirates – the first time Bellevue has defeated them. “We had some guys step up and really perform,” stated Coach Ripperger. “Brandon Bowman and Shayne Fite both picked up matches that lifted us to that big win.”
Next came RVC rival, Cascade. “They just always seem to have our number,” Coach Ripperger said. “I have a lot of respect for Coach Andrews and what he has done with their younger kids. It’s another program we try to emulate.” The Cougars handed the team a 24-58 loss.
The Comets wrapped the night up with wins over Central Elkader (42-9) and Clayton Ridge (42-18). Those wins propelled Bellevue to a 7-9 record, which ties the record for most wins in a season (which was set last year).
The Comets will be in action on Thursday night in Durant as they try to break the program record for most wins in a season when they face Durant, Mid-Prairie, and Monticello. They are also hoping to have more weights filled as some of the injured wrestlers return to the mat.