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Knight wrestlers advance through first-day jitters

By Staff | Feb 14, 2008

Graettinger/Terril’s James Tatman survived the first day at the state tournament as he won his consolation match at 103 pounds. Photo by INA photo pool

DES MOINES — Graettinger/Terril’s Jake Hoffman opened the 2008 Class 1A wrestling tournament with a victory and continues his quest for a state title.

Teammate James Tatman lost his first match, but won his second to keep his hopes for a state medal alive also.

The Knights’ two representatives still can do plenty of damage at the tournament.

Tatman started slowly with a 6-1 loss to Jake Kadel a freshman from New London/WMU.

“I could’ve had better hand control and shot a little more,” said Tatman.

G/T coach Cody Alesch agreed Tatman didn’t attack enough in the first match.

“James has to keep applying pressure,” said Alesch. “When he does that, good things happen.”

The G/T junior 103-pounder did become more aggressive in his second match, scoring the first takedown against Brice Dietz, a sophomore from Nashua-Plainfield.

Dietz came back to tie the score with a takedown in the second period, but Tatman responded with an escape and a takedown with time running out. The third period only lasted a few seconds as Tatman came up with the pin in 4:17.

“I rode him out which is a better part of my game,” said Tatman.

Hoffman took the shorter route to the second day by winning a major decision, 15-6, over Dillon Grossman, a junior from Woodbine.

“I didn’t wrestle as well as I’d have liked, but it was a good match to get out of the way,” said Hoffman.

The No. 1 wrestler at 189 pounds in Class 1A, Hoffman will face No. 2 John Sievert from Akron-Westfield in today’s quarterfinal.

The two wrestlers met at the Battle Creek-Ida Grove Tournament earlier this season where Hoffman won 6-3.

The Knight wrestler learned a little from the first meting.

“I just need to stay on my feet and not stay underneath him too long,” said Hoffman.

Coach Alesch said every point is important at state.

“With two good wrestlers going at it, we have to out-fight him for every point,” he said. “Down here, it comes down to who wants it most.”

The Class 1A quarterfinals and second-round consolation matches begin at 2 p.m. today.