What we learned from Roland-Story's HOIC wrestling championship: Norsemen win first title since 2016

·4 min read

NEVADA — The Roland-Story wrestling team loves it when the Heart of Iowa Conference meet comes to Nevada.

The Norsemen claimed the HOIC title Friday after crowning four champions and scoring 210 points. They edged West Marshall by 13 points for the title.

Roland-Story's Logan Power takes down Perry's Cole Nelson during their 138-pound wrestling final in the HOI Conference  wrestling tournament at Nevada High School Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, in Nevada, Iowa.
Roland-Story's Logan Power takes down Perry's Cole Nelson during their 138-pound wrestling final in the HOI Conference wrestling tournament at Nevada High School Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, in Nevada, Iowa.

"It feels awesome," Roland-Story head coach Leland Schwartz said. "I'm extremely proud of the guys. They wrestled so well and stepped up when they needed to. I couldn't be more happy."

The last time the Norsemen claimed the HOIC team championship was 2016. That also happened to be the last time the conference meet was held in Nevada.

Nevada placed seventh out of eight teams with 83 points. The Cubs produced two individual champions Friday night.

Here is what we learned from Roland-Story's championship victory:

Powers, Johnson earn statement wins.

Defending Class 2A 106-pound state champion Kade Blume and returning state qualifier Christian Eslick have garnered most of the headlines for Roland-Story this season.

There is a good reason why. Both wrestlers remained undefeated Friday after winning conference championships.

But depth has been an important part of Roland-Story's success this season. Logan Powers and Hesston Johnson have played a huge role in building up that depth and they were rewarded in a big way Friday.

Powers upset eighth-ranked Cole Nelson of Perry in the 138-pound championship match. He defeated Nelson in three overtimes, 6-2.

Powers (29-4) broke a 1-1 tie in the second overtime by getting Nelson's shoulders down on the mat for some clutch back points.

Leading 4-1, Powers picked up two more points in the third overtime to seal the deal.

"The second overtime, he picked bottom and was really close to an escape, but I caught him with a headlock for the three back points I needed," Powers said. "It feels great to win conference and get my name on the wall up in our wrestling room. It's great to be at that top tier and hopefully translating this to sectionals, districts and state."

Johnson (28-2) held off Greene County's Nathan Black by a 9-5 decision in the championship match at 160.

Roland-Story's Hesston Johnson goes for pinned Green County's Nathan Black during their 160-pound wrestling final in the HOI Conference  wrestling tournament at Nevada High School Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, in Nevada, Iowa.
Roland-Story's Hesston Johnson goes for pinned Green County's Nathan Black during their 160-pound wrestling final in the HOI Conference wrestling tournament at Nevada High School Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, in Nevada, Iowa.

"I've been working on it for a while now," Johnson said of his first conference title. "Christian and them were pushing me. It feels great."

Johnson is ranked 11th in 2A by IAWrestle.com.

"It's great with everyone pushing each other and working together," Johnson said. "It just flows. Kade and Christian have mentored me all season. Kade's a state champ obviously and Christian placed last year. It's great having them teach me."

Blume, Eslick take care of business.

Blume is ranked No. 1 at 106, but he's wrestled most of the year at 113. He took first at 113 Friday, winning all three of his matches by fall to improve to 28-0 on the season.

Eslick is ranked fifth at 152, but has dropped down to 145, where he took first at the conference meet. He pushed his season record to 32-0 with a technical fall and two pins at the conference meet.

Eli Thorson (170) and Colin Hansen (285) both placed second and Tristan Conley-McCarthy (152) and Aaron Peyton (220) third for Roland-Story.

Norsemen go 2-1 at home quad dual

Roland-Story defeated HOIC foes West Marshall (40-35) and Greene County (45-35) and suffered a non-conference loss to Ballard (61-18) in a home quadrangular dual at Story City Jan. 18.

In the victory over West Marshall Thorson (170), Hansen (285), Blume (113), Powers (138) and Johnson (160) all won by fall. Eslick picked up a 14-5 major decision over the Trojans' Dillon McMorran at 152 and Ian Tripp (182) received a forfeit.

Peyton, Blume, Powers and Eslick all picked up a pin against Greene County. Noah Wakefield pulled off a 10-5 victory over the Rams' Crew Connor at 120 and Thorson, Jaxson Kadolph (195) and Hansen each received a forfeit.

Blume, Powers and Thorson were the three Roland-Story wrestlers to come out on top against Ballard.

Blume pinned Ballard's Tony Horness in 1:37 and Powers stuck Daniel Hyman in 1:49. Thorson took down the Bombers' Jayden Swain in 32 seconds.

This article originally appeared on Ames Tribune: Roland-Story wins first HOIC wrestling championship since 2016

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