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Wrestling Knights reclaim MVC crown

Photo by Anthony Jones: Koen Rodebush locks up with an opposing grappler.

By Anthony Jones

Last year, Triad wrestling’s 14 year run as Mississippi Valley Conference champions came to an end at the hands of the Civic Memorial Eagles.

With thoughts of avenging the streak on their mind, the team traveled to the home of the defending champions on Jan. 28 for the MVC Super Duals.

A 73-3 thrashing of the Mascoutah Indians opened Triad’s day for a 1-0 start. The Knight’s lone loss came in a 5-4 decision.

Round two provided more theatrics, as Triad faced off against defending-champions Civic Memorial. 

In their battle with the state-ranked Eagles, the Knights won eight of the fourteen matches and won overall by a tally of 41-33. Five of those eight wins came via falls by Brody Smith, Colby Crouch, Braden Rowe, Aidan Postma and Nate Engler.

Subsequent wins of 75-0 over Waterloo, 66-8 over Highland and 64-18 over Jersey led the Knights enroute to a 5-0 mark and their fifteenth conference crown in 16 years.

“Our kids put together a great team effort today. They knew every match and every point was important. It was just a great overall team effort. I can’t say enough about them rising to the challenge and knocking off C.M., who is currently ranked fourteenth in AA in the state rankings,” Coach Russ Witzig spoke of his program’s return to the top of the conference.

Six Knights finished the day with 5-0 records to secure MVC first-team honors. Nate Engler and Aiden Postma achieved this honor after tallying five pins each.

Colby Crouch also joined the list from the 126 weight class. In addition to a pair of forfeit wins, he scored falls in 20, 19 and 10 seconds.

At 106, Will Kelly won five times on the mat to make the all-conference squad. Brody Smith at 120 and Braden Rowe at 138 also finished as their division’s best in the league.

Five different Knights earned honors as MVC second-team. This list consisted of Glen Henry(113), Braden Carlson(152), Bobby Patterson(182), Koen Rodebush(195) and Matt Hobbs(285).

Honorable mentions went to Ben Baumgartner at 132 and Landon Lynn 170 for their contributions to Triad’s victory.

The five dual victories moved Triad to 18-3 on the season and 10-1 in 2023. 



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