EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
By Jason Nihles, The Platteville Journal / Boscobel Dial / Fennimore Times
Amryn Nutter, So., 126 pounds, Fennimore wrestling
INDEPENDENCE, Iowa — Fennimore sophomore Amyrn Nutter won the 126-pound title to lead Fennimore (250.5) to a fourth-place team finish at the prestigious 31-team Independence Cliff Keene Invitational.
“It was a day of firsts,” said coach Steldt. “It was the first time in our history that we have put guys into the finals at this tournament. That helps define how tough this competition is; 31 teams (usually 34) from four different states, full of nationally-ranked wrestlers, and state champs. This is a tough way to start the season. It was a two-day grind against some of the best kids around.”
Nutter (5–0) advanced to the finals with a quarterfinal pin and a 3–1 semifinal decision over Amare Chavez of South Tama County. He then won an 11–9 shootout in the finals against Alburnett’s Preston Klosterman to become Fennimore’s first champion at the Cliff Keene Invitational.
Fellow sophomore Tristan Steldt (4–1) also wrestled in the finals Saturday night. He advanced to the finals with a quarterfinal pin (1:44) and a 5–2 semifinal victory over Crestwood’s Cole Butikofer, before falling to Alburnett’s Carson Klosterman by a 10–1 major decision, the older brother of Preston Klosterman.
“Amryn does just a nice job on staying calm,” said coach Steldt. “His hand fighting skills are very advanced due to his offseason training with Combat, and he is just so relaxed in very tense situations. Just think he was 106 last year and now 126. That is a big jump. Tristan as well made a big jump of his own from 138 to 160.”
Senior Brecken Muench (4–2, 132), junior Ian Crapp (4–2, 138) and senior Camron Wolf (3–2, 195) all took fourth place on the weekend.
“All three of these guys did a great job at times attacking their tie-up and leg attacks,” said coach Steldt. “We just have to get in a little better shape so those attacks are consistent throughout the whole match. All three have put on some nice muscle as well. Much in part due, once again, to Chris and Riley Lull’s weight lifting regiment they have for these guys year round.
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Elliott Biba, So., 132 pounds, Tyson Imhoff, So., 152 and Tucker Degenhart, So., 182, Iowa–Grant/Highland wrestling
The sophomore trio each won individual titles to lead the Panthers to a team-score of 198.5 points and a team title at the 12-team Royall Invitational last Saturday.
Braden Crubel, Sr., G, River Ridge boys basketball
Crubel scored 20 of his game-high 22 points in the second half to lead the Timberwolves (2–1) to a wild 58–51 comeback victory over Southwestern last Thursday night. River Ridge outscored the Wildcats 40–19 in the final 18 minutes to dig out of a 32–18 halftime hole.
Ethan Hady, So., 106 pounds and Teige Perkins, Jr., 220, Richland Center wrestling
Hady went 3–0 with three first-period pins to win the 106-pound title, while Perkins went 3–0 with a first-round bye and two first-period pins to win the 220-pound title, while leading the Hornets to a second-place finish at the 12-team Royall Invitational last Saturday despite filling just eight of the 14 weight classes.
Katie Kinney, Sr., Boscobel girls basketball
Kinney went 8-for-8 at the free throw line, including 6-for-6 in the final 90 seconds, and finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds in the Bulldogs' 58–52 comeback victory over Iowa–Grant last Friday night. Kinney also had five points in Boscobel's 58–24 win over Seneca last Tuesday night.
Tristan Steldt, So., 160 pounds, Fennimore wrestling
Steldt went 4–1 to finish second at 160 pounds at the two-day, Cliff Keene Invitational to help the Golden Eagles place fourth at the 31-day tournament.