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Girls state sanctioned wrestling is off and running as of November 14 of this year, while the Southern Tier Wrestling team, comprised of Mount Ayr, Central Decatur, Lamoni and Wayne schools, will be seeing its first action this Saturday, December 3 at the Newton Invite at Newton High School at 10 a.m.
The Southern Tier Wrestling team will be helmed by coach Connor Christensen, a 2010 graduate of Central Decatur.
Coach Christensen wrestled throughout his life, qualifying for state in Junior High, as well as finishing his high school career with 124 wins and a state place winner at the State Wrestling Tournament.
Christensen then attended Grand View University, wrestling for the Vikings for three years where they went undefeated in duals and became National Dual and Team champions.
“I look forward to building a girls wrestling program that will be very successful moving forward in these historic times.” said Christensen.
Carter Wilken will assist coach Christensen this season and has plenty of experience in wrestling as well.
Wilken attended Clarke community High School where he was captain of the wrestling team before werstling with Graceland University.
In 2018-19, Wilken was awarded the Most Improved Wrestler in the 125 pound weight class.
The team itself will have girls from all four schools, with Mount Ayr contributing four high school student-athletes in Jerney Doursett, Anna Greenland, Alexis Greeland and Kalee Wise and junior high student-athlete Brylee Schwebach.
The junior high team also includes Josie Hill (Lamoni) and Shiann Byrd (Central Decatur).
The high school varsity squad will also include Central Decatur students Keaton Simmerman, Bianca Swartz, Lamoni students Emma Hill, Morgan Giles, Gracie Comer and Wayne students Dalls Foster and Sam Kent.
Coach Christensen believes the competition will be level this season with much of the other girls wrestling for the first time and will focus on the girls understanding of the sport and conditioning.
“The season started on October 31 and the girls have learned a lot as they gear up for the first competition on December 3 at Newton,” said coach Christensen. “Coach Wilken and I have set the strategy for this year to make sure the girls understand the basics of the sport and to make sure they are conditioned better than the competition so that we will have the best shot to make it further down the road when we get into the post-season.”