While John Sievert was claiming Morningside College’s second national championship at 197 pounds in wrestling, an idea spread through the large Akron-Westfield following watching Sievert achieve his feat in Des Moines.
“We talked about it while John was at the NAIA tournament,” said former A-W wrestler Marshall Koethe, now of Le Mars.
All four coaches are in their early 20s with much knowledge of the sport already since bursting onto the A-W wrestling scene 10 years ago now.
Koethe, who had a second place and two championships to his credit at A-W, (2005, 2006 and 2007), supported the idea of having recent A-W wrestling stars coach the Akron-Westfield Youth Wrestling (AWYF).
David Ericson (2006 and 2007 state qualifier and Morningside College wrestler), Tyler Schneider (Morningside College, 100 wins at A-W and district qualifier his senior year) both joined Sievert (2006 – 2008 state qualifier for A-W finishing eighth and third place twice); and Koethe for their first practice with A-W’s Grades K-8 wrestlers.
The first day was Nov. 7 with two sessions: one for younger wrestlers, another for older ones.
“We’ll teach the basics,” said John Sievert, adding the youngsters weren’t ready for the “Sievert Moves” known for the Mustangs.
Koethe said about 30 youngsters reported for the first practice. Their first tournament of the season was Nov. 9 in Moville.
“It’s a great opportunity for the youngsters to learn from some great wrestlers,” said A-W Head Coach Dustin Meinen, also a former state qualifier (2000, fifth place).
AWYF meets at the A-W wrestling room Tuesdays and Thursdays for practices, starting at 6:30 p.m. with the younger ages going first.
A-W High School wrestling practice gets underway Nov. 18. Competition starts Dec. 3 at Sioux City East.
A look back
In the 2004-2005 season, A-W had four move on to districts from the sectional, as Sievert was 29-8 record for second at 135 after district.
Koethe gained second in the Class 1A state tournament at 125 pounds with a 40-3 record as a freshman. At state, he beat Ceceton Pfantz of West Marshall State Center, 7-1; beat Jonnie Wyman of Griswold in a pin in 25 seconds; beat Derek Lentz of East Bucananon, 17-2 and reached the final where he lost to Austin Baier of Nodaway Valley, 3-1.
Ericson was third at sectional at heavyweight. He had a 2-1 record at a late-season tournament and was 2-0 record in a late-season dual meet.
In 2005-2006, Koethe’s sophomore year, saw him win the state championship at 125 pounds with a 41-1 record. At district, the team won the Class 1A District title. At state, Koethe beat Paul Robinson of Underwood by pin; Mitch Johnson of Interstate 35 of Truro by pin; Derek Letz of East Buchanon, a 39-1 record senior, by a 5-3 decision; and beat undefeated senior Lee Merrick of Turkey Valley, 7-5.
As a sophomore John Sievert was 32-14 record after qualifying at 152 pounds. His freshman year, 2004-2005, he had 29 wins and was a district qualifier.
As a junior Ericson had a 33-12 record at heavyweight. He beat Mike Weber of Schaller-Crestland to make state.
The 2006-2007 season was highlighted by Koethe’s state championship at 130 pounds and a 32-1 record. A-W also won a regional dual meet, 38-30 over Woodbury Central of Moville and advanced to state team duals. At the state individual meet, the Westerners placed third overall in Class 1A with 72 points.
At state, Koethe beat Mike Schwan of South Winneshiek Center by pin; beat Jeret Chiri of New London 4-2; beat Kody Kersten of Logan-Magnolia, 9-1; and beat Mitch Johnson of Interstate 35 of Truro by pin.
John Sievert took eighth at 152 pounds as a junior. He beat Ryan Kurovski of Belle Plaine 4-3; lost to Joe Audelehelm of Central Decatur Leon, 10-4; beat Ryan Gochenour of Logan-Magnolia, 11-2; lost to Kyle Ray of Nodaway Valley, 4-3; lost to AJ Youngblood of Don Bosco, Gilbertville, 6-3 and was 42-7 record.
Ericson concluded his career at heavyweight with wins over Dallas Hendrickson of Saint Ansgar by pin and James Driver of Tri Center-Neola by pin and beat Jake Brown of Graettinger-Terrill, 6-1. He lost to John Bunch of Martensdale by pin; and to Levi Morris of Nodaway Valley, 6-1 and was 42-7 record.
Seniors included John Sievert. Of note, district qualifier Chad Morehead gained win No. 100 at 171 pounds and John Sievert ended in third place at state at 189 pounds and had 150 wins. Also, at state were junior Joe Sievert at 160 pounds and Brody Verschoor at 145 pounds. Verschoor, who was seventh, had a 36-8 record. Joe Sievert, who became a 100-win wrestler, finished third, 43-5 record at 160 pounds; and John Sievert 46-3, ended with a third place finish at 189 pounds.
State meet results had Joe Sievert winning two matches by pins, then lost, then beat Logan Faucher of Gutherie Center, 10-3 for third place.
At the state meet in 2008, John Sievert, at 189, beat Kass Lester of Pleasantville, 14-2; Jake Hoffman of Graettinger-Terrill, 11-6; lost to John Lerdal of New London, 8-12; beat Matt Ferlickj of Highland by pin; beat Andrew Roberts of AGSR 9-2.
At the state dual meet, A-W beat Manson-Northwest, 42-23 on a key win by Schneider at 130 pounds but lost to Central Lyon for a 21-6 dual record. Of note, Doug Manley of Akron was named Official of the Year.