Spartan wrestlers celebrate an exciting season

Eli+Loyd+with+his+fellow+competitors+after+winning+first+place+at+the+state+wrestling+tournament+in+Des+Moines.+%0A
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Spartan wrestlers celebrate an exciting season

Eli Loyd with his fellow competitors after winning first place at the state wrestling tournament in Des Moines.

Eli Loyd with his fellow competitors after winning first place at the state wrestling tournament in Des Moines.

Catherine Loyd

Eli Loyd with his fellow competitors after winning first place at the state wrestling tournament in Des Moines.

Catherine Loyd

Catherine Loyd

Eli Loyd with his fellow competitors after winning first place at the state wrestling tournament in Des Moines.

Jeremy Ramsey, Sports Editor

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After a great end to the season this past weekend at the state tournament, the Spartan wrestlers have had a lot of successes to look back on at both the team and individual levels.

At the start of the season, standout wrestler Eli Loyd was still thinking about the tough loss he faced in the state championship match just a year ago. This year – his junior season – he was determined to make it back to the championship in any way possible. Throughout the season Loyd and the entire team kept one goal in mind: state.

The MAC tournament was an important highlight of the Spartan wrestlers’ season and a kick starter for some wrestlers who were on their way to state. On the individual level, there were several impressive finishes. Evan Kilstrom and Hunter Meyrer finished third; Josh Pelzer placed second; and Loyd ended with a first place finish.

The junior varsity team also shined at the JV MAC tournament. TJ Brown, Carter Smith, Sid Sharma, Bryce Eaves, and Luke Vonderhaar were some of the junior varsity players who finished on the podium.

The next thing on the agenda after the MAC tournament was districts. The district tournament is an opportunity for those participating to qualify for a spot in the state tournament. The Spartan wrestlers fought hard, but ultimately Loyd was the only one to qualify for the state tournament. This was the first step to get back to the spot he was in a year ago.

Kilstrom, a senior, felt accomplished after finishing his final season at districts. “I didn’t achieve the end goal of state, however that doesn’t define my success throughout the season. Most of the matches I lost were to people that finished top five in the state so I’m happy with how my season went,” he said.

At the state tournament, Loyd cruised through the first day, defeating his opponent 16-0. In his next two matches Loyd prevailed with a pin in the quarterfinals and a 9-0 decision in the semi-finals, leading him to the state championship once again. On the final day of the tournament, Loyd was victorious in the championship match, winning by a pin to become the 138 pound state champion.

Loyd had some confident words after his victory in the championship match. “My goal was more than winning a state title, but to dominate my competition,” he said.

With the focus that the wrestlers had throughout the season, their success came should be no surprise. The team continues to strive for more state championships in upcoming years. In retrospect, the Spartan wrestlers should be proud at what they have accomplished and optimistic for the years to come.