Iowa's Team Valley dominates 2015 Jazz Town Duals
June 2nd, 2015| Written by: Editor



[The editor requests the readerships' patience as over 1,800 photos need to be sorted, picked, cropped, categorized and named, and he does not have the luxury of knowing who are in most of them!]

Team Valley of Iowa, a runner-up to Archer, Georgia in 2014, ran away with the 2015 Jazz Town Duals against a stellar field.  In Saturday's pool round they did not lose a single match.  In Sunday's first championship match they lost three matches to the Westbank Wrestling Club (plus a medical forfeit) in a 72-13 victory.  In the quarterfinals they had their toughest match of the tournament against Easton, Pennsylvania in which they lost six matches in a 47-30 win.  Against Brownsburg, Indiana in the semifinals they lost four matches, winning 61-17.  In the finals against the Penn, Indiana Gold team, they lost five matches in a 47-24 championship win.  Team Valley wrestled a total of 112 matches and lost only 19 - that's as 83% winning percentage, which is pretty tough to beat.

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The Penn Gold team (photo left) defeated Tate, Florida 90-0 in the first round Sunday, and followed that with a 46-30 win over a very good Pittsburg, Kansas squad.  Their semifinals match against Texas' Best Trained came down to the final match.  Ahead only 31-30, a 3:50 fall put them on top via a 37-31 score.

Best Trained (photo right) came back to place 3rd via a 52-19 win over Brownsburg, Indiana's A team.

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Perry Meridian, Indiana (photo 1) gets the editor's award for the Best Jazz Town Duals Shirt.  Brother Martin coach Robert Dauterive, for reasons known to Louisiana wrestlers and fans, placed a close second (photo 2).  Penn Gold's 195 pounds wrestler, Blake Rypel (photo 3) won the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler award in the upper weight classes.  Rypel pinned all eight of his opponents in a combined time of 14:39, averaging less than two minutes per match. Penn Gold's Drew Hildebrandt (photo 4) won the editor's Class-Act award (new this year).  Hildebrandt, after being pushed off of the mat and head-slapped out of bounds while an opponent scored an escape, walked back to the mat with a "shaking head smile," made sure to shake his opponent's hand again before they restarted the match, and then made the official fix the score to reflect his opponent's escape point.

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Though obviously a mercenary for hire for whomever gives him the biggest OW belt (2013 South Walton Border Wars - above left), this was sadly the last Louisiana event for two-time Division III state champion Kendon Kayser of Brusly.  In helping the South Walton-based Back-in-Black (above right versus Tate, Florida) to a 13th place championship bracket finish, Kayser was 7-0 with three pins, one major decision and three decisions.  Kayser and his family are moving to Stillwater, Oklahoma where he will compete for Stillwater High School in his junior and senior years.  Kendon has been very fun to watch (if not so fun to compete against) in his time in Louisiana and the editor is sure all who know him wish him the best of luck in Stillwater.

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Of the local teams the Crusader Wrestling Club placed the highest with an 11th-place finish in the 16-team championship bracket.  The Westbank Wrestling Club placed 16th, but were the only other Louisiana team to advance to the championship bracket after Saturday's pool rounds.

In the 12-team consolation bracket the Tiger Wrestling Club defeated the New Orleans Wrestling Club 55-30 for the top spot.  The Northshore Wrestling Club finished 4th, Live Oak finished 8th and the Wrestling Academy of Louisiana placed 11th.

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